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Participatory Incremental Urban Planning: A Toolbox to Support Local Governments in Developing Countries to Implement the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals

The Participatory Incremental Urban Planning (PIUP) Toolbox by UN-Habitat provides a step-by step methodology to assess, design, operationalise and implement urban planning processes. Designed to fit the needs and local characteristics of various urban contexts, it serves as a roadmap for city leaders, urban planners, civil society and private actors to understand, visualize and strategize complex urban planning processes with a clear instruction of which key deliverables (urban analyses, scenarios, concept plan, action plan, detailed plans, feasibility studies, etc.) to include and how to design them. 

Authors: Laure Garel, Thomaz Ramalho
Publisher: United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)
Publication Date: 2020

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Policy Support, Effectiveness and Legitimacy in the Localisation of the Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aspire to have a transformational impact on how national and sub-national development strategies are set. However, as a global governance framework without legally binding commitment and formal enforcement initiatives, it relies on the acknowledgement of its legitimacy through a broad international consensus. This study commissioned by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Generalitat de Catalunya analyses the challenges this poses to ensure commitment toward the implementation of Agenda 2030 at the local level. Written by F.J. Granados and A. Nogerini, it proposes three key elements of policy-making to enhance the legitimate and efficient support of the SDGs: 1. Fostering institutional coordination between different policy domains and levels of government, 2. Enabling stakeholder participation in the negotiation of policy preferences, and 3. Creating monitoring systems to keep political authorities accountable. The study concludes that as experts of the needs and characteristics of their territories, local and regional governments’ role is essential for establishing these structures along the policy cycle to strengthen the effectiveness and legitimacy of localised policy responses.

Authors: F.J. Granados, A. Noferini
Publisher: Generalitat of Catalonia / UNDP
Publication Date: 2020
Copyright: Generalitat of Catalonia / UNDP

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Policy Brief: COVID-19 in an Urban World

With an affliction rate of approximately 90%, urban areas have become the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is not density per se that correlates with higher transmission rates but rather social and economic geographies of inequality, which have made the lack of inclusive access to health services, housing and sanitation services painfully clear. The United Nations (UN) have launched a call to rethink the way we build and organise cities, using the pandemic as a starting point for a green and socially just recovery. This policy brief outlines three recommendations that this process should be based on: 1. Tackling inequalities and development benefits, 2. Strengthening capacities of local actors and governments and 3. Enabling a resilient, inclusive, gender-equal and green economic recovery.

Publisher: United Nations
Publication Date: 2020
Copyright: United Nations

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COVID-19 and Fragility: The Threat Posed by Corruption, Crooks, and the Resulting Illicit Financial Flows

How can governmental responses to COVID-19 be effective in protecting the most vulnerable and enable an inclusive recovery, if a high amount of these urgently needed funds are lost to corruption and become illicit financial flows (IFFs)? This critical question is posed by Jana Warkotsch and Carola Frank in their recent publication featured by FriEnt. The lack of financial transparency and oversight does not only lead to a loss of funds - an estimate of 10-25 cents of every dollar spent on procurement are lost to corruption - but also damages the relationship between citizens and states. To counter these tendencies, the authors suggest strengthening a) both governments’ and donors’ commitment to transparency and accountability as well as b) local actors’ role to monitor and control how funds are spent.

Authors: Jana Warkotsch, Carola Frank
Publisher: FriEnt
Publication Date: 2020
Copyright: FriEnt

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2019 Benchmarking Report on Solid Waste Management in SEE

South-East Europe is on track to promote the Circular Economy and to implement reliable practices of waste data collection and reporting as a basis for better policymaking. The Benchmarking Report on Waste Management in South-East Europe prepared as a joint effort by Network of Associations of Local Authorities of South-East Europe (NALAS) as well as members of the Local Government Association (LGAs) underlines a positive trend in the waste management sector, especially in EU member countries. Based on data from ten different countries in the region, the report gives an insight in what has been achieved in the past years and provides best practices for context-specific strategies to upgrade waste management systems.

Authors: NALAS Task Force on Solid Waste and Water Management
Publisher: NALAS
Publication Date: 2019
Copyright: NALAS.

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Uganda Business Impact Survey 2020

The measures taken by governments all over the world to contain the COVID-19 pandemic have affected many companies, in particular small and medium enterprises. As part of a broader socio-economic assessment of these consequences by the United Nations in Uganda, the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) in cooperation with Makere University and the support of the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has conducted a business survey to assess the impact of COVID-19 on business’ operations and to provide feedback for the development of policies and business relief and recovery packages. The study demonstrates that while companies were quick in adjusting their business models and adopting innovative technological solutions, neither the rate nor the scope of innovation was sufficient to adequately address the challenges posed by COVID-19. Therefore, the study recommends that solutions should both include relief and stimulus packages and that businesses should use this opportunity to design long-term programmes that create business environments that encourage sustainability and resilience to future shock.

Author: Dr. Dmitry Pozhidaev
Publisher: UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) / Makere University
Publication Date: 2020
Copyright: UNCDF / Makere University

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Deliberating for Sustainability: Lessons from the Porto Alegre Experiment with Partic-ipatory Budgeting

Participatory budgeting (PB) has been widely celebrated as a transformative practice for fostering local democracy and economic sustainability. In this paper Martin Calisto Friant analyses the experiences made in Porto Alegre with PB through an interdisciplinary lens, combining theories of the right to the city, environmental justice and deliberative democracy. Arguing that that the deliberative nature of participatory processes has had a particularly positive impact on urban environments, Calisto proposes a number of key recommendations to replicate and upscale this mechanism to work towards social and environmental sustainability in cities.

Author: Martin Calisto Friant
Publisher: International Journal of Urban Sustainable Development
Publication Date: 2020
Copyright: International Journal of Urban Sustainable Development

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Bringing Urban Refugees into Local Planning

Although 60% of refugees live in towns and cities, displacement continues to be portrayed through images of camps located in remote areas. The lack of attention to the diverse challenges that refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) face in urban areas, such as stigmatisation by public officials or lack of access to housing and basic services, impedes upon the design of holistic responses. Rather than providing humanitarian support only, municipalities should acknowledge the potential that displaced people bring to cities and integrate them into local planning and governance frameworks. The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) supports multiple initiatives in this area, amongst others a study that compares the experiences of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in cities and camps from four countries – Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Jordan and Kenya.

Author: Lucy Earle
Publisher: International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)
Publication Date: 20 July, 2020
Copyright: IIED

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From the Ground Up – It’s about Time for Local Humanitarian Action

The localisation of responses to humanitarian crises has been an explicit ambition for several decades. Both the UN Secretary General’s report for the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) and the resulting Grand Bargain reform agenda called for responses that are “as local as possible, as international as necessary.” However, despite increasing awareness for this issue, protection responses often remain highly centralised and unsuccessful in building strategic partnerships with local actors. To understand why localisation in the humanitarian sector has largely failed, the Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG) has conducted a three-year research programme entitled “From the ground up: understanding local response in crises.” The resulting report underlines that international aid constitutes only one source of assistance and that localisation depends on humanitarian actors recognising its importance and partnering with informal actors and social networks who are involved in protecting those in need.

Authors: Larissa Fast, Christina Bennet
Publisher: Overseas Development Institute (ODI)
Publication Date: May 2020
Copyright: ODI

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Promoting Inclusion Through Local Peace Structures

Inclusion is one of the essential principles included in international policy frameworks like the Sustainable Development Goals (see Goal 16). But how can inclusion be promoted in fragile and conflict-affected contexts? This report examines how and to what extent local peace structures in Kenya and the Philippines, like informal groups, committees and networks, influence peace processes by mediating local disputes, raising awareness and integrating marginalised groups. By drawing on these examples, the report carves out the important role of local peace structures for promoting inclusion and pays special attention to their ability to address both short-term security and long-term governance challenges.

Publisher: Conciliation Resources
Publication Date: 2020
Copyright: Conciliation Resources

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