DPU International Experience Exchange Workshop
February 13, 2009 in NEWS

Specialists from DPU-Associates train PDP’s staff and Egyptian counterparts in participatory urban development and governance strategies from 8th to 12th February, 2009 in Cairo.

The GIZ Participatory Development Programme in Urban Areas (PDP) commissioned DPU-Associates to conduct an International Experience Exchange workshop, which was held between 8-12 February 2009 in Cairo. DPU-Associates is an association of experienced independent professionals engaged in consultancy, research and training who have been members of the academic staff of the Development Planning Unit, University College London.

Patrick Wakely from DPU-Associates introduces new strategies for implementing participatory urban governance models to PDP’s Egyptian partners representing several Greater Cairo Governorates

Patrick Wakely, Babar Mumtaz and Sheilah Meikle from DPU-Associates facilitated the five intensive days of workshops in partnership with PDP’s Khaled Abdelhalim and Gundula Löffler, supported by PDP staff. The workshop program was attended by professional and technical staff of PDP’s partners, the Governorates of Giza, Cairo, Qalyubeya and Helwan, as well as by PDP staff and consultants and three representatives of the local government administration in Aleppo, Syria.

45 representatives of four Greater Cairo Governorates attend the five-day workshop

Through targeted lectures, presentations, exercises and group discussions, the workshops for PDP’s partners held in the mornings throughout the training week, aimed to:

  • review the processes and dynamics of urbanisation and the role of informal areas (IA) in urban society, economy and development
  • review the growth of Greater Cairo’s IA, government and civil society responses to IA
  • map out the types and characteristics of IA
  • understand the international changes in policy approach to IA
  • introduce the strategy of ‘knowing the city’ and discuss tools to build capacity among residents of  IA to analyse problems and assets for problem-management
  • critically review current approaches to urban governance and provide an overview of alternative, participatory approaches
  • explore the importance of participatory decision-making for ensuring the short-term efficiency and long-term sustainability of IA development
  • introduce techniques of analysis and integrated strategic and operational planning for urban development and management
  • analytically articulate ‘what has to be done’ at what level and in what operational sequence in order to realise strategies

During interactive group activities, the representatives of Greater Cairo Governorates work through models of participatory urban governance

In the afternoons, 22 staff members and consultants of PDP received separate training sessions including lectures, discussion and group work to increase their capacity in reaching PDP’s goals and objectives. The afternoon sessions touched on:

  • changing paradigms, institutional and organisational change in urban development and informal area (IA) upgrading
  • particularities of Cairo’s informal settlements and relating development time lines in Cairo to international time lines
  • classifying informal areas and creating a workable IA typology
  • understanding and accommodating diversity and the impact of identity on access to power and resources
  • needs, aspirations and assets of households and communities in Cairo
  • strategic responses to social problems in IA
  • Identifying, understanding and connecting the physical and regulatory environment  as well as the operational problems and constraints in IA
  • identifying urban space, service provision, and maintenance problems in IA
  • integrated policies, strategies and the way forward

PDP’s staff and consultants participate in a group exercise on informal area policy development

The participants’ feedback in regards to the training course was overwhelmingly positive. In a quality assessment at the end of the course, 75% of the participants from Cairo Governorates evaluated the training as either very relevant or relevant to their work. Almost 90% of the participants rated the facilitation of discussion as either good or excellent; 88% described the communication of training messages as either good or excellent and 80% felt the discussion fostered active participation. PDP’s staff and consultants also benefited greatly from the training’s messages, discussion, exercises and in-depth assessment of Cairo’s urban development trajectory, which the trainers successfully connected to international urban development challenges by assessing various examples of urban development from around the globe.

European Union German Cooperation GIZ Ministry of Urban Renewal and Informal Settlements