This project was implemented within the framework of UNDP's Support Services for Policy and Programme Development (SPPD), which was designed to take stock of the results and impact of the 1992 Constitution Amendment (73rd and 74th) Acts that have become the cornerstones of rural and urban decentralized administration in India. The project assisted UNDP India in developing urban projects for their next five-year country programme (2003 - 2007). Throughout 2003, the Urban Management Programme-South Asia (UMP-SA) and UN-HABITAT provided substantive inputs to the development of two urban projects (urban governance and urban livelihoods) and were part of joint missions (with UNDP) to various States and cities in the country with a view to reviewing their initiatives, assessing their needs and determining availability of resources for the projects in these States/cities. The States covered were Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Chattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. The project has built on UN-HABITAT’s Good Urban Governance Campaign that was launched in India in September 2001, and which resulted in a National Action Plan for Good Urban Governance.
Six studies were conducted with recommendations:
- Gender Mainstreaming in District Plans: Case Study of Andhra Pradesh
- Evolving Criteria for Allocation of Funds as per the State Finance Commission Recommendations from the State to Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) in Maharashtra
- Van Panchayats in Uttaranchal
- Administrative Control over Local Bodies in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh
- Urban Futures of poor groups in Chennai and Bangalore: How These are Shaped by the Relationships between Parastatals and Local Bodies
- Gender Mainstreaming in District Plans: Comparative Case Studies of Madhay Pradesh The results of these research studies have been reviewed at a series of workshops and at the Inter-agency Working Group of the United Nations, with a view to integrating them into policy support. Consolidation, synthesis and analysis of the wide range of findings for policy recommendations have been published.
The SPPD project has assisted UNDP India in developing urban projects for their current five-year programme (2003-2007). The research studies have broadened the understanding of the themes and have led to new insights that are being used for policy initiatives and new directions on the way to further reforms. In the area of decentralization and the empowerment of local bodies, stocktaking has begun at the highest levels of government. With regard to gender, a Parliamentary Committee has recommended specific measures for building the capacity of women representatives at the local level.