Participation of the Poor in Development Initiatives: Taking Their Rightful Place

Participation of the Poor in Development Initiatives: Taking Their Rightful Place
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Participation of the Poor in Development Initiatives: Taking Their Rightful Place

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Toggle navigation Additional Book Information. On the meso level, local administrations in the pilot areas have implemented participatory approaches for better service delivery, and people have become involved in different stages of the programme. A number of departments were set up in Greater Cairo that became responsible for urban poor areas, which is a good step, according to the decentralization plans of the state.

Improving solid waste management was one of the positive activities carried out by the programme. It has worked on asserting that waste collection is the joint responsibility of all stakeholders, including the government, the people, and the private sector. The programme has also succeeded in mobilizing the required funds from KFW and other stakeholders to achieve remarkable outcomes, especially in the districts of Manshiet Nasser and Boulaq El Dakrour, where physical upgrading has been carried out PDP, d.

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The project has created job opportunities, and the unemployment rate among youth and women has dropped PDP, d. Generally, providing funds for local initiatives has been working in accordance with the MDG recognition of microfinance as a strong tool to eliminate poverty Gebru, The programme has trained technical staff on GIS and information exchange systems, and possesses comprehensive information and maps for informal areas Abdelhalim, The increasing demand of the GIS of the programme from governmental authorities and universities, for having comprehensive and accurate information on slums, has proved the importance of the GIS established by the programme PDP, d.

Apart from the tangible results of the programme, the adaptation of participatory approaches in development projects is often associated with dynamics of power relations that result in the empowerment of vulnerable groups by participating in planning, and increasing their influential power on the policy makers. This, arguably, is likely to spread throughout the whole country and, in the long run, will lead to social justice and democracy Piffero, Thus, embracing participatory approaches in the urban context shows to be an important step towards achieving social equity Richter and Weiland, The involvement of all stakeholders in any development programme under a participatory approach is likely to result in cost effectiveness, owing to stakeholder contributions in different ways, either in kind or in cash.

It also ensures the sustainability of the programme, as stakeholders who are involved from the beginning will be keen to keep the programme operating after donor phase-out Piffero, In order to ensure the sustainability and the successful replication of the programme, PDP has developed a guidance book in both Arabic and English on the PDP implementation experiences in the pilot areas.

This was developed as a guidebook for decision-makers in Egypt on how to implement participatory approaches to upgrade informal areas and carry out participatory governance activities. So, the Egyptian government, in the future, can use it to replicate the pilot projects in other parts of Egypt. Furthermore, training courses on using the manual are being held for the Egyptian counterparts Abdelhalim, Such guidelines produced on practical experience will help the government reduce urban poverty through appropriate interventions in upgrading informal areas.

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On the other hand, when looking at what has been pointed out as weakness of the programme, Piffero highlights that the participation concept in PDP is vague. He has found that the official documents of the programme perceive the project objectives and participation from different dimensions and that these documents do not make the priority in participatory activities clear Piffero, , which would cause confusion for the staff working on the programme. Accordingly, agreement should be made in advance on the definition of participation and the potential activities.

It is recommended that the participatory development programme team gain knowledge of the common issues that might occur, so that it can be well prepared to overcome them Thomforde, One of the main problems of this programme is that local government has no true willingness to adopt participatory approaches in urban development projects.

This lack of willingness is rooted back in the s.

The former regime in Egypt used to ignore informal areas, but they changed this strategy of ignorance in the s, when a remarkable confrontation existed between the Islamists and the state. The earthquake resulted in huge damage in informal areas where Islamic organizations supported the earthquake victims who were in competition with the state.

It could be helpful if the programme staff were to employ a tool to help them to find out the real rationale behind government involvement in the project and the extent to which they will keep their promises. Amis has highlighted the importance of using triangulation as a tool in urban contexts to check the accuracy of facts, such as government statements, from different sources.

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As for target groups, PDP was set up on the assumption that informal areas represent the stereotypical image of urban poverty, i. But, the programme has ignored the fact that informal areas are varied and have different conditions according to the typology under which each of these slums comes Piffero, There are four types of informal area in Greater Cairo.

They are all different in nature. For example, informal areas that belong to the first type, former agriculture lands, have better conditions than others Piffero, Arguably, people should explained the different ways of measuring performance, in order to monitor and evaluate local government performance in achieving the desirable level of effective participation by local people.

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However, it should be considered that it is very difficult to measure the performance of complex activities like those carried out within participatory approaches Holmes, For example, in the Boulaq El Dakrour pilot project in Cairo, the team leader of the project has reported that physical upgrading in the district is a top priority, but, in consultation with the participants, they expressed income-generating activities to be more important for them than physical upgrades.

Then, later, when a street with high congestion was chosen to be renovated and improved, shopkeepers and mini-bus drivers were harmed, as the pavement and the new method of traffic operation negatively affected the economic activities of the two groups Piffero, In such a system, power relations bias is likely to occur and people will not be fairly represented. Not until , did they recognize that they have to include women in the programme structure. However, they did not have a clear strategy to include women nor did they place them at the top of priorities Piffero, The reason behind this failure is the weak capacity of many of these NGOs, which have more focused on charitable activities.

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They seem less interested in expanding their activities apart from charity, while the rest have shown, in the past, to have had strong links with the autocratic ruling party of the time, obstructing the means for change Piffero, This paper has presented the participatory approach as a concept, particularly in the context of urban poverty in Egypt. The Participatory development Programme in Urban Areas PDP , which specifically seeks to alleviate urban poverty through such approaches, has been presented and evaluated in terms of its weaknesses and strengths.

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Despite the weaknesses of this programme, it has contributed to urban poverty reduction in some of the most well-known informal areas in Egypt, achieving many tangible results, such as with physical upgrades, GIS and the sharing of information on informal areas, funding of local initiatives, and others.

It is a great challenge to implement participatory approaches and to find the right tools to empower the local people in a country, like Egypt, that has to deal with such authoritarian rule and structures. Nevertheless, after the Egyptian people managed to break the wall of silence in the 25 th of January Revolution, participatory approaches show to be more applicable in different areas of development.

International Institute for Environment and Development.

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Participation of the poor in development initiatives: taking their rightful place. Long, Carolyn M. Publication year: This book reflects the outcome of the. Participation of the Poor in Development Initiatives: Taking Their Rightful Place [ Carolyn M. Long] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.

Berlin University of Technology. Informal settlement expansion in Greater Cairo and government responses. Journal of Sustainable Development in Africa. GIZ Participation-oriented development programme in densely populated urban areas. Working Paper number Institute of Development Studies.

Unplanned versus unsafe areas.