Yearly Archives: 2015

The Sixth Steering Committee Meeting

The Participatory Development Programme in Urban Areas, under the auspices of Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development (MoHUUD), held its 6th Steering Committee Meeting. Representatives from six other Ministries and the three Governorates of Cairo, Giza and Qalyubeya attended the meeting on Nov 19th 2015 .

The EU Delegation was represented by Mr Stephane David, Programme Manager, who expressed the keen interest of the EU in urban development projects in Egypt’s informal areas.

Dr. Gunther Wehenpohl, Programme Coordinator, gave a brief overview of PDP’s progress in managing the EU grant schemes for urban upgrading projects.  Michael Heathcote, PDP’s Head of Funds Management Component, spoke about 33 ongoing urban upgrading projects that are implemented by NGOs and 14 small and medium scale infrastructure projects (funded by the EU) that will be carried out by Cairo and Giza Governorates. Mrs. Heba Behairy, PDP’s Head of Institutionalisation Component, highlighted the objectives and achievements of the capacity building programme conducted by PDP and the PNA results.

Eng Mohamed Nasser, Acting Director of ISDF, and Dr. Howaida Barakat, International Cooperation Advisor, welcomed the participations and expressed their appreciation for PDP’s work in the development of informal areas.

The Q&A session was a great opportunity for reflection and clarification by other ministries regarding PDP’s activities and achievements. Ministries also expressed their interest in further cooperation with PDP:

“we in the vocational sector of Ministry of Education are interested in cooperating with PDP’s planning regarding the education lot of the PDP’s future call for proposals”

Dr. Saber Soliman, Head of Vocational Education and Training Sector, MOE.

It was mentioned that PDP currently prepares the third call for proposals that should be launched in early 2016. Additional funding will be provided for further infrastructure projects to be implemented by the above-mentioned three Governorates.

The PDP responds to the needs identified by the community and that are in line with governmental priorities for urban upgrading of informal areas. The PDP is funded by the EU and the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).



“Social Entrepreneurship between the Traditional Tools of Finance and the Innovative Tools of Crowd Funding”

Social entrepreneurship, undoubtedly, plays a key role as a driving engine for economic and social development in local communities, especially in informal areas in Greater Cairo. Yet getting the necessary funding for these projects, particularly in its early stages, is the first major obstacle facing young entrepreneurs. Hence, this workshop on “Social Entrepreneurship: the Traditional Tools of Finance and the Innovative Tools of Crowd Funding” organized by the GIZ  Participatory Development programme in the Urban Areas, inviting Izz El-Din Mohammed, founder Tennra platform ( for crowd funding to discuss the reasons behind the failure of some of the traditional financing instruments to provide the required support, and highlight some of the new funding methods.

The round table held on Oct 24th, 2015, addressed namely the online crowdfunding platforms; the possibilities, the pros and cons and the legal aspects of these instruments. The workshop will also display many other innovative alternative financial tools available and how to best use of them, these include: Venture Capital funds, Investments, along with crowd funding. The workshop will also discuss some traditional tools already available in the banking sector such as financial leasing and factoring, but will offer innovative uses for these tools to support start-ups in upscaling.

The event included open discussion between the presenters, Ms Olfa Tantawi and Mr Izz El-Din Mohammed, and the attendees where youth entrepreneurs did pose their queries about crowdfunding and how to use platforms such as Tennra. In addition some models of successful crowdfunding examples were presented and explained to attendees along with important useful tips regarding how to locate and manage best optimum use of online crowdfunding platforms.

Social entrepreneurship is a newly added concept to the culture of business and start-up companies. These social enterprises are viable businesses’ that aim mainly at providing innovative solutions to existing chronic social problems. They are usually financed using financial tools that differ drastically from the traditional tools since they aim at creating a social value along with actual monetary profit. This means that they are most often profitable projects in the medium and long term, which represents a challenge to traditional financing institutions that seek to maximize their investments and recover the funds provided by offering loans as soon as possible.

With more than 29% of Egyptian youth being unemployed and an existing deficit in quality jobs for aspiring and motivated youth, social entrepreneurship is seen as an opulent resource for youth to create employment opportunities for themselves, and to support youth engage in the upgrading of their communities. This approach meets the objectives of social inclusion, while tackling the challenges of poverty, unemployment and other gaps in services that the Egyptian government and the civil society are trying to resolve.

Craftsmanship: Girls’ Weapon to Defeat Unemployment in Informal Areas

Zamzam Soliman, a young lady less than 30-year old, joyfully participated with 300 young men and women of similar age in a large celebration organized by Think and Do Development Foundation”. Under No for Unemployment slogan, Zamzam told her success story against unemployment and poverty by practising a profession to provide for herself.

She said before all the audience “I am so happy! I do not know how to express my happiness. I do not believe that I have a profession to protect me from destitution and provide for a dignified life. I acknowledge before you all that I have a blessing: I consider the grant provided by Think and Do a blessing from heaven. We were desperate because nobody felt our presence amidst the crowds (which promoted some people and was unfair to others). Finally, there was someone to train me on hairdressing. I loved this profession for more than twenty years. Now, I open my hairdresser shop, which generates income to raise my family’s financial level.”

Zamzam was among 300 young men and women who joined “No for unemployment” project, implemented by “Think and Do Development Foundation”, in cooperation with GIZ and funded by the European Union (EU).

The project manager, Emile Nasim, indicated that the project focused on young men and women in Ain Shams, Cairo, and Warraq, Giza. The project conducted a field assessment for labour market needs for various professions. The project was promoted in cooperation with Ministry of Social Solidarity and the Regional Union in Cairo to attract young people and train them on these professions. Furthermore, the graduates were employed in 150 job opportunities. The other 150 trainees received tool kits of the professions on which they were trained such as hairdressing, tailoring, photocopying, mobile phones, etc. to become entrepreneurs. Accordingly, the youth income level increased, poverty and unemployment rates decreased, and, in turn, drug addiction, terrorism and crime rates decreased which would enhance productivity and national income. Most importantly, the project succeeded in creating job opportunities to support youth stability in their cities, reduce random migration, whether internally or externally, and fulfill the labor market demand on skilled labor.

Deputy Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Think and Do Foundation, Medhat Shafeeq, asserted the project sustainability in providing the same service to youth, even after project end. Field follow-up for graduates in their work places, either as employees or entrepreneurs is organized in order to check workflow, overcome any obstacle, and provide technical and administrative counselling. This can be done by trainers through workshops held by the Foundation. In addition, the trainees are introduced to the ethics of each profession to successfully interact with clients.

Mr. Medhat Shafeeq mentioned that since Foundation establishment in 2005 by Dr. Tawfeeq George, who is an expert in social and development work, it has been focusing on combating unemployment and youth employment. Workshops are organised to provide training on crafts such as hairdressing, barbering, mobile phone maintenance, tailoring, English language, computer, and women’s accessories. In addition there is an employment office inside the foundation that provides job opportunities for graduates, to develop youth mentally, socially and vocationally and enable them to fulfil their needs. Indeed, the foundation has trained and employed 7163 young men and women till 2015.

GIZ Advisor, Ms. Hala Morgan, who represents the EU-funded Participatory Development Programme in Urban Areas, has mentioned that PDP works on improving education, health, environment, and youth employability in Egypt, in participation with the civil society and government institutions. “No to Unemployment” project is implemented by Think and Do foundation, through providing technical support to train youth on necessary technical skills. Training methods do not only include learning about a profession or craft, but also focus on marketing, planning and feasibility study skills. Thus youth will be able to find job opportunities, in conformity with the state’s plan for serving youth and community.

A true and realistic story of the young people who said no to unemployment is the story of Neema Wasfy Salam. She excelled in hairdressing thanks to trainers from the foundation. She is able to start her hairdressing shop, and before that she has been used to go to clients in their houses. Emil Hakeem excelled in tailoring for men and women. He is trained on taking measurements, drawing patterns, and technical handling of the sewing machine. He is in competition with his colleague Asmaa Ismail. Fahmy Mohamed Fahmy excelled in computer maintenance, thanks to his trainer Maged Azmy from Think and Do.

Original article:

PDP Meeting H.E Dr.Mostafa Madbouly Minister Of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development

On Thursday, the 1st of October 2015, a meeting between the Participatory Development Programme in Urban Areas (PDP), His Excellency, Dr. Mostafa Madbouly, Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development (MoHUUD), and representatives of the Informal Settlements Development Fund (ISDF) was held in order to discuss PDP’s affiliation to the Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development.

Dr. Günther Wehenpohl, Programme Coordinator of the PDP, made the opening remarks. He introduced the PDP as an Egyptian-German development measure implemented in cooperation between the former Egyptian Ministry of Urban Renewal and Informal Settlements (MURIS) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. He then pointed out that the programme is currently in its third phase ending in December 2018 and is co-financed by the European Union (EU), in addition to the core-financing from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the contributions by the Egyptian Government. This was followed by a presentation on PDP’s activities by Mrs. Sundus Balata, Deputy Programme Coordinator of the PDP. The presentation underlined the overall objective of the programme, which is to support public administration and civil society organisations in collaborating for the improvement of services and environmental conditions for the poor urban population.

Subsequently, H.E. Dr. Madbouly expressed his appreciation for the work of PDP and confirmed that the MoHUUD will be the political partner of the PDP. H.E. then highlighted the importance of upgrading unsafe areas as one of the priorities of his ministry. H.E. further emphasized the importance of rapidly achieving concrete improvements in informal areas and was pleased to learn about the PDP’s EU-funded grant scheme on service provision and the Direct Awards that focus of basic infrastructure through Direct Awards to the Governorates of Cairo, Giza and Qalyubeya amounting to 13.3 million.

Dr. Madbouly stated that he appreciated PDP’s support in developing a national strategy for the upgrading of informal areas and that this would be done under his leadership and in cooperation with all concerned ministries. This strategy will be linked with the 2030 sustainable development strategy in Egypt prepared by the Ministry of Planning. In addition, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development is currently drawing up a plan for the complete upgrading of all unsafe areas within the next three 3 years. Dr. Madbouly invited the PDP to consider supporting the Ministry’s efforts in improving unsafe urban areas, in addition to its socio-economic upgrading measures in the informal areas in Cairo, Giza and Qalyubeya.

In their final remarks, H.E. Dr. Mostafa Madbouly, the PDP representatives and the representatives from the ISDF affirmed that their common goal is to improve the living conditions in informal areas and that an integrated approach to urban upgrading will be the most adequate response to the challenge of dealing with Egypt’s informal areas.


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8m€ European Grant to Support 3 Informal Areas in Qalyubeya

Qalyubeya Governor Engineer Mohammed Abdel Zaher held a meeting today with the Coordinator of the Participatory Development Programme in Urban Areas (PDP) Dr. Günther Wehenpohl to discuss the 8 million€ European Union (EU)/ German government grant given to Qalyubeya governorate as part of the implementation of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)-PDP. The grant aims at upgrading the infrastructure of three informal areas in Qalyubeya governorate.

The governorate, being the competent authority, is meant to receive half of the grant value following Direct Award procedures to implement programmes aiming at upgrading three informal areas in Qalyubeya, namely Shubra El-Kheima, Qalyoub and Khosoos, while the second half of the grant will be used by Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to implement parallel programmes in synchronization with those implemented by the governorate. Qalyubeya governorate’s contribution to the grant constitutes 10% (equivalent to 450, 000€) out of the total value of the grant.

During the meeting, it was emphasized that the implementation of the programmes eligible to receive the grant will begin no later than March 2016 and will continue until March 2018. The programmes to be implemented will be chosen in light of the results of the Participatory Needs Assessment (PNA) conducted in cooperation with Qalyubeya Urban Upgrading Units (UUUs) for the three target areas. Based on the PNA results, a long list of the programmes that the governorate wishes to implement will be drawn up, provided that the budget for each programme does not exceed €600,000.

Eng. Abdel Zaher called on the German side and the EU to ensure a speedy finalization of any relevant procedures so that the programmes can be ready for implementation before March. On the other hand, Dr. Wehenpohl emphasized that the implementation would begin no later than March 2016.

Eng. Abdel Zaher and Dr. Wehenpohl reviewed a recent project implemented in Qalyubeya for the establishment of a Transfer Station in Khosoos City to which the collected waste (estimated to be 400 tons per day) is transferred then transported, using large and well-equipped trucks, to the Integrated Resource Recovery Centre in Khanka City so that it can be used in the production of Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF), an alternative for fuel oil which can be used for the cement industry, as well as compost which is used for farming.

Original Article:

Grant Beneficiaries Contracts Signing

Two grants contracts were signed with two governorates, Cairo and Giza,as eligible legalised entities capable of effecting major positive changes for developing informal areas infrastructure. Thus, the two grants contracts signed with both governorates were for the implementation of small scale infrastructure improvements.

In the same context and in line with supporting civil society organisations, PDP signed grants contracts with 20 beneficiaries, selected out of the 127 applicants of the 2nd Call of proposals, for the purpose of conducting projects of improving service delivery in the informal areas of both Cairo(Ain Shams and Ezbet el Nasr)  and Giza(El Warraq, MasakenGeziret Al Dahab).

Egyptian Youth Join Hands to Close an Opportunity Divide

August 26th, 2015 – Bridging an existing opportunity divide between different youth groups, i.e., a gap between those who have access to the skills and training they need to be successful, and those who do not, was the main concern of youth participants in a round table meeting organized by the GIZ’s Participatory Development Programme in Urban Cairo (PDP).

Youth participants in the discussion were mostly from different populated unplanned settlements residing at the heart of Cairo including al Warraq, Masken Geziret el Dahab and Ain Shams. They all made part of a 2011-2013 PDP youth fast track measure where youth were included in decision-making processes and became representatives of the youth residents in their community. They met with Egyptian AUC students representatives of the Hult Prize Foundation, which is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to launching the world’s next wave of social entrepreneurs.

They all agreed that bridging the opportunity divide goes a long way beyond just offering youth from different social backgrounds and different settings access to training and skills enhancement.  One way to address this divide is to facilitate an active interaction and networking between youth groups, university students, Ngo members, and young development activists. Supporting youth groups to get exposure exchange expertise and collaborate was seen as imperative to create momentum and induce deep impact.

“We would like to create an Egyptian national version for the Hult prize that is more inclusive offering the opportunity for youth from all walks of life along with university youth to collaborate in developing innovative social enterprises to address real needs for real people”, said Alyaa Younis, Hult prize campus director, who is also an AUC student studying towards a Master’s degree in public health.

“Social entrepreneurs need more than just great ideas or innovative approaches and inventions. If they really want to create change in local communities, they have to have a solid understanding of people’s real needs and to empathize with their pain” said Bassem Bahnan, a young development activist from al Warraq locality. Along with a team of dedicated youth, Bassem has been involved in the past year in developing an innovative health insurance cooperative to provide people in his community with low cost, high quality, health services.

With more than 29% of Egyptian youth being unemployed and an existing deficit in quality jobs for aspiring and motivated youth, social entrepreneurship is seen as an opulent resource for youth to create employment opportunities for themselves. According to a recent the Population council’s study; “Panel Survey of Young People in Egypt (SYPE) 2014”, the percentage of both male and female youth who were employers or self-employed increased to 13.3% of employed males and 5.7% of females in 2014 compared to 3.7% and 3.2%, respectively in 2009.

In the past 5-10 years social entrepreneurship activity has risen notably in Egypt. Institutions such as Ashoka, Synergos, Nahdet El Mahrousa and Etijah have established physical presences in Cairo. Yet the efforts to empower youth through social entrepreneurship have remained limited in scope and restricting accessibility to elite groups and networks . In terms of the barriers to entrepreneurship, the lack of counselling and advice, followed by lack of business information, represented the two most common challenges that young entrepreneurs reported in the 2014 SYPE research.

The roundtable meeting makes part of a new phase of PDP youth measure that is being designed and structured in close collaboration with youth groups to introduce a social entrepreneurship culture that will support them address existing socio-economic and environmental chronic problem in local communities, while creating employment opportunities for themselves and their counterparts in the process. The measure, which is composed of a series of training workshops, in addition to close coaching and mentorship, seeks to develop an enabling environment, connecting youth to Government officials and businesses. Involving different groups of youths from all walks of life with a wide variety of educational backgrounds and life expertise in the design and implementation of the different social enterprises can, as youth agreed, add value and improve the design and development of these enterprises as well as provide youth with access to information and connect them with wider social and professional networks.



Under the Auspices of the Minister of Urban Renewal and Informal Settlements, Dr. Laila Iskandar, the PDP presents the results of the Participatory Needs Assessment for Cairo, Giza and Qalyubeya

August 24th, 2015 / Premises of the Ministry of Urban Renewal and Informal Settlements

On Monday, August 24th 2015, the final results of the latest Participatory Needs Assessment (PNA) studies conducted by PDP were presented to the Ministry of Urban Renewal and Informal Settlements (MURIS), and to the Governorates of Cairo, Giza, and Qalyubeya. The meeting was hosted by H.E Dr. Laila Iskander, Minister of State for Urban Renewal and Informal Settlements. It  was attended by H.E  the Governor of Qalyubeya, Engineer Mohamed Abdelzaher, H.E the Governor of Giza, Dr. Khaled Zakaria,  General Ahmed Taymour; Deputy Governor of Cairo,  Dr. Gihan Abdlerahman Deptuy Governor of Cairo and Dr. Manal Awad, Deputy Governor of Giza as well as the  heads  of the Urban Upgrading Units and the respective Districts. Other key figures from MURIS including Dr. Sherif El Gohary, Dr. Howaida Barakat; Dr. Maha Elbesheer and Ms. Norhan Taha also participated in the meeting.

Opening remarks were made by H.E. Dr. Laila Iskandar followed by an introductory presentation by Dr. Günther Wehenpohl, PDP Programme Coordinator who explained that the main objective of the PNA study is to investigate what the inhabitants of PDP’s target areas identify as the most pressing issues and important assets of their urban areas. This, on the one hand, allows local decision-makers to improve their knowledge of development priorities in the area, and on the other hand, enables PDP to tailor its grant scheme for small and medium-scale upgrading measures to the needs of the beneficiaries in these areas. The PNA is a crucial participatory tool that ensures careful attention to the demands and perceptions of the local communities and becomes the basis for informal area upgrading as explained by Dr. Günther in his presentation.

The results were well received by all those present. The Governor of Qalyubeya praised the efforts done by PDP in the field of SWM and acknowledged the pressing need for SWM  interventions in Shubra EL-Kheima, a priority identified by the PNA study in the area.

The Giza Governor, Dr. Khaled Zakaria El Adli, reflecting on PDP’s work stated:

“The participatory approach is necessary…[to ensure] a sustainable product…[The] local population should participate not only in the decision-making processes but also in implementation; at least 15-20% of local work force should, whenever possible, participate in the construction and development of their communities.”

The PNA studies were conducted between November 2014 and April 2015 in PDP’s five new intervention areas in the Greater Cairo Region namely: Boulaq al-Dakrour, Matareya, Shubra al-Khaima, Qalyoub and Khosoos. The Studies were carried out in close collaboration with GIZ’s consulting firms Ecoconserv and CID Consulting who reflected on the methodology and presented the final results and the ranking of the priority needs in each of the five targeted areas. Alongside the study results, the consultants presented first propositions for potential interventions to address the identified priorities.

The presentation was followed by an open question and answer session which allowed for the clarification of research methods, data collection processes and representativeness of presented data. The final discussion between PDP and its partners also touched upon the next steps ahead and discussed the launch of the third call for proposals, which will pave the way for upgrading measures in the five new intervention areas.image1 image2 image3

EU Grants Closing Procedures Workshop and Monitoring and Implementation Training

   Closing procedures Workshop

The workshop took place during 11th and 12th August 2015 in Pyramisa Hotel. The main goal of the workshop was to orient 14 grant beneficiaries who received EU grants through GIZ – PDP under the first call for proposal about the closing procedures of their actions and how to submit the final report. The workshop covered explanation of the final narrative report template, sources of verifications, visibility requirements, financial closing procedures and clarification of the final request for payment. GIZ – PDP also presented the common mistakes on previous reports and lessons learned. The workshop was attended by 31 participants representing 14 grant beneficiaries.


Monitoring and Implementation Training

GIZ – PDP conducted a five days training workshop on “Monitoring and Implementation ” for EU grant beneficiaries under 2nd CfP. The workshop was conducted from 16th till 20th of August 2015. The workshop helped participants on How to manage their projects? How to set up financial control system? How to develop their procurement plans? How to maximise their visibility with target groups and Assist the participants with reporting requirements.The workshop was attended by 53 participants representing 19 EU grant beneficiaries, their co applicants and affiliated entities. Besides, representatives from Ministry of Social Solidarity have attended the workshop.

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