ERSO plans to test 8-12 operations in total, with two to three in each of the four target regions - Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and countries with economies in transition and Latin America and the Caribbean. The target volume for each operation is between US$ 2 and 5 million. It is expected that a mobilization ratio between 1:1 and 1:4 can be achieved.
The main activities included:
- Field-test experimental and reimbursable seeding operations and other innovative operations for financing for the urban poor for housing, infrastructure and upgrading through community groups, including where there is an expectation of repayments; mobilizing capital at the local level and
- Strengthen the capacity of local financial and development actors to carry out those operations and to support the capacity of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme to enhance those operations.
- An expert workshop on ERSO in April 2008. The purpose of the workshop was to present the strategy and approach of the initiative to experts in the field and receive guidance on key operational issues and the implementation strategy. A further purpose was to gather ideas on potential ERSO operations. The meeting also served as an informational session for prospective members of the ERSO Steering and Monitoring Committee.
By the end of 2008, the following results were achieved:
- UN-HABITAT, in consultation with the Committee of Permanent Representatives in Nairobi, has developed and approved the ERSO Operational Procedures (OP) and the Operations Manual (OM).
- ERSO Team has consulted with multiple potential partners to develop business plans for implementation of experimental operations in all four target regions. In addition, UN-HABITAT has initiated research and documentation of innovative mechanisms for Low-income Shelter Finance.
- ERSO Steering and Monitoring Committee (SMC) is established. The constituting meeting of the SMC was held on 25-26 September 2008 in Nairobi.
- SMC has reviewed a total of 12 project proposals from all four target regions. The selection and initiation of the first experimental projects is scheduled to commence by early 2009.