Yearly Archives: 2015


German Delegation visit to Qalyubeya Governorate, Khanka and Khosoos Cities


On Monday, July 28th, 2015, Mr Christoph Retslaff, Chargé d’affaires German Embassy; Mr Sebastian Lesch, Counsellor and Head of German Development Cooperation, accompanied by Dr. Guenther Wehenpohl, PDP Programme Coordinator visited the Integrated Resource Recycling Center (IRRC) in Khanka City and the Transfer Station in Khosoos City which are two of the main outputs of the programme. The PDP continues to follow up on the sustainability and impact of its component on solid waste management (Integrated Community Based Solid Waste Management in Qalyubeya Governorate) which was finalized in December 2014.

The Ministry of Urban Renewal and Informal Settlements (MURIS), PDP’s political partner, was represented in this visit by Dr. Maha Bashir, Head of Solid Waste Sector; and Mr. Ahmed Badawy from the same sector. In addition, Mr. Mohammed Talaat Head of Qalyubeya Urban Upgrading Unit and representative of the Governor, along with Mrs. Nagwa Alashry, Head of El Khanka City Council participated in the visit. The visit started with an informative tour of the IRRC in Khanka City, where the German Delegates received a presentation on the different stages of solid waste sorting and processing at the facility by the operating engineer and Ms. Heba Behairy Head of Component – PDP. Mr. Talaat expressed the Governor’s appreciation for PDP’s efforts in establishing the IRRC.

The delegation then visited Khosoos Transfer Station and received a very warm welcome by the following stakeholders: Mr. Abedl Rahim Taha, Head of the City Council, Station’s Operators, and Mr. Hassan Mahmoud Head of the Friends of Environment NGO established by the support of PDP to assist the informal waste operators to formalize their work. A group of beneficiaries from the informal waste collectors that received tricycles from the PDP to support their collection efforts and enhance their living and working conditions were present and welcomed the German Delegation as well. Additionally, a number of formalized informal garbage collectors, currently contracted by Khosoos City Council, also spoke about their positive experience with the PDP during the formalization process.


IRRC Operating Engineer explaining different stages of sorting and processing solid waste.

Dr. Guenther Wehenpohl and Ms. Heba Behairy provided a short presentation on the operations of the Transfer Station, including its positive impacts in raising the efficiency of waste collection in Khosoos City. Additionally, they explained how the Transfer Station contributes to improving the living and working conditions of the informal waste collectors and recyclers. It is worth noting that due to the success of this programme, Mr. Talaat urged Dr. Guenther during this visit for further cooperation and support by PDP in this regard.


Dr. Guenther Wehenpohl and Ms. Heba Behairy provided a short presentation on the operations of the Transfer Station

This visit has confirmed PDP’s fulfillment of its programme objectives, through the
“3Rs Approach” (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) constituting the guiding principle of PDP’s work in the area of waste management, stressing the value of waste as a resource rather than focusing exclusively on waste collection and waste disposal. This value chain approach to waste management that puts an emphasis on composting and recycling contributes to the preservation of scarce resources and help to reduce greenhouse gases.

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PDP’s 2nd Stakeholder workshop in combination with the 3rd Advisory Board for Climate Change in Cities (AB-CCC), May 05, 2015

On Tuesday, May 05, the Climate Change Component of the Participatory Development Programme in Urban Areas (PDP) organized the 2nd Stakeholder Workshop in combination with the 3rd Advisory Board for Climate Change in Cities (AB-CCC) in order to follow up the piloting of several small scale measure for better climate change adaptation in Ezbet el-Nasr as well as encouraging a vibrant and fruitful knowledge exchange between relevant actors in the field. The half-day event that took place in Flamenco Hotel in Zamalek brought together stakeholder from various institutional settings, namely representatives of academia, national and local authorities, civil society, public research centres, development cooperation, NGOs and the private sector.

The importance of further pursuing climate change adaptation activities in the context of informal settlements was expressed in an initial opening speech by Ms. Shahira Abdel-Raziqon behalf of the Ministry of Urban Renewal and Informal Settlements (MURIS)  – PDP’s new political partner and by Mr. Hisham Eissa on behalf of the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA). In the following presentation Johannes Lueckenkoetter of Plan and Risk Consult and PDP’s partner for developing and implementing a comprehensive adaptation strategy, explained the scientific approach upon which the 9 small scale measures have been developed.

The scientific elaborations were followed by May El-Ibrashi’s representation of the current status-quo of implementing the small scale measures in Ezbet El-Nasr as part of MEGAWRA’s local consultancy. The audience got informed that the community of Ezbet El-Nasr will realize the implementation of façade plastering, painting and planting as well as covering roof tops and streets for better sun shading after designing the respective measures in a participative manner in the following Catalyst Event.

With regard to the idea of mutual exchange and knowledge transfer upon which the AB-CCC is based, participants were given the chance to discuss and further develop the topic within an open discussion round led by Yasser Sherif of Environics as well as in the following roundtables. Many promising ideas were expressed especially concerning institutionalization, integration of different stakeholders and initiation of synergies. In the end of the day, the great success of the workshop was perfectly expressed by Ms. Zizi Assaad, Head of Urban Upgrading Unit Giza, stating that the link between PDP C2’s climate change activities and the role of the Public Authorities was once more made explicit and reasonable.

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Dr.-Ing. Günther Wehenpohl, Participatory Development Programme in Urban Areas Coordinator, is one of the panelists in the “Informal Areas and Low Income Neighborhoods.”

Egypt is facing rapid informal development that has reshaped the form and nature of Egyptian cities over the past several decades. In the early-90s the government began preparing plans to develop informal areas in most of the Egyptian governorates. Currently, about 37.5 % of urban mass in Egypt is unplanned with densities of around 500 person / fd while this percent increases to 95% in villages. Many intervention activities target upgrading informal settlements; improving the living conditions of residents and promoting local economic development. Thus the Participatory Development Programme in Urban Areas (PDP) contributed to the first Egyptian Urban Forum held on June 14th-16th 2015 in Cairo.

Under the theme of Urban Planning and Renewal came the Panel is to discuss the various approaches, methodologies and techniques that the Ministry of Urban Renewal and Informal Settlements ( MURIS)  is adopting and the gaps and disconnections that affects the effectiveness of upgrading efforts. Add to this the foreseen future and the role of NGOs in improving the conditions of informal areas. Moreover; the panel discussed the most important projects that should be considered while upgrading informal areas in the cultural or service sector.

Dr. Guenther Wehenpohl, PDP Coordinator, was one of the panelists in the “Informal Areas and Low Income Neighborhoods.” Dr. Wehenpohl started his word stating that we have to improve the physical situation in the informal areas as we are all working on behalf of the people living there. Dr. Wehenpohl stated also that people coming from rural areas to the city are only seeking better economical situation, and this is the case why the buildings in the informal areas are getting higher and bigger. He also mentioned that a lot of organizations in Egypt are working in developing the informal areas, and as GIZ is one of the organizations working for the same cause, PDP is one of the programs that has a participatory approach towards developing the informal areas. Meaning that, PDP does the best to get the people involved in the all the activities specially in planning stages so as  to get their full support and to recognize and identify their needs within their local communities.

The main governorates that the program is working on are Cairo, Giza and Qalyubia under the intergovernmental agreements that the PDP has with different authorities.



Safa Ashoub from Participatory Development Programme in Urban Areas moderates the Informal “Economy, Growth and Equity” session in the first Egypt Urban Forum.

Safa Ashoub, Institutionalisation Advisor, from Participatory Development Programme in Urban Areas moderates the Informal “Economy, Growth and Equity” session in the first Egypt Urban Forum.

In developing countries the informal economy plays a crucial role in providing diverse job opportunities that are more accessible to the labor market. On the one hand, the informal economy is an important survival strategy for the poor, while on the other hand, it is often regarded as troublesome as informal businesses evade taxes and operate outside of state control, which can also offer illegal activities.

The first part of the session covered the patterns of the street vendors in downtown and different informal areas. It was highlighted that the importance of the government role in developing and putting those markets into structure in order to reach a mechanism that all parties agrees on; merchants, people living in the area, and the government.

The second part covered the significant connection between the countryside and the urban regions and how both affects each other in a direct way starting from planting the seeds until the fruits and vegetables reach the people living in the urban regions. Also, the session covered the small and medium recycling business in Manshiet Nasser and the challenge this industry is facing regarding resources, better places to work and legalizing their work as well, and they raised the flag for the government in order to try and reach a solution for it as well.

The session ended with an open discussion between the panelists and the attendees which shed light on the importance of the topics discussed and how it affects different parties on different levels, and the proposed solutions proposed to solve these issues.


PDP/C2’s Study Tour to Germany “German Perspectives on Climate Change Adaptation in Cities” (07.06.15 to 12.06.15)

“How can cities better adapt to climate change on a local scale and what institutional background is needed therefore? How are concepts of green and sustainable infrastructure integrated into the city scape? What is the relation between urban agriculture and food security? How can exchange platforms and international networks enhance the climate change adaptation performance of cities around the world?”

All these questions were tackled within the study tour called “German Perspectives on Climate Change Adaptation in Cities” which was organized by the Climate Change Component (C2) of the Participatory Development Programme in Urban Areas (PDP) from Sunday, the 7th of June to Friday, the 12th of June in Germany. There, unique insights on climate change adaptation from a German perspective based on an international scale were offered. The study tour was accompanied by acknowledged experts from the most important fields of climate change adaptation in Egypt. Namely, representatives from the Ministry of Urban Renewal and Informal Settlements (MURIS), the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA), the Governorates of Cairo, Giza and Qalyubia, as well as the private sector, represented by Schaduf Company and MEGAWRA on behalf of the civil society.

The study tour was organized around the annual “Resilient Cities Conference” of ICLEI – the world leading organization for climate change adaptation on a local level. The outstanding highlight of the 3 days of conference was the GIZ presentation about “Adaptation capacities in densely populated areas”. Thereby, PDP/C2’s recent climate change adaptation project which has been successfully initiated in one of Cairo’s informal settlements (Ezbet el-Nasr) was introduced to and further discussed with the audience. The other sessions were evolving around various themes, such as food security, health implications of climate change, multi-stakeholder approaches for building resilience, ect.

On the first day of the study tour, a meeting with ICLEI representative Ms. Eva Madeira was held in order to give the participants the possibility to grasp a comprehensive overview of the ICLEI activities around the world. The meeting motivated the participants to discuss the possibility of engaging the Greater Cairo Region in upcoming ICLEI activities as well as possibly becoming the first city-member of the Arab region.

In order to enhance the theoretical input of the conference, a half-day trip was organized to the city of Andernach, which is known as the “Edible City”. There, the delegation members were introduced to the concept of city-wide urban agriculture regarding its ecological, economic and social aspects.

In addition to the attendance of the conference in Bonn, the second part of the study tour was taking place in Stuttgart, which is the partner city of Cairo Governorate. The city has put great efforts in the last years to develop a climate-sensitive agenda for the whole metropolitan region. This engagement resulted in the production of a “Climate Atlas” functioning as basis for the development of a city-wide climate change adaptation strategy. In order to successfully challenge the heat island effect and high pollution rates, which Stuttgart is known for due to its location in a valley, the strategy includes green corridors as well as green rooftops and fresh air channels. The “Green Living Room” project in the neighbouring city of Ludwigsburg that the delegation was also visiting in a half-day trip perfectly exemplified the planning and implementation of urban green infrastructure for enhancing the micro climate in the urban context. Both, the green living room in Ludwigsburg as well as Stuttgart, provided the delegation with particularly interesting insights on climate change adaptation as direct links could be drawn to the case of the Greater Cairo Region.

Overall, the study tour was a great success as many promising connections and networks could be initiated and deepened. The delegation members were provided with manifold information, new aspects and promising approaches for a better climate change adaptation on the local level, but from an international perspective. The study tour was also a good opportunity for the participants to exchange about mutual future cooperation between national and local levels and even with the private sector. Last but not least, the particular strength of the study tour was the possibility for the participants to gain real hands-on experience and to perceive personally the positive impact of small scale measures for climate change adaptation.



PDP’s first Gender Fair, March 14, 2015

On Saturday, March 14, together with 7 Grant Beneficiaries and 1 Local Initiative Fund Beneficiary, the Participatory Development Programme in Urban Areas (PDP), organized a Gender Fair to celebrate International Women’s Day (March 8) and Egyptian Women’s Day (March 16). It was a full day of activities for all ages organized in Al-Azhar Park.

Over 200 participants, children, youth, women and men, from three different informal areas of Greater Cairo (Ain Shams, Ezbet el Nasr and El Warraq) joined us and participated in lively discussions and activities exploring gender and women in the Egyptian context.

The different activities explored the relationship between men and women in Egypt and triggered a discussion about male and female employment and respective gender stereotypes. Women who are engaged in entrepreneurship shared their experiences and responded to questions and comments from the audience. Children drew posters and performed a puppet show depicting the struggles of girls to access education. A documentary about women in Upper Egypt explored the challenges women face and the Initiative Ana Hunna “أنا هنا, I am here, Je suis là“ which is part of a regional GIZ programme on women’s empowerment, Economic Integration of Women in the MENA Region (ECONOWIN), showed the short movie “Om Amira”. The movie sheds light on the daily life of Halima Mohamed Ahmed or “Om Amira” (Arabic for “Amira’s Mother”) and explores how she bares the responsibility for her ill and unemployed husband and her paralyzed daughter. It depicts the real struggles and sacrifices of a mother in an impoverished family in Egypt to secure food, shelter and income.

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PDP meets the Giza Governor

On March 11, 2015, the Participatory Development Programme in Urban Areas (PDP) met with the new Giza Governor, Dr. Khaled Zakariya. The PDP was represented by Dr. Guenther Wehenpohl, Programme Coordinator, Michael Heathcote, Head of Fund Management, Sundus Balata, Deputy Programme Coordinator and Senior Advisor for Youth and Gender, and Heba Behairy, Head of Institutionalisation and Capacity Building. It was a pleasant meeting with fruitful exchange and together, the PDP and the Giza Governor, outlined clear steps for cooperation moving forward. The PDP is keen to cooperate with the Governorates on the activities and measures of the programme and to align its approach closely with that of its key partners to foster participation, ensure ownership and sustainability.DSC_0125 (2)


Steering Committee Meeting February 9th 2014

A third steering committee meeting was held on February 9th, 2014 at the Ministry Of Planning; around 20 different stakeholders participated in the meeting. Stakeholders included Ministry of Planning (MOP), Ministry of International Cooperation (MOIC) Informal Settlements Development Facility (ISDF), Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI), , Cairo and Giza Governorates, the EU Delegation and GIZ. The purpose of this meeting was to inform the Steering Committee members about the main activities of the PDP EU Components, most notably the progress of the First Call for Proposals, feasibility studies, the Local Area Dialogue Committees (LADCs), capacity building of civil society and Governorate Urban Upgrading Units(UUUs),the selection of new informal areas targeted in Cairo, Giza and Qalyubeya Governorates and climate change adaptation (in Cities) and urban resilience. The meeting also aimed to present the steps ahead, particularly with regard to the EU Grant Scheme.

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EU Finances additional Projects to Upgrade Informal Areas in Cairo and Giza PDP Launches 2nd Call for Proposals

Cairo, 26th of August 2014, Today the Participatory Development Programme in Urban Areas (PDP) successfully launched together with the European Union (EU) Delegation to Egypt the Second Call for Proposals for projects to improve informal areas in Cairo (Ain Shams and Ezbet el Nasr) and Giza (El Warraq and Masaken Geziret al Dahab) Governorates in the Conrad Hotel in Cairo. The event which was attended by His Excellency Dr. Ashraf El Araby, Minister of Planning, attracted around 400 participants who were informed and taught about the application procedure. As part of the agreement between the EUD and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, who is the contracting authority, projects which will be contracted under the Second Call for Proposals are funded by the EU with almost EUR 10 million (EGP 95 million) and should focus on improving service delivery and environmental conditions in the respective areas.

“Supporting the development of the civil society and the fight against poverty is an essential part of the EU’s partnership with Egypt. We believe that the projects to be funded under the 2nd Call for Proposals will contribute significantly to those aims,” said Ambassador James Moran, Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Egypt. The selection process of applicants is based on EU specific rules and regulations and is managed by the PDP which will facilitate the implementation of the selected projects together with respective partners in the two Governorates by providing technical support. “The policy of the Egyptian Government for improving informal areas embraces such development measures as PDP,” said Dr. Ashraf El-Araby, Minister of Planning. “Since ten years it delivers benefits to the needy and proves to be successful with its participatory approach. “

Through cooperation with public administration and civil society organizations, the PDP is introducing and supporting theimplementation of participatory methodologies for urban upgrading in order to improve service provision and thus living conditions in an integrated manner. “We have carried out a research study in Ain Shams, Ezbet el Nasr, El Warraq and Masaken Geziret al Dahab in 2013 to find out about the needs of the population in these areas,” said Dr. Günther Wehenpohl, Programme Coordinator PDP. The scope of the Second Call for Proposals derives from the findings of the study which identified the priority needs of the residents such as health, education, solid waste management, youth and recreation, transportation and environment (incl. adaptation to climate change). “With today’s information session we started the application process. Potential Beneficiaries are invited to apply for a grant to meet these needs in a most effective and efficient possible way. We highly welcome innovative projects. Moreover, we even expect to have a replicability of some projects in other informal urban areas of Greater Cairo Region and other Egyptian cities,” Wehenpohl added. After the application period the selected Beneficiaries will be directly contracted by PDP which is actually one of the most relevant international development cooperation programmes working on improving and developing urban informal areas in Egypt. PDP is financed by the European Union (EU), the German Government, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Egyptian Government. The current phase of the development measure (2010-2018), under which the Second Call for Proposals is launched, is funded primarily by the EU.