Background and objectives
Sri Lanka continues to experience steady urbanization. Economic and social poverty remains extensive and the incidence of poverty high. The result is low housing standards, poor shelter conditions, infrastructure and basic urban services far below needs, with large numbers of households living without piped water supply and drainage, with inadequate sanitation, irregular solid waste collection, and poor access roads. The situation in the North and East is even worse due to years of civil war.
The objective of the project is:
- To institutionalize participatory urban governance approaches introduced over 8 years of participatory environmental governance support at the national and city-levels, including support to 18 cities in four Provinces
- To assist the Municipal Councils of Ratnapura, N’Eliya, Kotte and Batticaloa to extend such participatory governance approaches to develop Pro-poor settlement upgrading strategies.
- To prepare settlements upgrading action plans to mobilize follow up investments.
- To develop manuals, training models and tools and replication modalities.
The main activities include:
- Prepare City Shelter Profiles to map the urban poor community characteristics and opportunities for shelter and community infrastructure improvements
- Conduct City Consultations to raise awareness on urban poverty issues and the built-in capacity for the urban poor to address their own issues in partnership with local governments
- Use the participatory governance processes to select an urban-poor community for sustained settlement upgrading in each city, and form Local Area Development Committees.
- Develop the capacity of each community to upgrade their settlements through Community Action Planning and Community Contracting mechanisms.
- Support the settlements upgrading initiatives through the creation of supplementary income earning opportunities.
- Prepare proposals for follow-up investments in Settlement Upgrading, Livelihood development, and Community Infrastructure Improvements
- Mobilise the necessary resources and support demonstration project implementation by the communities and City Governments.
The results so far achieved include:
- Project Implementation Unit in place, including selection of partner NGOs to implement the project in partnership with the City administrations
- Shelter Profiling and Strategies prepared for the three cities
- Priority urban poor communities identified for up-grading through the Community Action Planning process.