The current focus is on the following priority themes:
- Environmental planning and management;
- Urban Economy;
- Education, Training and Research, and;
- Urban Planning
The entry points identified for implementing the above themes are: decentralization, climate change, local economic development and the Habitat Partner University collaboration respectively.
These components will be elaborated along the following broad activities: policy dialogues, tool development, capacity building, pilot initiatives, and country wide technical assistance. These broad activities and outcomes will be elaborated further into detailed logical frameworks for each specific component with definition of specific entry points. The formulation of measurable deliverables specific to each of the priority thematic focus areas will be in line with the activities of the MTSIP and will be in line with the results-based management principles.
Governance: entry point Decentralization
SUD-Net will continue UN-HABITAT’s effort to enhance capacities of institutions through improved governance and leadership in the context of decentralization. This is in recognition of the fact that most national and local governments going through reforms and decentralization processes often lack the power, human, technical and financial resources to fulfill the responsibilities for managing urban and environmental changes. The “Guidelines for Decentralization/Local Authorities” and their dissemination will be an integral part of this thematic focus. Through the entry point of Decentralization SUD-Net aims to improve the application of the Guidelines for Decentralization, ensure improved representation of the population and interest groups in municipal decision-making, and strive for improved advocacy at global, regional and national meetings.
Environmental planning and management: entry point Climate Change
SUD-Net’s programmes will strengthen the responsiveness of cities to environmental concerns by promoting synergic actions between key actors regarding the built and natural environment in order to address possible conflicts between the environmental resource base and the development actions. Under this thematic focus, the Cities in Climate Change Initiative (CCCI) is the initial component of SUD-Net, funded by the Government of Norway (2008-2010) and the UN development Account. CCCI has been developed to enhance climate change mitigation and preparedness of cities in developing and least developed countries. This initiative hinges its activities on national poverty reduction strategies, and seeks to provide support towards the development of pro-poor and innovative approaches to support the implementation of climate change policies and strategies at the local level.
Urban Economy: entry point Local Economic Development
With increasing decentralization and aspiration to promote sustainable cities, local authorities will be expected to assume greater responsibilities and a more proactive role in the area of economic development and in securing livelihoods for the urban poor. SUD-Net will enhance the capacity of local authorities in the planning and implementation of local economic development initiatives. This will be realized through mainstreaming of territorial economic development approaches and instruments into urban planning and management, mainstreaming employment and income generation issues and strategies into water, sanitation, roads, energy and housing investment programmes and projects, and catalyzing knowledge networks which would enable cities and communities to tap on existing tools and practices, and access community of practice and expertise. The aim will be to stimulate the economic pillar of local development in achieving productive, liveable and inclusive cities.
Education, Training and Research: entry point Habitat Partner Universities (HPU)
The Habitat University Partnership (HPU) initiative is inspired by the acute awareness of the role of knowledge in addressing the challenges of sustainable urbanization, the promising good practices championed by some universities, and UN-HABITAT’s catalytic ability to scale up such practices by leveraging its mandate and strategic role in the international development cooperation. It aims at enlarging cooperation between UN-HABITAT and institutions of higher education, as well as facilitating exchange and cooperation between universities in developing and developed nations. UN-HABITAT works with HPUs in building the teaching and research capacity of tertiary institutions in the field of sustainable urban development. The HPU network offers a critical vehicle to make the knowledge products and resources of universities accessible to policy makers, practitioners and communities and at the same time the interaction between universities and cities inform their education programme and research agenda.
Urban Planning: entry point on Participatory Urban Planning and Management
SUD-Net will, through its component on urban planning, strive for the integration of participatory urban planning and management approaches into the urban policies and legal frameworks for human settlements development, including the provision of infrastructure and services. Key broad activities will include; the promotion of capacity building in supporting participatory planning and management; liaising with global, regional and national planning associations to promote new planning approaches; providing technical assistance to national and local governments in developing countries to prepare and implement urban plans and design using participatory methods; as well designing and undertaking innovative demonstrations on participatory methods and implementation of urban plans for local urban authorities.