Urban Governance Voice and Poverty in the Developing World by Nick Devas

By Nick Devas

Poverty and governance are either matters excessive at the schedule of overseas organisations and governments within the South. With city components accounting for a progressively becoming proportion of the world's negative humans, a global workforce of researchers concentrated their awareness at the hitherto little-studied courting among city governance and concrete poverty. of their well timed and in-depth exam of ten towns in Africa, Asia and Latin the USA, they exhibit that during many nations the worldwide developments in the direction of decentralization and democratization provide new possibilities for the bad to have a power at the judgements that have an effect on them. in addition they convey how that impact is dependent upon the character of these democratic preparations and decision-making tactics on the neighborhood point, in addition to at the skill of the bad to prepare. The learn concerned interviews with key actors inside and out of doors urban governments, discussions with poverty teams, neighborhood organisations and non-governmental corporations (NGOs), in addition to analyses of knowledge on poverty, companies and finance. This publication provides insights, conclusions and useful examples which are of relevance for different towns. It outlines coverage implications for nationwide and native governments, NGOs and donor corporations, and highlights ways that negative humans can use their voice to persuade many of the associations of urban governance.

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Whether or not these have been effectively directed to addressing poverty is another matter. We will return to this point in Chapter 6. It would be naïve to assume that decentralization automatically ensures that local decision-making reflects local needs and priorities, particularly of the poor. Certainly there is greater knowledge at the local level about local conditions. But elections at any level are a crude mechanism for ascertaining priorities, so that bringing decision-making closer to citizens does not guarantee more responsive and accountable decision-making.

The difference is mainly about where the poverty line is drawn. However, there are also differences of view about whether poverty is increasing or reducing. The National Statistical Office’s Family Income and Expenditure Survey classified around 60 per cent of Cebu’s population as being ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ in 1991 (below the threshold of 60,000 pesos per year for a family of four). 5). 1 per cent over that six-year period. Colombo. The proportion of the population living below the poverty line in Colombo is estimated to have increased from 16 per cent in 1985/6 to 18 per cent in 1990/91, with the poverty gap also increasing during that period (World Bank, 1995, p7, quoted in Fernando et al, 1999, Table 3).

There are enough examples from the cities concerned to show that it is not inevitable that the position of the poor always worsens. Urban governance The term governance has been widely adopted in the discourse of international development in recent years, but with varying connotations. It is often associated with normative values, as in the term ‘good governance’ which features so heavily in the discourse of donor agencies (Leftwich, 2000; World Bank, 1997; DFID, 1997). UN-Habitat (2001b), in its Global Campaign for Urban Governance, identifies a number of norms and principles: • • • • • • • • • participation; decentralization; equity; inclusion; accountability; responsiveness to civil society; efficiency of service delivery; sustainability; security.

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