The component of the programme advises partner institutions to institutionalise concepts, systems and practices promoted by the Participatory Development Programme in Urban areas (PDP) in the area of Urban Upgrading (UU).The component aims at enabling the implementation of the PDP knowledge, anchoring its results and hence ensuring sustainability in its application. This includes as capacity development for the different partners and the promotion of participation in local communities.
The cities of Egypt are growing rapidly, mostly in the presence of weak control over urban development. Nowadays, the problem of informal areas receives higher political and national attention, and has become lately even more pressing.
Nevertheless, the knowledge and ability of the public administration and of the civil society organisations (CSOs) to jointly improve the services in the poor urban areas is still limited. Hence, capacity development of both bodies with regards to participatory urban development and the institutionalisation of integrated urban development concepts (e.g. participation, good governance principles, social inclusion, etc.), methods and tools are immensely required to better cope with the needs of the residents in informal areas.
Participatory methods, concepts and processes of urban development, include utilising the potentials of the civil society, (i.e. NGOs and other civil society organisations) are currently in demand and highly esteemed. Due to the establishment of new civil society organisations and expectations of their role are being acknowledged and fostered.
Methods and instruments of the participatory urban development are further disseminated and increasingly anchored in the corresponding institutions. The management of informal areas’ development is improved through the application of participatory tools by local administration at the local and governorate level and civil society organisations.
The PDP’s adopted three-level approach (i.e. national, regional and local levels) to institutionalise urban development of informal areas. These activities entail the upgrading of partner management capacities for informal area development in using participatory approaches. Institutionalisation means as well enhancing the role of the civil society and the private sector in the development of informal areas, and searching for supporting partnerships, in the field, especially, in-between the civil society organisations and private sector.
Attaining the planned activities requires the use of various methods such as developing the capacity of partner institutions’ staff, convincing decision-makers at target institutions on what needs to be institutionalised, advising on institutional reforms needed (e.g. forming new departments, creating new mandates, earmarking resources to certain practices, etc.), as well as offering continuous technical support, on-the-job training and other training forms to partner institutions towards implementing the institutionalisation strategy and to anchor its results.
The Participatory Development Programme in Urban Areas (PDP) has contributed to the reform process of urban planning within local, regional and national administrations through capacity development as well as through innovative institutional arrangements and relationships that facilitate participation and stakeholder involvement in the field of urban upgrading. PDP has successfully introduced the participatory process through changing the perceptions and raising-awareness about informal areas, among politicians, media, and other civil society organisations and within the local communities themselves.
In its current phase (2012-2016), the programme is implementing the Participatory Needs Assessment (PNA) in four selected informal areas in Cairo and Giza governorates, based on its previous experiences, and paving the way to new small to medium scale interventions to improve the living conditions in these areas. Additionally, an institutional assessment study has been launched to assess the capacity and outreach of the important CSOs where, PDP will develop a comprehensive capacity development programme to capacitate both the CSOs and the local authorities (governorates and districts) in Cairo and Giza governorate to ensure their effective involvement in participatory urban upgrading.
At a later stage, PDP will institutionalise participatory urban upgrading at the national level through supporting advocacy activities for legal, institutional and organisational reforms for a number of central bodies. Moreover, PDP will disseminate its knowledge through close cooperation with national training bodies to institutionalise the use of PDP manuals and training materials. Finally, PDP is very engaged in the promotion of and the exchange of participatory urban upgrading experiences across professionals through conducting workshops, establishing national platforms and other advocacy activities for that end.