Hyderabad is the fifth largest city in India with a population of 6 million. A total 1.5 million of its inhabitants live in slum settlements. A City Development Strategy (CDS) for Hyderabad was preceded by Urban Management Programme/Water and Sanitation Programme initiatives in the city for pro-poor micro-planning of basic services in 12 slums of the city. The CDS built on and institutionalized these successful pilot interventions and knitted all current initiatives in the city into a holistic strategy that sets out guiding principles for future urban development investments within a comprehensive city development framework. The sustainability of the strategy is essential and is only achieved by analyzing and planning the city's economy, environment, governance profile and poverty-centric policies. The key objective of the CDS Hyderabad was to prepare and implement a strategy that would achieve equity in growth while boosting the economy of the city.
The Project Steering Committee, chaired by the Municipal Corporation Hyderabad, and comprising various stakeholders, was established and met six times to discuss project implementation. The Committee is supported by the Administrative Staff College of India, a local partner institution. An orientation programme for all elected representatives of Hyderabad has been carried out to ensure their commitment and ownership of the City Development Strategy. Stakeholder analysis and a mapping of on-going city development initiatives was undertaken, and a number of background studies (including economic, environment, poverty and governance analysis) and concept papers on key infrastructure services were prepared. Based on this analysis, several rounds of stakeholder consultations, working group sessions and city consultations were organized, resulting in the preparation of a Strategic Action Plan (SAP) and the City Assistance Programme (CAP).
The City Development Strategy process provided a platform for stakeholders, including elected officials, to discuss and debate policy and future plans for their city. It injected marked changes in the attitude and manner in which city players did their business. Inter-institutional linkages were strengthened and an institutionalized multi-stakeholder consultative forum was accepted as a useful platform. The Strategic Action Plan identified key issues and outlined strategies for city development. The City Assistance Programme identified short- and long-term sub-programmes, internal and external funding sources and implementation arrangements, which have been carried out by participating stakeholders. Documentation of the entire output and process has been published to strengthen knowledge-sharing.