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June 2008 • Vol. 14, No. 2

Habitat Debate

In this issue: Joining hands ...................... 7 Urban lifestyles .................... 9 Urban-rural ........................ 14 Big foundations ................. 16

A look at Global Migration Problems

Working with the private sector for better cities U N I T E D Vol 14 - No 2.indd 1

N A T I O N S

H U M A N

S E T T L E M E N T S

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Habitat Debate June 2008

A Message from the Executive Director

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t is fitting that we devote this issue to our growing relationship with the private sector around the world. For it is the final issue of Habitat Debate. As the agency moves forward with the implementation of its new mid-term plan, one of the first tasks we intend to accomplish is the establishment of a better, brighter and more modern flagship magazine. To be called Urban World, it will be a larger publication covering a broader spectrum of UNHABITAT’s activities in each quarterly issue. The new magazine will carry advertising from companies around the world including those that have joined the United Nations Global Compact. Also known as the Compact, it is a UN initiative to encourage businesses worldwide to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies which promote 10 principles in the areas of human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption. It is the world’s largest corporate citizenship initiative and membership is voluntary. Its aim is to have member companies incorporate the 10 principles as part of their business activities around the world, and to “catalyze” actions in support of broader UN goals, such as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). If we can achieve the Goals in cities at a time half of humanity is already living in an increasingly urban world, we will achieve further wins. And by 2030, three-quarters of the world’s population will be living in urban areas. This huge transformation into an urban world represents as much a challenge for attaining the Goals, as it does in problems wrought by climate change. This is because urbanization irreversibly changes our production and consumption patterns. Since up to three-quarters of global energy consumption occurs in cities, and an equally significant proportion of greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming come from urban areas, how we plan, manage and live in our growing cities determines,

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to a large extent, the pace of global warming. Global warming exacerbates existing environmental, social and economic problems, while bringing new challenges. The most affected today, and in future, will be the world’s urban poor, especially the 1 billion slum dwellers. Their numbers are expected to double by 2030 if present trends continue. UN-HABITAT is mandated to help member States fight urban poverty and vulnerability by providing secure shelter for all and improved infrastructure and services. To achieve this, particularly within the complexity of climate change, we collaborate with all spheres of government, civil society and the scientific and professional communities. In this quest we are only too aware that the private sector is one of the greatest untapped resources. Innovative business leaders, around the world are recognizing this, and many are beginning to look at the needs of those excluded from the global market, bringing them in as partners in growth and wealth creation. Such creative approaches and part-

nerships are essential in catalyzing vibrant new markets that can contribute to advancing inclusive growth and development. “Taking steps to address climate change, uphold workforce standards, or achieve higher levels of corporate accountability is not just about the financial success of companies or rewards from the market,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “It is also about building a better future for our children, our countries and our planet. It is a call to our humanity.” From the UN-HABITAT point of view, well managed, inclusive and equitable cities where every woman, man and child feels safe, are not only good for business, but essential to social stability and peace. Through our new flagship magazine, Urban World, it is our intention to keep our readers abreast of these exciting developments with renewed vigour and authority at the dawn of our planet’s new urban era.

Anna Tibaijuka Executive Director

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Contents Cover Photo A breathtaking view of Singapore, a city constantly reinventing itself and setting new urban development standards. Singapore hosted the first World Cities Summit 23-25 June 2008. Photo ©: Singapore Urban Redevelopment Authority.

A MESSAGE FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR ..........................................2

OVERVIEW

The private sector – our vital partners ...........................4

Roman Rollnick

FORUM

Ahead of the Curve ............................................................... 6

Editorial Assistance

BASF and UN-HABITAT: joining hands ...........................7

Micro-mortgages for the poor ......................................... 8

Urban lifestyles ....................................................................... 9

opinion

Financing slum upgrading ...............................................12

Rural-urban linkages ...........................................................14

Forum

US Private Foundations .....................................................16

The Bottom of the Pyramid ..............................................17

NEWS & Events

................................................................................... 22

Editor

Tom Osanjo

Design & Layout Irene Juma

Editorial Board Oyebanji Oyeyinka (Chair) Nicholas You Lucia Kiwala Anantha Krishnan Eduardo López Moreno Jane Nyakairu Edlam Abera Yemeru Mariam Lady Yunusa

Published by UN-HABITAT P.O. Box 30030, GPO Nairobi 00100, KENYA; Tel: (254-20) 762 1234 Fax: (254-20) 762 4266/7, 762 3477, 762 4246 Telex: 22996 UNHABKE E-mail: infohabitat.debate@unhabitat.org Website: http://www.unhabitat.org/

ISSN 1020-3613

Opinions expressed in signed articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official views and policies of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN‑HABITAT). All material in this publication may be freely quoted or reprinted, provided the authors and Habitat Debate are credited.

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The private sector – our vital partners As the United Nations widens its doors to embrace new partnerships with the private sector, UN-HABITAT sees the business community as a vital partner for sustainable urbanization, writes Christine Auclair, Chief of UN-HABITAT’s Private Sector Unit. This means engaging multinational, national and local corporations in adopting socially and environmentally responsible principles. It means working together with the private sector through policy dialogue, global advocacy, resource mobilisation, information and learning. And it means operational delivery for better cities.

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he UN has embarked on a broad opening of its doors to non-state actors, including business and civil society, as essential partners for change. Given that we are now at the dawn of a new urban era with half of us living in towns and cities for the first time in history, and given that towns and cities are growing faster than ever before, the challenges are daunting enough. But they are made considerably more difficult by the crisis of widespread urban poverty with the global number of slum dwellers forecast to rise from 1 billion today to an estimated 1.3 billion by 2020. UN-HABITAT is keenly aware that the private sector is not merely a part of the solution, but instead a vital partner that must be engaged if the world’s cities are to achieve sustainability. More than ever before, pressing urban challenges require concerted approaches to land, basic infrastructure and services, affordable housing solutions and accessible housing finance systems that include the private sector as a prime player. Urban development requires that considerable financial investments be made in infrastructure and real estate, both important national economic sectors representing sizeable shares of gross domestic product. The private sector is key to driving economic development, contributing to employment and wealth creation. The old French adage ‘Quand le batiment va, tout va ’ (when the construction sector is well, all is well) is perfectly apt as shown by the booming economies of those countries that are driven by a thriving construction sector. Take China for example, which today accounts for half the global construction volume. It is also enjoying one of the highest economic growth rates worldwide. The China example needs to be contextualized and should not be seen as the one and only recipe for development, especial-

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ly in today’s global quest for reduced consumption patterns. However, the link between urban development and national development, correlated to the private sector’s growth cannot be underplayed. In the present globalization of trade and commerce though, there is a general fear that the private sector, in its struggle to meet international competition, might push governments to adopt urban policies less dedicated to the needs of communities or social equality. There is also concern that local governments are becoming more visibly market centred, promoting ‘good business climates’ and courting the private sector to lure jobs and money. Liberalization leads to structural changes with critical implications for urban policy and planning. It also has great impacts on urban living conditions. Civil society is continuously warning the international community about the danger of such trends that work to the detriment of the lower income bracket in society and against social development and security. “While we already have decades of experience working with governments in the developing world, we now recognise the importance of working with other development actors, from grassroots civil society organizations to multinational enterprises, to ensure that the poor are not left behind,” said Mr. Mark Malloch Brown, the former Deputy-SecretaryGeneral of the UN in a foreword to a UNDP publication entitled, Private Sector: Building Partnerships for Development. Preserving safety nets for the urban poor and strengthening local governance capacity to balance market forces are important objectives that the UN supports in its work. In fact, it has to play a critical role in bringing together the private sector, governments – including local gov-

ernments – and civil society to keep a balance that allows a harmonious urban development. But while it is increasingly important for the UN to partner with the private sector sphere, global civil society watchdogs have long warned about the clashing motives of private sector players – particularly multinational corporations – and the UN. While business is about minimising costs and maximising profits, the UN is about promoting international co-operation on development, humanitarian assistance, human rights and security. In that debate, the UN positions itself by saying that the private sector can contribute in several ways to the realisation of UN goals through the mobilization of “financial resources, access to technology, management expertise and support for programme”. The recent Global Compact initiative and other UN voluntary projects engaging the private sector have provided a new avenue for the UN to work more closely with the business community. The Global Compact provides yardsticks and principles to guide private the sector in their intervention. These are intended to be socially and environmentally responsible. The Global Compact introduced strategic leadership for UN-business-civil society engagement and a value-based platform for responsible business practice. Beyond values and principles, a lot remains to be done to involve the private sector as a key player in development related decision-making, policy formulation and implementation. The Cardoso Commission on UN-Civil Society Relations, the Commission on Private Sector and Development, and the Millennium Project of the Secretary-General’s 2005 report, In Larger Freedom, all challenge UN agencies and other in-

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OVERVIEW

UN-HABITAT Key principles of co-operation with the private sector UN-HABITAT looks for partnerships with entities that display corporate responsibility in the community; make a positive contribution to the urban environment; have a record of socially-responsive behaviour; have responsive labour and environmental practices. Business partners are encouraged to adhere to the principles of the Global Compact - respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights and not be complicit in human rights abuses; uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining, the freedom of association, the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour, the effective abolition of child labour, and the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation; support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges, undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility, and encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies; work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery. In addition, business partners should show a commitment to developing and adopting policies, strategies and practices that facilitate the provision of basic infrastructure and urban services, including adequate sanitation and safe water, waste management, sustainable transport that is integrated and accessible to all, promote access to affordable land and shelter. UN-HABITAT gives special attention to some industry sectors working in the area of shelter and basic services and contributing to improving the lives of slum dwellers: construction, services and infrastructures, real estate, finance, energy and communication. – from UN-HABITAT Guidelines for Working with the Business Community, 2007

ternational organizations to build and strengthen their relationships with the private sector, civil society and other development actors. UN partnership policy is also being transformed into action and UN programmes that are increasingly leveraging the knowledge, expertise and other resources from the private sector to support the achievement of UN goals and targets. This is particularly the case in the following areas: n Policy dialogue bridging the gaps between governments, private sector and civil society particularly on regulatory frameworks and incentives, the development of norms and standards; n Information and learning, global advocacy to share and disseminate knowledge as well as organizing campaigns to raise public awareness on UN goals and programmes; n Resource mobilisation sharing and coordinating resources for development projects; n Results-based operational delivery on the ground jointly with the private sector; and n Investment and market mechanisms securing private investment for development. For UN-HABITAT, this entails for example the joint design and de-

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livery of water supply and sanitation in slum areas with global firms, support to housing finance mechanisms for low income groups in partnership with local banks, policy dialogue between governments and private sector lobbies to create incentives to boost private sector delivery in housing projects for the urban poor. The UN partnership approach intends to go beyond the so called clashing motives of businesses and those of the UN. To concur with that approach, the business community seems to increasingly promote a new discourse whereby those differences are ironed out. “What I’m saying to business is that business cannot succeed in a society that fails - we have a clear business interest in helping to create functioning societies that are good places for doing business, otherwise we don���t have a platform for doing what we’re supposed to do,” said Mr. Bjorn Stigson, President of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. To establish successful partnerships between the private sector and the UN, it is crucial to understand the motives and requirements of both. At the same time, issues such as climate change have triggered a new quest for common objectives. The private sector is increasingly aware of the importance of sustainable so-

cial and economic development for the successful conduct of its activities. Private sector actors also recognise the need to invest in human resources and infrastructure in order for businesses to thrive. They need to invest in the city of tomorrow. UN-HABITAT has a key role in supporting greater private sector engagement with sustainable urban development objectives. Well functioning societies mean well functioning cities that allow smooth business development which in turn drives economies and ensures employment as well as better quality of life in cities. Building and sustaining the city with the private sector is a strategic direction for UN-HABITAT to strengthen through involving the business community in planning and investing in the city, as well as promoting the right technologies to build socially and environmentally sustainable urban systems.

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Ahead of the Curve - the United Nations Global Compact Cities Programme The United Nations Global Compact Cities Programme (Cities Programme) positions business leaders in a space that is otherwise rare, writes Stephanie McCarthy, Manager of the programme. It provides a platform for business leaders to lead and engage in meaningful change to cities and enriches their contribution towards the governance of sustainable cities and communities.

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nitiated in 2003 by the former UN Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan, the Cities Programme is a practical application of the Global Compact initiative, which serves as the world’s largest global corporate citizen initiative and boasts membership of over 3,000 member organizations. It is governed by the International Secretariat which liaises closely with the in-country convenor to facilitate the design and development of a specific pilot project. To legitimize the methodology, the so-called Melbourne Model was tested using an all-sector taskforce led by the Committee for Melbourne. The project examined poverty alleviation and focussed on the population deemed ‘at-risk’ due to their inability to pay utility bills. The three-year pilot project gained interest and cooperation from water, electricity and telephone providers and successfully influenced national policy to introduce customer payment options. The private utility providers realised that the introduction of payment-options schemes, were attractive to a wider clientele and improved their operational and economic performance. For example, the Melbourne Model has been adopted in eleven cities and has representation in each continent, with a number of additional cities currently listed. The Cities Programme attracts innovative leaders from the private, government and civil sectors who demonstrate commitment to improve

the quality of urban life for existing and future communities. In San Francisco, the Business Council on Climate Change initiative is looking at how business can address climate change. The project exemplifies good governance of intractable issues and has gained the interest and commitment of more than 70 organizations, including Google and Gap Inc. The Local Secretariat is focussed on skills transfer and holds monthly meetings for participants to learn practical tips that help improve business sustainability. The global steel giant, Tata Steel, is leading the Local Secretariat in Jamshedpur, India, and providing water and sanitation to over 50,000 households. At a site which was once without any formal governance structure, Tata Steel continues to demonstrate innovation and provide basic human needs as well as facilitating regular community engagement and training sessions. In Porto Alegre, Brazil, the Villa Chocolatão, a slum-reclamation project determined to keep the local residents at the front and centre of decisionmaking, is looking at ways of introducing a new neighbourhood designed by disadvantaged people themselves for themselves. The benefits will stretch far beyond the basic provision of housing and lead to improved social cohesion, with long-term societal benefits. Entry into the Cities Programme provides businesses with a variety of benefits, including international rec-

ognition, intercity networking opportunities and invitation to a host of high-level events and activities. At the local level, it provides a platform for the organization to develop working relations with an eclectic group of leaders and innovators from government and civil sectors. Above all, the Cities Programme offers businesses a space to create innovative solutions to complex issues that benefit urban populations. It is intended that over time, at the city level, the project outcomes will be translated to establish effective governance framework for other intractable issues that will influence systemic change. At an international level, it is envisaged that other city leaders will be able to learn and tailor the adopted governance approach to suit their local context. This intercity learning is already happening between member cities on issues of climate change, utility provision and housing. The Cities Programme International Secretariat is working with the Global Compact to explore how the Global Reporting Initiative may be adopted effectively, and also enable the private sector’s involvement to be recognized within an international reporting index framework. The International Secretariat is based at the Global Cities Institute at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Melbourne, Australia.

The UN Global Compact Cities Programme helps cities around the world find innovative and practical solutions to seemingly intractable social, economic or environmental problems. Based on the 10 principles of the Global Compact, the idea is to help sort out difficulties with urban poverty and slums, poor transport, pollution and poor sanitation. To join the programme, a city mayor sends a letter to the UN Secretary-General committing to undertake a pilot project pledging concrete results. The programme is spearheaded by an international secretariat at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia. Members of the UNGC Cities Programme so far include Asker, Norway; San Francisco, United States; Jamshedpur, India; Jinan, China; Kathmandu, Nepal; Auckland, New Zealand; Honolulu, Hawaii; Kalmar, Sweden; Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia; Płock, Poland; Melbourne, Tshwane (Pretoria), South Africa, Berlin, Germany; Le Havre, France, and As-Salt, Jordan. Further information: www.citiesprogramme.org

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BASF and UN-HABITAT: joining hands for tsunami recovery in Sri Lanka On Boxing Day 2004, a tsunami killer wave claimed more than 200,000 lives in Indian Ocean countries, leaving countless more injured, destroying homes and communities of millions of people. Today, four years after the devastation, people are still struggling to rebuild their lives across the region. Here, Wolfgang Frosch, Manager of Social Foundation, Donations and Childcare at BASF, and Jaana Mioch of UN-HABITAT recount a model of collaboration launched at a time of great need and pain.

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he partnership between UNHABITAT and the chemical giant BASF began with a joint needs assessment in the tsunami affected areas of Sri Lanka. The results showed that nearly 90 percent of the smallscale industry had been destroyed, including boats, and harbour infrastructure. The assessment led to the development of a project geared towards fishing communities, one of the poorest segments of the country’s population. Together UN-HABITAT and BASF are building a new fish market and restaurant complex in Galle, a town on the southern tip of Sri Lanka, in order to replace the infrastructure destroyed by the tsunami. The new fish market and restaurant are expected to give the devastated fishing community an economic boost by facilitating trade. The project is designed to create employment, support the local fishing fleet and livelihoods, provide vocational training and promote tourism. In this way, the initial investment in physical facilities will have a multiplier effect on the employment, income and wellbeing of the entire fishing community. In a broader sense, the project represents an economic upgrade for Galle and new revenues for the municipality. UN-HABITAT has broad experience and competencies in reconstructing homes and community infrastructure, settlement planning and disaster preparedness. It thus forms an integral part of the United

A family gets a new home in Sri-Lanka. Photo ©: UN-HABITAT

Nations’ inter-agency efforts to promote a smooth transition from humanitarian relief to long-term recovery and rehabilitation. Throughout its activities, UN-HABITAT promotes a community-driven approach, bringing affected families into the centre of the disaster recovery process. UN-HABITAT’s interventions in Sri Lanka also included reconstructing homes, community infrastructure, settlements planning and disaster preparedness. BASF supported these efforts with funding and, together with its partners, provided technical and construction expertise to support the

development of appropriate and sustainable reconstruction solutions. The partnership between BASF and UN-HABITAT has proven that an effective and efficient response to the humanitarian, recovery and development challenges of today requires the multiple capacities and united strengths of complementary partners, such as the private sector and the United Nations. BASF itself benefited from the partnership through its exposure to the competencies and successful business models employed by UN-HABITAT. According to the principle of “mutual benefit’’, UNHABITAT’s engagement with private sector partners, in particular BASF, has facilitated effective implementation, enhanced resource provision and mutual learning. While the construction of the fish market in Sri Lanka continues, UNHABITAT and BASF are already looking forward and will launch additional joint projects in 2008. These include cyclone resistant community centres in Bangladesh, educational facilities in tsunami-affected areas in India as well as a resource centre for children with disabilities in the Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya. Another project on street children and slum upgrading in Brazil is being considered for 2009. As a result of their increased number of joint project activities, BASF and UNHABITAT now intend to engage in a wider, strategic and longer-term cooperation agreement.

The chemical company BASF and its employees started a worldwide campaign to collect funds to begin rebuilding Indian Ocean countries hit by the tsunami. The employees’ donations and the matching contribution of the company enabled the BASF Social Foundation to provide 3.8 million euros for various tsunami projects in the region. The foundation decided to work with reputed partner organizations to disburse the funds. UN-HABITAT was selected for the main project in Sri Lanka because of the agency’s long-standing reputation for rebuilding and revitalising communities affected by natural disasters. BASF and UN-HABITAT thus established a formal partnership in 2005 which eventually enabled the two organisations to combine their efforts in disaster relief and reconstruction for affected communities.

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Private sector backs micro-mortgages for the poor UN-HABITAT, the Global Housing Foundation (GHF) and Merrill Lynch signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 25 October 2007 to explore ways of meeting the Millennium Development Goals for improving the lives of the world’s slum dwellers. Here Axumite Gebre-Egziabher, the Director of UN-HABITAT’s New York Office, Tim Wilkens, President, The Global Housing Foundation, and Laurence Schreiber, Managing Director Merrill Lynch, explain how it will work.

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he partners set to work by launching a micro-mortgage financing initiative for low income housing in Latin American cities for which Merrill Lynch is expected to provide initial financing of USD250 million. It is important to recognize that the three way partnership is based on the framework of social responsibility and accountability. The main objective is to reach the working poor segment of the world’s 1 billion urban slum dwellers and offer them the opportunity to own a quality home that can be financed on a long term basis with a micro-mortgage, and in the process, help develop or revive the local economy. Local developers build the homes on an agreed profit basis and local banks provide the loans. The homes are designed to meet a minimum standard for housing in each locality and contain a bathroom, kitchen, individual rooms, clean running water, a septic system and electricity. Families currently living in slum areas will be selected based upon their qualifications to repay the micro-mortgage. Priority will be given to women-headed households. Those getting the mortgages can be teachers, nurses, taxi drivers, or others who until now have not had a source of long-term financing to purchase a basic house and rise out of the slums. The initiative is focused on this segment of the slum dwellers, those who live in overcrowded temporary shelters and lack security of tenure, safe drinking water and adequate sanitation. UN-HABITAT and the Global Housing Foundation will execute the initiative in close cooperation with the communities, local authorities and the government ministries in the pro-

vision of land and infrastructure at an affordable cost. The initiative includes community development work and financial literacy for the selected families. It will be governed by and operate on the basis of respect for private property rights, the creation of secure lending practices, and wherever possible, the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women by requiring title to the homes to be in the woman’s name. Work has already started in Nicaragua, Panama and El Salvador. It is hoped that about 1,000 homes will be completed by the end of the year. Talks on taking the initiative elsewhere in Latin America, as well as Africa and Eastern Europe have also begun. The initiative can transform the lives of many slum dwellers into proud home owners in a relatively short period of time. It incorporates water treatment systems to provide clean and inexpensive drinking water. The qualifying families then have a home with all the benefits of safety, security, elevated social status, and the uniting of the family members in their household. State-of-the-art site planning is also offered to give the developments a strong cosmetic appeal. The initiative brings together local developers, banks, and municipal governments while developing minimal housing standards for families making the transition from the slums to their first affordable home. The estimated cost of a home for this initiative may vary from USD6,000 to USD18,000 depending on the country. The local banks qualify the home purchasers, originate the micro-mortgage and service the loan even after it is sold. Most of the local banks that originate the

loans also provide the developer with the construction financing for the development. Once the originating bank pools USD 1,000,000 of loans and seasons them for one year, they are eligible to participate in the Merrill Lynch financing programme. Merrill Lynch will then use its global distribution platform to syndicate that risk into the market for investors who want to own socially responsible investments. As indicated in the MOU, “to reduce the costs of this loan syndication, UNHABITAT within the framework of its experimental reimbursable seeding operations will mobilise grant resources to provide credit guarantees on the portfolios. These credit guarantee terms will be agreed upon by Merrill Lynch, the Foundation and UN-HABITAT on terms that are mutually agreeable by all parties. It is envisioned that a given level of credit guarantee would allow four times that amount of financing to occur (i.e a USD50mm guarantee would facilitate up to USD200mm of financing).” The initiative is designed to be selfsufficient without relying on subsidies after the initial start up period. Progress reports of the initiative, including audit reports, will be issued to ensure transparency and programme compliance with the established standards. The initiative is expected to revitalize the local economy involving the construction of houses, creating local jobs, producing building materials and the circulation of money with the local banks. It is hoped that the initiative will become the premier global programme which transforms the lives of slum dwellers into proud home owners.

The Global Housing Foundation was founded in 1999 by Rene Frank and enjoys Special Consultative Status with the UN. It was established as an independent, U.S. and European based not-for-profit organization that leverages the expertise and resources of the private real estate community to build new affordable housing in innercity slums around the world. Merrill Lynch is one of the world’s leading wealth management, capital markets and advisory companies, with offices in 38 countries and territories and total client assets of approximately USD1.8 trillion.

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Urban lifestyles and better management With half the world’s population now living in cities and that figure set to rise significantly in the coming decades, the world faces new challenges in terms of urban design, planning and the management of urban community facilities, says Dominique Héron who negotiated the sustainable urbanisation cooperation agreement between the United Nations Institute for Training and Research and the Frenchbased multinational, Veolia Environnement. Here he gives a taste of interesting new facts and figures carried in these pages from cities around the world.

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eolia Environnement, the world leader in environmental services, with 320,000 employees in 68 countries, has provided tailor-made solutions to meet the needs of municipal and industrial customers in water and waste management, energy services and freight and passenger transportation for the past 150 years. It recently launched an Observatory of Urban Lifestyles to forecast urban lifestyle trends and understand the lifestyle expectations of city-dwellers. The French polling institute Ipsos was commissioned to compile a comparative overview of contemporary urban lifestyles in 14 cities – Alexandria, Los Angeles, Berlin, Beijing, Chicago, London, Lyon, Mexico City, New York, Paris, Prague, Shanghai, Sydney and Tokyo. The results from the Observatory are intended to guide the design of appropriate services and technologies by Veolia Environnment to improve urban management. A measurement and analysis tool, the Veolia Observatory uses indicators to assess lifestyle changes in cities including citizen’s use of services, infrastructure and facilities, leisure and cultural activities as well as desire to stay in the city, among other things. The Observatory further seeks to identify the most pressing priorities of city dwellers. It examines their views on environmental issues. The starting point for an ongoing assessment, the Observatory’s studies are to be regularly elaborated upon, updated and expanded. In all cities involved in Veolia’s studies, citizens expressed their concerns. For example, in Shanghai, as in other cities, citizens feared a disruption of the current harmony. They feel a strong sense of attachment to the city, despite the problems of traffic jams, pollution and stress. While they place less emphasis than other city-dwellers on the cost of living, they appreciate the safety of their city and, above all, its economic dynamism and interna-

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HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR CITY

Question: When you think about the city where you live, what are the words that best correspond to your current state of mind? (Check up to 3 answers) (8,608 respondents) Love and hate, pride and indifference, the city crystalizes opposing

feelings in which the positive aspects always outweigh the negative. It is as if the pleasure of living in the city sweeps aside the difficulties encountered in city living. There were two exceptions to this in the study: Beijing and Mexico City. In Beijing, stress was the overriding descriptor, while in Mexico City, the main factors are feeling unsafe and overcrowded.

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tional recognition. They are also twice as optimistic as other city-dwellers when it comes to the future development of their city and their living conditions. However, they expressed their concern about environmental sustainability and over-population. In the Chinese capital Beijing, as in Shanghai, citizens appreciate life in the city. In particular, they value the economic and cultural dynamism as well sense of safety. Very few Beijing residents want to leave their city. Indeed, 80 per cent would like to raise their children there and have great confidence in the future of their

We need more open space, less traffic, cheaper public transport...that actually works! A Londoner

CITY QUALITY OF LIFE CRITERIA

Question: Among the following points concerning the quality of life in cities in general, which do you consider to be the most important? (Check up to 3 answers) (8,608 respondents)

For most city dwellers, all cities combined, the quality of life depends first and foremost on the cost of living and safety. In the wake of these fundamentals, the respondents mention other aspects that make their lives more bearable: the quality of the environment, the quality of infrastructure, public transportation, etc. And lastly, factors such as access to cultural and leisure activities.

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city, especially its economic performance. They are however concerned about the quality of the environment, housing conditions and traffic congestion and would like the city to be smaller and less densely populated. Veolia Environnement sees an urgent need for a comprehensive approach to deal proactively with the world’s increasing urbanisation. It needs to respond to the challenges faced by local authorities, who are increasingly concerned with environmental conservation and sustainable development, as well as establishing quality services at competitive prices. Research, development and training play a central role in Veolia’s approach, in order to anticipate future needs and to implement effective technologies and services tailored to the expectations of these partners. The partners are the political decision-makers, government leaders and industrialists who have to manage the cities of tomorrow. Veolia Environnement is also directly involved in urban services and infrastructure projects thereby complementing the work of its partners. For instance, Veolia Environmental Services, a leading operator in waste management in China since 1992, won two recycling contracts in 2003 in the Shanghai area enabling it to show how waste can be turned into a resource. Veolia Water has been present since 1997, dealing in water production and distribution as well as waste water management. It is now present in 20 Chinese provinces. Dalkia, the Veolia energy branch, signed its first contract in 2003, and is particularly active in heating and cooling networks. The entire urban challenge of the coming years rests on concrete solutions to enable municipalities and governments to respond to their development needs. Veolia Environnement presumes that such solutions are only sustainable if they take account of the aspirations of city-dwellers and vital challenges such as healthcare and environmental protection.

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Habitat Debate June 2008

Asking you about your city - the Veolia Observatory of Urban Lifestyles Five continents, 14 cities, more than 8,500 opinions … This first wave in the Veolia Observatory of Urban Lifestyles, the Ipsos 2007 survey was conducted in 14 cities on five continents. The cities were selected for their specific features in order to establish a diversified panel of lifestyles and cultures. A quantitative study was used to collect homogeneous data used to compare “views of the city” with regard to points as sensitive as the sentiment of attachment or rejection, the ability to meet quality of life expectations, the city’s ideal size and even confidence in its future. A qualitative study involved collecting people’s opinions in focus groups to draw a lively and evolving portrait of the city as “experienced” by those aged 20 to 27.

n

live in their city on a day-to-day basis; n consider the quality of life in their city; n see the future for their city; n give their notion of the ideal city The sample of respondents included 8,608 people aged from 15 to 70. The 14 cities covered by the survey along with the number polled in each were: n n n n n n n n n

The analysis of the results revealed four major topics, each raising one or more factors experienced universally by today’s city dwellers in how they:

n

n

n

perceive their city;

n n n

Alexandria: 614 Beijing: 625 Berlin: 633, Chicago: 607 London 617 Los Angeles USA: 600 Lyon: 608 Mexico City: 611 New York: 606 Paris: 620 Prague: 606 Shanghai: 628 Sydney: 630 Tokyo: 603

THE QUANTITATIVE PHASE The survey was managed over the internet by Ipsos panel members. In Prague and Alexandria, because of relatively low internet access among households, the survey was done face-to-face at the respondents' homes The sample of respondents included 8,608 people aged from 15 to 70 years, in the 14 cities covered by the survey as follows: Alexandria: 614 - Beijing: 625 Berlin: 633 - Chicago: 607 London: 617 - Los Angeles: 600 Lyon: 608 - Mexica City: 611 New York: 606 - Paris: 620 Prague: 606 - Shanghai: 628 Sydney: 630 - Tokyo: 603

High density housing in Hong Kong. Photo ©: UN-HABITAT/X. Zhang

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Each sample was compiled using the quota method reflecting the available socio-demographic data (sex, age, profession and sector in most cases).

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OPINION

Habitat Debate June 2008

Contrasts in financing slum upgrading with the private sector There has been a long history of attempts to introduce commercial finance and repayment mechanisms into ‘slum upgrading’, but not many have been successful. Here Michael Mutter, Senior Adviser at UN-HABITAT’s Slum Upgrading Facility (SUF), looks at the agency’s work with commercial banks at different levels in Ghana to find some of the answers.

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he Facility’s Pilot Programme in Ghana provides us with a series of interesting case studies looking at different forms of finance that the Slum Upgrading Facility (SUF) has supported. There are three approaches. Microfinance for Home Improvement Support has been given by the Slum Upgrading Facility to the concept known as Boafo Microfinance Services Limited), a joint venture between HFC Bank (Ghana) Ltd and CHF International, a USA based international NGO concerned with cooperatives and community housing finance. Three microfinance products were developed. One is the ‘Home Improvement (HI-5) Loan’ for anything related to home building. The second is the ‘SELF-Drive’ (Salaried employees loan fund) for any consumer-related use like education, health, or house furnishings. The third is the ‘Busy Bee’ product used for business expansion or procurement of business assets. The outcome has been a thriving business for the more general microfinance products, but little call on the Home Improvement product. This is partly because in Ghana there is a high proportion of rented accommodation. But it is also because the timing was not coordinated with the more structured communitydriven projects. Urban Poor Funds These are funds developed out of community-driven ‘savings and loans schemes’ based on simple ‘merry-go-round’ principles amongst the urban poor. Peoples Dialogue Ghana, a local NGO linked with Slum Dwellers International, has helped various local federations of slum dwellers form a larger fund known as the Ghana Urban Fund for the Urban Poor. This fund can leverage commercial finance from local banks, by acting as first loss guarantors – based on the principle of collectively guaranteeing each other. It was formed to spearhead the ways in which slum dwellers’ groups can better plan and design their future accommoda-

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tion, bringing in other actors, and demonstrating how they would build their own houses. A site at Ashaiman, near Tema, will be used for a first demonstration project. This in itself is designed to lead into the third SUF area of support, the Local Finance Facility. Local Finance Facilities The major obstacle facing slum dwellers and their municipalities alike is the lack of a planning facility that can coordinate the plethora of requirements for

upgrading and new redevelopment or relocation low income housing projects. It generally defeats all concerned. However, with the introduction of the time-based discipline of the private sector, and commercial banks in particular, the impetus to solve problems such as land certification, or bringing into line the timetable for local infrastructure development, becomes solvable – through this collective multi-stakeholder interest group, the special purpose vehicle known as the Local Finance Facility.

The local community is involved at every level. Photo ©: S. Mutter

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Habitat Debate June 2008

13

OPINION

The Ten Principles Launched in June 2004 the ten principles of the United Nations Global Compact are listed below. Human Rights Businesses should: Principle 1: Support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights; and Principle 2: Make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses. Labour Standards Businesses should uphold: Principle 3: the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining; Principle 4: the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour; Principle 5: the effective abolition of child labour; and Principle 6: the elimination of discrimination in employment and occupation. Environment Businesses should: Principle 7: support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges; Principle 8: undertake initiatives to promote environmental responsibility; and Principle 9: encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies. Anti-Corruption Principle 10: Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery.

Each Local Finance Facility is set up as a company limited by guarantee on a not-for-profit basis. In Ghana, these have been demand-driven municipality by municipality. So the one for Tema Municipal Assembly can build on the work of the Urban Poor Fund. It can take forward the kind of commercial financial packaging required, thus bringing together all the upgrading requirements for land, infrastructure, access, realistic construction cost estimates. This also includes repayment mechanisms agreed by the slum dwellers, and any other subsidy arrangements already negotiated, to put before a commercial bank’s credit committee for a loan agreement. What is interesting is first how well these Local Finance Facility companies manage the problem-solving processes for all requirements, and second how they are locally owned and promise to be self-sustaining on a long term commercial basis. What are the lessons learned? Has the combination of these three approaches broken the mould – the inability for commercial finance to form a significant part of slum upgrading processes? The lesson is to attempt to coordinate the timing of all three levels of finance – not easy when they originate from different funding programmes. In an ideal world, all three

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would be brought into practice at the same time, and would reinforce each other. By introducing the private sector as a major element in the process, the commercially financed projects find ways of over-

coming obstacles and moving forward on their own momentum, rather than relying on externally-driven processes. This is real sustainability and a promising way forward to a world without slums.

Explaining new financing systems in Ghana. Photo ©: S. Mutter

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14

OPINION

Habitat Debate June 2008

Working for rural-urban linkages – small and mediumsize enterprises The combined impact of globalization and rapid urbanization in developing countries highlights the close economic interaction between urban and rural areas. Never before has rural development depended so much on cities as the engines of national economic growth, the main market place for adding value to rural produce and the interface for global trade and investment. Although improved rural-urban linkages are largely determined by large-scale investments, Frederico Neto and Ananda Weliwita of UN-HABITAT say private small and medium enterprises also can play a crucial role in forging rural-urban linkages.

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t is increasingly recognized that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can generate new income and employment in both urban and rural areas through improved marketing linkages between the two areas. Over the years, UN-HABITAT has launched various programmes and initiatives to promote the rural-urban linkages approach to development, with special focus on SMEs. For example, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UN-HABITAT and the Indonesian Government jointly implemented the Poverty Alleviation through RuralUrban Linkages (PARUL) programme in Indonesia. Its objective was to integrate lagging Indonesian regions into the mainstream national economy by connecting rural producers to urban and international markets. The programme paid particular attention to clusters of economic activities associated with key local export commodities and promoted public-private partnerships. The private sector played a critical role in mobilizing resources for the enhanced production and trade of those commodities. In the late 1990s, PARUL implemented a programme in South Sulawesi to encourage farmers and traders to set up small-scale village units to undertake the initial processing of cashew fruit into cashew nuts. These were then sold either direct-

ly to local stores or to factories in cities such as Makassar, where they were further processed, packaged and supplied to urban consumers in other cities in Indonesia and beyond. This public-private partnership was successfully implemented in collaboration with the National Association of Cashew Nut Processors, local government departments and three small-scale private firms. The project was successful in adding value to cashews before they were sold for further processing by urban SMEs. It also raised incomes and created jobs in both urban and rural areas. A considerable growth was observed in both gross sales and net income (Table 1). A similar project, Rural-Urban Partnership Project was implemented in Nepal. In this initiative, also supported by UN-HABITAT, traditional producers in rural areas were organized into small-scale commercial enterprises to link their skills with existing manufacturing units in urban areas. It paid particular attention to the promotion of public-private partnerships for the provision of urban services to rural areas. This included, for example, the provision of agricultural technology to farmers and setting up cyber cafes in rural areas. Lessons learned from both countries have led UN-HABITAT to establish the Rural-Urban Linkages Support Programme to promote regional and

national development strategies. The support programme will focus initially on strengthening rural-urban development linkages in east Africa’s Lake Victoria region. UN-HABITAT is taking the lead in the implementation of the Lake Victoria Local Economic Development Programme in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the World Food Programme, and the Common Fund for Commodities The first concrete outcome of the Lake Victoria programme is a ruralurban linkages project in Tanzania and Uganda that will help rural banana-based drinks producers secure markets in urban areas. With cooperation from national governments in both countries, UN-HABITAT, UNIDO, FAO and CFC are providing financial assistance to two small private sector companies for the construction of industrial facilities for banana-based drinks. The project will add value to banana drinks produced by farmers for urban markets, through improved quality, preservation, packaging and marketing. The goal is to alleviate poverty in the region and to improve links between rural products and urban mar-

Impact of processing cashews on income in South Sulawesi, Indonesia, 1999-2000 1999 Harvest (unprocessed)

2000 Harvest (processed)

Percent change

Gross sales IDR 1,000s

59,773

89,908

50.4

Price IDR / Kg

4,388

25,885

489.0

Net Income IDR 1,000

8,519

17,351

103.6

Source: H. Evans, “Policy Implications for RNFEs: lessons from the PARUL project in Indonesia”, CIPPAD Working Paper No. 4, Los Angeles, 2002

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Habitat Debate June 2008

PRIORITY CHANGES FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS

Question: In your opinion, to make future generations want to stay in the city, what priority changes need to be made? The city in which you live would have to be… (Check up to 2 answers) (8,608 respondents – 14 cities)

“In an ideal city, things would be perfect. Everyone would be happy, people would reach out to each other, there would be no solitude, no pollution, no cars.” A Parisian “Tomorrow’s city will be white, green, transparent. A quiet place.” A Sydneysider

15

OPINION

kets. It will generate additional jobs and income in participating farms and in and around the processing plants. Major beneficiaries will be local women engaged in the production and sale of banana-based beverages in the Lake Victoria region. Several important lessons have been learned from the above mentioned initiatives. First, there is a need to look beyond the traditional rural versus urban dichotomy which still characterizes much of the debate on rural and urban development. Rural development in a rapidly urbanizing and globalizing world relies increasingly on cities, whose success, in turn, depend on adequate investments in urban and regional infrastructure and services. Second, the rural-urban linkages framework offers an excellent platform to enhance UN interagency collaboration. It is a common area in which a wide range of UN agencies with different mandates can still work and deliver “as one”. UN-HABITAT’s past experience shows that measures to strengthen rural-urban linkages should not only focus on large-scale investments in transport and communication infrastructure, but also on helping small and medium-sized urban-based enterprises build marketing links with rural areas. The latter can go a long way towards generating much-needed income and employment for both the urban and the rural poor and, in the process, contribute towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

Ismailia, Egypt. Photo ©: UN-HABITAT/J. C. Adrian

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FORUM

Habitat Debate June 2008

US Private Foundations consider an urban future International foundations, long known for undertaking innovative and path breaking development work in rural regions of the global South, are increasingly broadening their interest to explore the challenges of urban communities, write Darren Walker, Vice President, Rockefeller Foundation and Chris Williams, Director of UNHABITAT’s Washington office.

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his should come as no surprise given the growing demographic evidence and the palpable deprivation apparent to any visitor to urban centres in the developing world. That one in six of the world’s population lives in slums has not gone unnoticed to the philanthropic community in the United States. In short, the face of poverty is increasingly urban or, alternatively, global poverty is urban poverty. Recognizing this, some private foundations are directing grants that promote solutions through innovative and creative approaches. Foundations play an enormously valuable role in elevating important issues into discourse on global poverty that far outweighs the actual value of their grant making. They help set public agendas, signalling priorities that influence domestic policy, research, news media, and popular perception. The prioritization by foundations of the urban dimension of poverty and of the opportunities associated with sound management of urban growth is therefore an important development and will hopefully contribute to a critical mass of interest by a diverse array of stakeholders in urban issues. This is particularly so in countries such as the United States where urban policy does not feature prominently in foreign assistance programs or in the poverty reduction initiatives of international nongovernmental organizations. The Rockefeller Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are among several philanthropies that are exploring an urban agenda in their respective grant-making programs. In 2007, at its Bellagio Conference and Scholar Center, the Rockefeller Foundation organized a Global Urban Summit, a series of meetings over the course of a month on housing finance, water and sanitation, health, climate change and urban planning. An array of urban experts from five continents – a mix of activists, practitioners, researchers, investors, slum dwellers, private sector leaders, and policy makers – shared ideas about solutions in the respective areas of the urban challenge.

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The Rockefeller Foundation’s board followed up by identifying urban issues as one of five priority areas for programming. Foundation staff have made a number of initial grants. These include support to the University of Cape Town African Cities Network, Slum Dwellers/Shack Dwellers International, The African Population Health Research Consortium, and the World Bank Road Safety Facility Fund among others. The Foundation has also made its first grant to UN-HABITAT to further develop its innovative financing facility for affordable housing and basic services. Also present at the Urban Summit were representatives of other philanthropic groups like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Drawing upon the discussions, the Gates Foundation elected to establish their own variation of support to urban issues – a set of “learning grants” aimed at strengthening urban poor movements, not-for-profit organizations, and NGO/commercial hybrids. This culminated early this year in grants to Slum/Shack Dwellers International, the Cooperative Housing Foundation, and the Development Innovations Group, respectively. While the impact of urban grantmaking by private foundations has not yet been felt, early indications are quite encouraging. The media houses in the United States picked up quickly on the Gates Foundation grant to Slum and Shack Dwellers International. The result was the popularisation not only of SDI, but more importantly, of slum dwellers taking organized actions to improve their own lives. Rather than working for the poor, a billionaire of Bill Gates stature is working with the poor to identify ways for them to leverage their savings and mobilize financing to upgrade their slums. Policy makers in the United States have also taken note of the importance private foundations are placing on urban poverty. While a policy debate unfolds in Washington, D.C. in the run-up to the general elections, a small but committed group of research and policy in-

stitutions and legislators are discussing ways of radically reforming US foreign assistance. Urban issues are entering that debate thanks in part to private foundations through the precedents they are setting through their grant making. Perhaps most interestingly, the decision by private foundations to “go urban” in their international grant making activities, has spurred a dialogue between international and US community development organizations, financial intermediaries, and investors. Many US foundations have long-funded community development corporations and finance and development intermediaries like Enterprise Community Partners and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation. Some of these donors are now encouraging lateral North-South exchanges to understand how models from the United States might have applicability in the Global South. Importantly, there is now recognition that urban knowledge-transfer should not be limited to traditional North-South dialogue, but rather to South-South networking. For example, Rockefeller Foundation’s support of the African Cities Network is meant to facilitate cross-learning and empowerment of Southern institutions. It is envisioned that a network of institutions in Africa, Latin America and Asia will emerge to share local policy and practice lessons that have the potential for impact in different contexts. Private foundations have by no means launched a comprehensive strategy to meet the challenge of urbanization and slums. A shift in thinking has occurred, however, among a number of key foundation that believe urban development is critically important, and that investing in innovations to making cities work will go a long way to eradicate poverty. The ripple effect of private foundations on the popular conscience, policy makers and on creative North-South and South-South linkages suggests that their increasing focus on the global urban agenda is positive and well worth deepening.

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Habitat Debate June 2008

17

FORUM

Doing business at the Bottom of the Pyramid

T

he UN General Assembly President Srgjan Keri recently urged the business community “to develop new markets in the developing world by providing goods and services for the poorest ‘bottom billion’.” Addressing a seminar in New York in May 2008, he added: “It is time to go beyond philanthropy by leveraging the core business of those present in support of achieving the Millennium Development Goals and making a profit. Businesses have traditionally focused on profit to be made from the middle up. According to C.K. Prahalad and Stuart L. Hart in their 2002 article, The fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, there are an estimated 4 to 5 billion people living on less than USD2 per day. With the global number of slum dwellers set to rise from 1 billion today to more than 1.3 billion by 2020, slums globally constitute a sizable share at the so-called Bottom of the Pyramid. It is a fact that, at the bottom of the pyramid, the urban poor live in very high-cost economies. For instance, slum dwellers without access to municipal water pay 4 to 100 times as much for drinking water as do middle and upper class families. They also pay 30 to 50 percent more than in other areas on some food items sold by the spoonful. And some companies are at last starting to understand this. One study in India found that brands selling in sachets and small packets were the most successful in the slums leading some companies to open shops in slums, and change the rules of retailing with throwaway prices in chain outlets by providing essential items at rates generally below those of the market. It gives the poor access to cheap goods nearer home. We know that in slums, credit is traditionally unavailable, or available only from local money-lenders who charge unreasonable interest. The challenge is to find ways to mobilize small savings from low income families to finance shelter. A now famous success story comes from CEMEX, Mexico’s largest and the world’s third largest cement company. Its Patrimonio Hoy project aims to reach over 1 million low income families by 2010 through a micro credit scheme whereby savings are used to purchase cement and other building materials. New members receive free advice from an architect or engineer about design, planning, the selection of materials, and construction techniques. UN-HABITAT is working in this direction through its Slum Upgrading Facility by assisting developing countries to mobilize domestic capital for their own slum and urban upgrading activities. (See article page 12). While an increasing number of businesses are starting to explore low-income market opportunities through new technologies, most “We are not suggesting that private sector actions can solve all the problems of developing countries. Targeted international aid and improved governance will still be urgently needed. But it seems clear that the direct and sustained involvement of multinational companies could radically improve the lives of many people in poor communities and prove to be a powerful catalyst for development.” C.K. Prahalad and Stuart L. Hart in their 2002 article, The fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid.

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of them soon realize that they need to learn a lot more about these markets and find innovative ways to access them. Civil society organizations need to learn how to build new types of commercial partnerships that will involve those at the Bottom of the Pyramid. This ultimately requires significant re-thinking of private sector practices. It also means that national governments need the vision to inspire more business ventures through incentives that can respond to sensible needs in slums. It involves integrating informal economic activities and ensuring healthy governance and safe regulatory frameworks that can make this happen. For the private sector, this requires focusing on unique products, services and technologies that address the needs of the poorest. For sure, the Bottom of the Pyramid approach is no magic potion, but it is certainly a step further in reaching out to the urban poor. – Christine Auclair

GOAL 7, TARGET 11 To improve the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers by 2020

Source: UN-HABITAT

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18

News & Events

Habitat Debate June 2008

UN-HABITAT joins hands with architects UN-HABITAT and the International Union of Architects (UIA) in June embarked on a five-year cooperation plan to ensure sustainable urban development and liveable, inclusive cities. The agreement was announced in the Italian city of Turin at the 23rd World Congress of the International Union of Architects. The collaboration between the two organizations focuses on policy debate and formulation, advocacy and campaign work, as well as operational delivery

Celebrating five years of water cooperation in Asia

Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development The second Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development (APMCHUD) was held in the Iranian capital, Tehran. Drawing government ministers and representatives from 37 countries, the three-day meeting 12-15 May 2008, agreed an action plan that focuses on urban and rural planning management, urban slum upgrading, water and sanitation, housing finance and natural disasters.

Norway boosts support for UN-HABITAT

UN-HABITAT and the Asian Development Bank celebrated five years of working together to improve water and sanitation in the world’s most populous region. As more than 5,000 delegates from 60 countries met for the inaugural Singapore International Water Week conference and the World Cities Summit, the two institutions pledged tighter cooperation in their joint quest to achieve the Millennium Development Goals for poverty reduction.

Norway will provide UN-HABITAT with funding to the tune of USD 25.6 million to help implement a new medium-term strategic plan aimed at strengthening the agency, sharpening its focus on urban poverty reduction around the world, and improving its internal management. The agreement was signed by Mrs. Tibaijuka and Ambassador Elisabeth Jacobsen on 3 April. It provides for the provision of NOK 62 million (USD 12.2 million) for 2008 and NOK 68 million for 2009, subject to Parliamentary reserve.

Bahrain prize for Ougadougou

Upcoming events

The Green Brigade project that has 2,000 women cleaning up the streets of Ouagadogou in Burkina Faso, is the winner of this year’s Shaikh Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa Habitat Award. A joint initiative of the Kingdom of Bahrain and UN-HABITAT, the award carries a cash prize of USD 100,000.

A helping hand from the Secretary-General Young people drawn from two Nairobi slums are set to be the first beneficiaries of a donation by UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-moon administered by UN-HABITAT. During a 2007 visit to Kenya he said he had deeply moved at the poverty in Kibera, the largest slum in Africa. He pledged a donation of USD 100,000 to help train young people living in Nairobi’s slums.

Yokozuna gives muscle to UN-HABITAT water programme

World Habitat Day, Monday 6 October, Luanda, Angola United Nations Day, Friday 24 October, New York. The World Urban Forum, Fourth Session, 3-6 November, Nanjing China World Aids Day New York, Monday 1 December, Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), 14th Session, 1 – 12 December 2008 in Poznań, Poland

In May, Mrs. Tibaijuka met Japanese wrestling grand champion, Yokozuna Hakuho. A Mongolian national he agreed to be the agency’s Water-for Life Special Envoy. The giant wrestler, who met Mrs. Tibaijuka with his wife and daughter, came to Japan at age 15 and is today a Japanese national. He was particularly concerned at desertification caused in part by over-grazing.

In memoriam: Lucy Githaiga It is with a deep sense of loss and great sadness that UN-HABITAT announces the passing of our beloved colleague and friend, Lucy Githaiga, who died early on Monday, 14 July after a sudden illness. A Kenyan national who had served with the agency for 15 years, Lucy leaves four children. It was only in recent weeks that Lucy was promoted from the Press and Media Unit, to serve in a senior position in the publications unit. “Lucy had a passion for her work, and she was a loving mother. We grieve with her family at this tragic loss,” said Mrs. Tibaijuka.

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Habitat Debate June 2008

News & Events

19

UN-HABITAT OFFICES Headquarters

Liaison Offices

UN-HABITAT

New York Office

PO Box 30030, GPO, Nairobi, 00100, Kenya Tel.: +254 (20) 762 3120 Fax: +254 (20) 762 4266/4267/ 4264/3477/4060 E-mail: infohabitat@unhabitat.org Web: www.unhabitat.org/

UN-HABITAT New York Office Two United Nations Plaza Room DC2-0943 New York, N.Y. 10017, U.S.A. Tel.: +1 (212) 963 4200 Fax: +1 (212) 963 8721 E-mail: habitatny@un.org

Regional Offices

Geneva Office

Africa and the Arab States UN-HABITAT Regional Office for Africa and the Arab States P.O. Box 30030, GPO, Nairobi, 00100, Kenya Tel.: +254 (20) 762 3221 Fax: +254 (20) 762 3904/3228 E-mail: roaas@unhabitat.org Web: www.unhabitat.org/roaas/

Asia and the Pacific UN-HABITAT Regional Office for Fukuoka Office 8th Floor, ACROS Fukuoka Building 1-1-1 Tenjin, chuo-ku, Fukuoka 810-0001, Japan Tel.: +81 (92) 724 7121 Fax: +81 (92) 724 7124 E-mail: habitat.fukuoka@unhabitat.org Web: www.fukuoka.unhabitat.org

Latin America and the Caribbean UN-HABITAT/ROLAC,Rua Rumania, 20, 22240140 Laranjeiras, Rio De Janeiro, RJ Brasil Tel.: +55 (21) 2265 9960 / +51 (21) 2265 9946 Fax: +55 (21) 22058777 E-mail: rolac@habitat-lac.org web: www.unhabitat-rolac.org

Poland UN-HABITAT Warsaw Office, ul. Krucza 38/42 00-512 Warsaw, Poland Tel.: +48 (22) 661 97 23 Fax: +48 (22) 661 97 24 Email: office@unhabitat.org.pl Web: www.unhabitat.org.pl

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UN-HABITAT Liaison and Information Office, International Environment House 2 7, Chemin de Balexert CH- 1219 Châtelaine, Geneva, Switzerland Tel.: +41 (22) 917 8646/7 Fax: +41 (22) 917 8046 E-mail: unhabitat@unog.ch

European Union Office UN-HABITAT Liaison Office to the European Institutions and to Belgium Rue Montoyer 14 (2nd Floor) B-1000 Brussels Tel.: +32 (2) 503 3572/1004 Fax: +32 (2) 503 4624 Email: unhabitat.support@skynet.be unhabitat.admin@skynet.be

Russian Federation UN-HABITAT Executive Bureau in Moscow, 7 Building,13, 1-st Magistralnaja str. Moscow, 123007, Russian Federation Tel:+7 95 930 62 64 Fax:+7 95 930 03 79

Jordan UN-HABITAT Office in Amman No 4, Abdallah Al-Jazzar Street, Zahran, North Abdoun, Amman, Jordan Tel.: +962 (6) 5924889 Fax: +962 (6) 5931448

Serbia UN-HABITAT Office in Belgrade Office building of RK Beograd - Makenzijeva 57 11000 Beograd - Serbia and Montenegro Tel.: + 381 (11) 34 04 162 Fax: + 381 (11) 34 04 162 E-mail: ligia.ramirez@unhabitat.org.yu

Information and other offices India UN-HABITAT Information Office 5th Floor (East Wing) Thalamuthu Natarajan Building (CMDA Building) Egmore, Chennai 600 008, India Tel.: +91 (44) 2841 1302 Fax: +91 (44) 2851 6273 E-mail: unchssp@md2.vsnl.net.in

China UN-HABITAT Beijing Information Office No. 9 Sanlihe Road Beijing 100835 People’s Republic of China Tel.:+80 10 6839 4750 4750, 68350647 Fax:+80 10 6839-4749 E-mail: office@unhabitat.org.cn www.mohurd.gov.cn/habitat.

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A MAGAZINE CHANGING

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Correspondence Editorial Assistant, Habitat Debate, P.O. Box 30030, Nairobi 00100, Kenya. E-mail: habitat.debate@unhabitat.org Website: www.unhabitat.org Telephone: (25420) 762 3120, Fax: 762 42 64.

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Habitat Debate Vol.14 No. 2, Working with the private sector for better cities , Volume 14, No. 2