Localising the Habitat Agenda for Urban Poverty Reduction by 0N4nG1Kh

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									Report on Inception Phase – March 2002                                     Executive Summary
DFID Research project R7963                    Localising the Habitat Agenda for Urban Poverty Reduction



Executive Summary


1. The research
‘Localising the Habitat Agenda for Urban Poverty Reduction’ is a major 3-year research
programme funded by the UK Government’s Department for International Development,
under the Urbanisation Knowledge and Research theme. It is lead by a team at the Max
Lock Centre at the University of Westminster in London, in partnership with the Water,
Engineering and Development Centre, University of Loughborough and other partners in
London, Nairobi, Delhi and Recife. This paper summarises the findings of the Inception
Phase from April 2001 until March 2002.
2. Background and overall research objectives
In 1996, the national governments represented in the United Nations, together with
many NGOs, international and local government organisations, came together at the
Habitat II Conference in Istanbul to agree the Istanbul Declaration on Human
Settlements and Habitat Agenda. The Habitat Agenda sets out goals, principles and
commitments and a Global Plan of Action for achieving 'adequate shelter for all' and
'sustainable human settlements in an urbanising world'.
In June 2001, Habitat Agenda partners attended a Special Session of the United Nations
General Assembly in New York to discuss and appraise the first five years of the
implementation of the Habitat Agenda ('Istanbul+5').
, This research project builds on the efforts that went into the recent five-year appraisal
by asking, ‘can the Habitat Agenda, as the internationally agreed policy framework for
human settlements, usefully serve the purpose of urban poverty reduction?’In doing so it
aims to facilitate the improved implementation of the Habitat Agenda. The outputs of this
paper will include policy recommendations and a toolkit of guidelines, indicators and
good practice case studies and methodologies directed at governments, local
governments and other Habitat Agenda partners.
The research also aims to inform various UN Human Settlements Programme activities.
In particular, the work of the new Urban Forum that incorporates the International Forum
on Urban Poverty; the Global Campaign for Urban Governance; the Best Practice and
Local Leadership Programme; and the Global Urban Observatory and Urban Indicators
Programme. These initiatives have an important role in supporting local efforts to
implement the Habitat Agenda.
It is already clear from the research in the Inception Phase that a much wider awareness
of and active involvement in the implementation of the Habitat Agenda is necessary
everywhere. Particularly on the part of civil society and local government, if it is to have
any meaning beyond its ‘advisory’ nature and the formalities of a five year reporting
process by national governments in the UN General Assembly. Without pressure from
civil society for governments to respond to their commitments and/or without major
Max Lock Centre, University of Westminster                                                             i
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Report on Inception Phase – March 2002                                        Executive Summary
DFID Research project R7963                       Localising the Habitat Agenda for Urban Poverty Reduction



financial incentives or sanctions that would put the Habitat Agenda on a par with local
political and budgetary imperatives, its impact is likely to remain marginal.
3. Research hypotheses
This research project has been divided into two phases:
-        an Inception Phase (now completed) and
-        a Main Phase.
Research has been based on investigating two hypotheses and a related series of
research questions:
Hypothesis 1 relating to the current role of the Habitat Agenda as a policy tool:
The Habitat Agenda is being little used as a policy tool for sustainable urban
development and for urban poverty reduction by national and local governments. The
impact of the ‘best practice’ approach has been limited, particularly in relation to
transference and evaluation.
Hypothesis 2 relating to enhancing the role of the Habitat Agenda as a policy tool:
The Habitat Agenda forms a useful, globally agreed protocol and set of commitments.
This can provide a practical (and political) basis for:
a) improving urban governance, and
b) sharing good practice, specifically in urban poverty reduction.
The first hypothesis addresses the situation with regard to the role of the Habitat Agenda
as it currently exists. This hypothesis has been addressed in the Inception Phase,
particularly using the country case studies. The research findings from this stage
suggest that this work needs to be extended into the Main Phase.
The second hypothesis relates to the future role of the Habitat Agenda. Building on the
work of the Inception Phase, it is proposed that this question should be addressed in the
Main Phase of the research.
4. The independent role of the research team and proposed
   collaboration/co-ordination
As independent researchers, the team carrying out this research was able to explore
points of view at the sub-national level which can highlight aspects of the Habitat
Agenda process that are not apparent from official reports or that national government
officials may be unaware of. Operating outside the local Habitat Agenda process meant
that it was possible for researchers to draw on – and refer across – the full range of
viewpoints, including NGOs, local government and research institutes, in reaching a
more considered perspective on this process.
In this respect the research team could also carry out work that it would not be possible
for the Habitat Centre (UN-Habitat) to do. Although UN-Habitat is mandated to collect
and disseminate knowledge in support of the Habitat Agenda implementation process, it
Max Lock Centre, University of Westminster                                                               ii
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Report on Inception Phase – March 2002                                          Executive Summary
DFID Research project R7963                         Localising the Habitat Agenda for Urban Poverty Reduction



is only able to do this through the member state governments themselves, even where it
is acting at a more local level.
This was particularly important during the Inception Phase, with its more critical review of
the Habitat Agenda process in the case study countries. While it is anticipated that this
work will continue (both in greater depth and in greater breadth) in the Main Phase of the
research, this phase will be more action and output-orientated. It is necessary, therefore,
at the outset, to design and execute this phase of the research with the active
involvement of key Habitat Agenda partners, such as UN-Habitat (both in Nairobi and in
the regional offices) and WACLAC (World Association of Cities and Local Authorities Co-
ordination).
An important aspect of this proposed collaboration will be to co-ordinate the research
activities with key Habitat-related events such as international workshops and
conferences that can serve as milestones and major points of dissemination and
networking. On this basis, it is proposed to carry out the initial briefing workshop for the
Main Phase research as a parallel event at the UN-Habitat Urban Forum in Nairobi at
the end of April. We will invite the participation of Habitat officials concerned with
governance, poverty, best practice and urban indicators as well as representatives of
case study countries attending the conference.
A second milestone will be World Habitat Day in October. This year it will be held in
Brussels and the aim would be to provide key inputs in terms of relating the Habitat
Agenda to global poverty reduction.
5. Inception Phase: objectives and methodology
The Inception Phase had three broad objectives:
         1. To review the impact of the Habitat Agenda as a policy tool, particularly in
            relation to urban poverty issues;
         2. To explore the requirements for the sharing of experience of effective practice in
            local development for urban poverty reduction, both directly and through its
            incorporation in policy.
         3. To set out a methodology and programme of work for the subsequent phases of
            the research, building on the findings of (1) and (2).
The basic methodology adopted in the Inception Phase was to explore the Habitat
Agenda process and its relationship to urban poverty reduction in four countries - Brazil,
Kenya, India and Spain - through a combination of a review of their National Reports to
Istanbul+5 and other relevant policy documents and sources and semi-structured
interviews with key actors in the reporting process.
Although this was a small sample (over 90 countries out of a total of over 170 signatories
to the Habitat Agenda reported to Istanbul+5), it represented a range of socio-economic,
(low, middle and high-income countries) geographical and cultural conditions. The

Max Lock Centre, University of Westminster                                                                iii
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Report on Inception Phase – March 2002                                                      Executive Summary
DFID Research project R7963                                    Localising the Habitat Agenda for Urban Poverty Reduction



countries were selected on the basis of preliminary discussions with UN-Habitat and
where there was some indication that national governments had taken a proactive
stance with regard to the Habitat Agenda. (It was on this basis that Spain was added to
the original list of developing world case study countries, and subsequent research
proved this was an important model to be explored)
The country-level studies were supplemented by a general literature review of relevant
Habitat-related documentation, a background urban poverty literature review, a
methodological study of urban poverty and livelihoods, and peer review of an interim
discussion document conducted through the web site set up to host the research project
(www.citypoverty.net).1
6. Inception Phase: research questions
The research questions addressed in the Inception Phase case studies included:
         1. What was the process for producing the national report to Istanbul+5? Was a
            national committee formed for the process (or did one already exist)? Which
            Habitat Agenda partners were involved and what contribution did they make?
         2. How did this process reflect the broader urban governance process and
            relationships within the country concerned? Is there any evidence the Habitat
            Agenda could be used to improve this process?
         3. What is the nature of urban poverty within the country? What policies and
            practices are addressing urban poverty reduction and how are these reflected in
            the national report?
         4. Is there any evidence that government policies were influenced by the Habitat
            Agenda or were policies generated in response to local political imperatives
            merely reported under the appropriate Habitat Agenda heading?
         5. Is there any evidence of the use of the Habitat Agenda by other partners to
            influence local or national policies and legislation as it relates to urban
            governance or urban poverty reduction?
         6. Did the national report follow the format suggested by the UN in its official
            reporting guidelines and what use was made of indicators?
         7. What is the process of establishing best practices and how is this reported upon?
            What are the problems identified with the best practice approach?
7. Findings of the inception phase and implications for the main phase
The Inception Phase studies confirm that use of the Habitat Agenda as a policy tool for
sustainable urban development and urban poverty reduction, has been limited in the
sample of countries examined2. It is also noted that only 60% of the governments that
were signatories at Istanbul managed to report in time for Istanbul+5.

1
 This is co-hosted with a GHK research project looking at poverty aspects of the city Development Strategies programme
of the UN Habitat-World Bank Cities Alliance initiative.
2
  Specific findings of the country-level studies are briefly summarised in the Summary of the Discussion Paper on the
citypoverty web site

Max Lock Centre, University of Westminster                                                                              iv
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Report on Inception Phase – March 2002                                    Executive Summary
DFID Research project R7963                   Localising the Habitat Agenda for Urban Poverty Reduction



In the small sample of countries examined in the Inception Phase of this research, there
was considerable variation in the response to the Habitat Agenda. There is evidence that
the Agenda has had some impact in influencing national policies and legislation in some
countries. Spain, for example, has achieved relative success by means of a coherent
and regularly convened Habitat national committee that wrote the national report and co-
ordinated a successful national Habitat Best Practices competition. In Spain efforts have
been focused on two regions but other regions are now becoming more aware of the
benefits of the Habitat agenda process.
There is evidence that the use of the Habitat Agenda to influence local policies and
practices amongst the NGO and local government sector may be greater than appears
evident from examination of the official national documents. In Brazil, civil society has
drawn on the Habitat Agenda commitments to add pressure for important national urban
governance-related legislation. In Kenya, the presence and locally focused activities of
the Habitat Centre helped to promote a greater Habitat Agenda sensitivity than would
probably have otherwise been the case, although the general weakness of local
government is still a major hurdle.
In India, the main problem stems from the lack of a cohesive and representative national
Habitat committee. This is reflected for example, in the failure of the national report to
pick up on the recognised cases of best practice resulting from the programme
organised by the Human Settlements Management Institute (itself part of an arm of
government – the Housing and Urban Development Corporation).
Despite growing urban poverty in Kenya, there is no national policy on urban
development. Nor do other national policies, that could impact on urban poverty, address
this issue. There is little evidence of localisation of relevant national policy in this
environment dominated by ad-hoc and locally driven project-based responses,. India has
more clearly defined urban poverty policies and programmes but the impact is limited
because of the relatively low priority given to urban poverty by the Government of India.
Rural poverty reduction, by contrast, commands significant government resources.
In all the developing countries studied, there appears to be a lack of understanding of
the causes of urban poverty and there is a huge gap between national level policies and
what is happening at the local level.
The research initially focused on the knowledge sharing aspect of the Habitat Agenda
and, in particular, on the Best Practice approach as promoted by the UN-Habitat. Best
Practices has had some positive impacts, particularly where it has been adopted as the
main focus of the Habitat Agenda process (as in Spain, and to a lesser degree Brazil).
However, major problems exist with issues around evaluation and transference or
replication of such projects.
Moreover, the findings of the Inception Phase studies suggest that, if the Habitat Agenda
is really to serve a practical purpose at the sub-national level, the balance of our
research should shift in emphasis. In particular, it should move from the relationship
Max Lock Centre, University of Westminster                                                           v
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Report on Inception Phase – March 2002                                          Executive Summary
DFID Research project R7963                         Localising the Habitat Agenda for Urban Poverty Reduction



between good and best practice and urban poverty reduction at the local level to a wider
concern with the larger issues of urban governance. A strengthened role for civil society
and local government is essential if the Habitat Agenda is to perform its role in helping to
reduce urban poverty.
The country studies suggest a better understanding of the process of urban governance
and the role of the actors at the different levels is needed and that the Habitat Agenda
could serve as a focus for improving networking, communication and knowledge sharing
in urban governance and poverty reduction. The particular governance issues, of course,
vary greatly according to the location, but all case studies investigated in this Inception
Phase displayed some difficulties in the links between different Habitat Agenda partners.
In broad terms, the findings in relation to hypothesis 1 suggest that the Main Phase of
the research should involve some or all of the following elements:
         1. Further research into the systems of urban governance in the case study
            countries, including modelling the relationships involved and workshop-based
            action research to explore methods of strengthening the position of the weakest
            partners and weak links between Habitat Agenda partners. UN-Habitat are keen
            to see national Habitat committees institutionalised (as with the Habitat Platform
            in the Netherlands). The next phase of the research should explore this and other
            ‘good practices’ in formalising and perpetuating the Habitat Agenda process (e.g.
            local Habitat committees in Turkey). However, while achieving continuity in the
            Habitat process is critical, our research suggests that a focus on sub-national
            governance issues would give a local relevance beyond the formalities of the
            Habitat Agenda reporting process.
         2. Increasing the number of case study countries to give a broader sample. A
            number of possibilities have been identified using the existing regional research
            teams; suggestions include Indonesia, Bangladesh, Sudan, Ethiopia, Mexico and
            Argentina. Use of poverty-related criteria and the preliminary analysis of the
            national reports to identify good practice will guide the selection process – see 3).
         3. Developing the Inception Phase databases on national urban poverty
            characteristics and national reporting to Istanbul+5 and reviewing of the
            state of play of decentralisation globally to establish a typology of urban
            governance and poverty situations to guide local Habitat Agenda strategies.
         4. Identifying more detailed case studies of the use of the Habitat Agenda by
            civil society in exerting pressure for progressive policies and legislation in the
            area of urban governance and urban poverty reduction. Case studies have been
            identified in Brazil and Kenya – others to be identified through review of national
            reports and discussions with UN-Habitat.
         5. Reviewing the Local Agenda 21 experience and the role of ICLEI
            (International Council for Local Environment Initiatives).
         6. Exploring models for improving the transfer of good and best practice in
            urban poverty reduction locally that will be co-ordinated with UN-Habitat. The
Max Lock Centre, University of Westminster                                                                vi
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Report on Inception Phase – March 2002                                              Executive Summary
DFID Research project R7963                             Localising the Habitat Agenda for Urban Poverty Reduction



            proposed collaboration between UN-Habitat Latin America Regional Office and
            the Federal government in setting up a Reference Centre for Best Practices
            programme looking to be proactive in transferring good practice in Brazil could
            provide a useful case study. Exploring models of exchanging knowledge of good
            and best practice on a regional and international level through collaborative work
            with UN-Habitat and WACLAC in Nairobi and the regional networks in Latin
            America, Africa and/or Asia as case studies. Developing the methodology for
            determining impacts on urban poverty; looking at the issue of monitoring and
            relationship to indicators.
         7. Examining the broader role of international development co-operation,
            urban indicators and issues of evaluation and monitoring. Are there any
            options for moving the Habitat Agenda beyond its current advisory character to
            an association with particular incentives or sanctions? More generally, what is
            the role of voluntary international agreements of this kind and its relationship to
            human rights and international law? Where does the issue of the Right to
            Adequate Housing fit in?
         8. Examining efforts that have been made to prioritise the Habitat Agenda.
            Can there be further fine-tuning of the Habitat Agenda Commitments drawing on
            the UN Millennium Declaration and 2001 Cities Declaration? Would this provide a
            better basis for measuring the impact of the implementation of the Habitat
            Agenda on urban poverty reduction through a multi-dimensional, livelihoods
            based approach? How can these strategic efforts be broadened to include other
            stakeholders?
8. Main Phase: research objectives
The objectives of the Main Phase of the research include:
                 To follow up on the issues raised in the Inception Phase for further in-depth and
                  action-based research in the case study countries
                 To widen the scope of the study to include a broader range of case studies
                  identifying good practice in implementing the Habitat Agenda for urban poverty
                  reduction
                 To work with partners including UN-Habitat and WACLAC together with
                  government and civil society representatives in case study countries in
                  developing and actively disseminating good practice in implementing the Habitat
                  Agenda for urban poverty reduction
                 To input into the development of mechanisms for monitoring and evaluating the
                  use of the Habitat Agenda as a tool for urban poverty reduction building on the
                  livelihoods approach developed in the research
                 To develop and disseminate guidelines for the implementation of the Habitat
                  Agenda for urban poverty reduction.



Max Lock Centre, University of Westminster                                                                    vii
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Report on Inception Phase – March 2002                                          Executive Summary
DFID Research project R7963                         Localising the Habitat Agenda for Urban Poverty Reduction



9. Main Phase: research questions
As a consequence of the findings of the Inception Phase, the following revised research
questions are being considered for the Main Phase case study work. They fall into four
broad areas:
         1. Use of the Habitat Agenda by civil society: How has the Habitat Agenda been
            used to add pressure ‘from below’ by civil society for progressive policies and
            legislation in the area of urban governance and urban poverty reduction? What
            lessons can be learned and generalised guidance given?
         2. Use of the Habitat Agenda as a framework for improving urban
            governance: How can the Habitat Agenda be better used as a framework for
            improving urban governance through facilitating communication and networking
            between and among the different Habitat Agenda partners? What are the
            relationships between the different partners at the different levels of governance
            in case study countries? How can the weak links be addressed? What are the
            specific roles of national and local governments, civil society, the private sector,
            local government federations and international associations of local governments
            and UN-Habitat in this process? How can these be improved? How can guidance
            be generalised?
         3. Identification of good practice in the implementation of the Habitat Agenda:
            What instruments have been used in different contexts to support the
            implementation of the Habitat Agenda (in particular those originated locally) in the
            processes of dissemination, monitoring and evaluation. What can be learned
            from LA 21?
         4. Use of the good and best practice mechanisms, specifically to aid urban
            poverty reduction: How can the Habitat Agenda be better used as a framework
            for sharing best practice generally, and in urban poverty reduction specifically?
            What mechanisms beyond national competitions, the Dubai Best Practice
            competition and the Best Practices database are necessary to ensure that
            principles are identified, lessons are shared and good practice transferred?
         5. The role of international development co-operation: How can international
            development co-operation be more specifically linked to the implementation of
            the Habitat Agenda? What are the implications for achieving international
            development goals of the 2001 UN Declaration on Cities and other Human
            Settlements in the New Millennium? Can the Habitat Agenda commitments be
            linked to the more specific commitments of the Millennium Declaration? Can the
            Millennium Development goals be reinterpreted in terms of local development?
            What are the implications for urban indicators, for reporting on progress on
            implementation of the Habitat Agenda and on guidance to donor and recipient
            governments?




Max Lock Centre, University of Westminster                                                               viii
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Report on Inception Phase – March 2002                                              Executive Summary
DFID Research project R7963                             Localising the Habitat Agenda for Urban Poverty Reduction



10. Main Phase: methodology
The proposed methodology as it relates to the research questions previously outlined
would involve:
Use of the Habitat Agenda as a framework for improving urban governance: national
case studies: modelling of relationships; national and regional workshops to improve
networking; semi-structured interviews and questionnaire-based surveys of key
respondents; surveys of good practice in the Habitat Agenda process; literature reviews
(with WACLAC and UN-Habitat).
Development of databases on national urban poverty characteristics and national
reporting to Istanbul+5 and global review of decentralisation: literature reviews;
questionnaire surveys (with WACLAC and UN-Habitat).
Use of the Habitat Agenda by civil society: local and national case studies: semi-
structured interview and questionnaire-based surveys of key respondents; literature
review (via NGO networks).
Identification of good practice in the implementation of the Habitat Agenda: case studies
of local, national and regional examples of ‘best practice’ processes and mechanisms,
including indicators and national and local Habitat committees; semi-structured interview
and questionnaire-based surveys of key respondents; literature reviews (with UN-
Habitat).
Use of the good and best practice mechanisms specifically to aid urban poverty
reduction. Case studies of local, national and regional examples of ‘best practice’
processes and mechanisms, including the application of incentives and active
networking to promote replication; semi-structured interview and questionnaire-based
surveys of key respondents; literature reviews (with UN-Habitat).
The role of international development co-operation: literature review and background
paper; semi-structured interview and questionnaire-based surveys of key respondents;
Conceptual framework and evaluation criteria:
                 Key Habitat Agenda-related commitments that relate to a series of poverty
                  reduction issues such as sanitation and water supply, homelessness and forced
                  evictions in housing. A methodology can then be developed in these examples
                  that addresses the assets and livelihood strategies of poor people in urban areas
                  and the multiple dimensions of urban poverty.
                 Development of the methodology for improving networking and communications,
                  including better management of networks; development of mechanisms for
                  improving the sharing of experience-based knowledge.
Communication and dissemination strategy:
                 The research will be action-based, with continuous use of local and regional
                  workshops and inputs into international Habitat-related events. Generalised
Max Lock Centre, University of Westminster                                                                    ix
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Report on Inception Phase – March 2002                                             Executive Summary
DFID Research project R7963                            Localising the Habitat Agenda for Urban Poverty Reduction



                  outputs in the form of guidelines will be disseminated through UN-Habitat
                  channels and other DFID-related and international networks. The citypoverty
                  website will be further developed as a resource and more closely linked to
                  associated sites.
11. Conclusion and summary of issues
The way that the Habitat Agenda has been framed addresses the action of the full range
of participants, from local communities to international agencies, taking in NGOs, the
private sector and all levels of government. It is clear from the work done so far in this
research that this inclusiveness is both a strength and a weakness. In practice the
means of co-ordinating this activity does not exist. Although the UN-Habitat has made a
brave effort to do so, other mechanisms at the international, regional, national, sub-
national and local levels need to be developed. Only then can the Habitat Agenda play
its intended role as a standard for internationally agreed commitments on affordable and
sustainable human habitat for all.
The studies conducted thus far confirm our first hypothesis: that the Habitat Agenda is
insufficiently used as a policy tool for sustainable urban development and urban poverty
reduction. There is evidence that the Agenda has had an impact in influencing some
national policies. Awareness amongst the NGO and local government sectors is
certainly greater than appears evident from examination of ‘official’ documents like the
National Reports presented at Istanbul+5.
Localisation of the Habitat Agenda process, in general, is patchy, but in the small sample
of countries we have examined in the Inception Phase, there are examples of good
practice that can be built on. There is encouraging evidence of a growing awareness of
the usefulness of the Habitat Agenda. The next stage of the research should aim to
clarify this.
Our second hypothesis focussed on governance processes, knowledge sharing and the
sharing of the experience of practice. The Best Practice approach has had some positive
impacts, particularly where it has been adopted as the main focus of the Habitat Agenda
process (for example in Spain, and, to an increasing degree, in Brazil). However, real
problems exist with issues around evaluation and transference or replication. Further
research will address these issues, both at the local and regional levels.
The country studies carried out in this Inception Phase have raised a number of
questions around the implementation of the Habitat Agenda. The Habitat Agenda, more
than any other, addresses that range of factors that contribute to urban poverty but can it
be used more proactively to achieve greater recognition of the scale and complexity of
urban poverty? The studies all suggest that we need a better understanding of the
process of urban governance, the role of the participants at the different levels and the
role of macro-micro links. At what level, national, intermediate or local is the Habitat
Agenda having the greatest policy impact? In particular the following questions need to
be addressed
Max Lock Centre, University of Westminster                                                                    x
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Report on Inception Phase – March 2002                                          Executive Summary
DFID Research project R7963                         Localising the Habitat Agenda for Urban Poverty Reduction




At all levels:
        What can be done to make the Habitat Agenda more country or locally specific and
         relevant?
        What mechanisms and channels are necessary to achieve better communications
         and more evenly-balanced, inclusive relationships between all the Habitat Agenda
         partners (most importantly those at the local level)?
        What mechanisms and channels, both official and un-official, are most effective in
         promoting and monitoring the implementation of the Habitat Agenda commitments at
         all levels?
        How has the Best Practice initiative promoted the adoption of the commitments of
         the Agenda, particularly in relation to poverty reduction and how can it be made more
         effective?
At the national and intermediate (State/Provincial) levels:
        What should be the role of higher levels of government in facilitating the localisation
         of the Habitat Agenda in the context of growing decentralisation?
        What have been the main obstacles to translating the Habitat Agenda from a national
         commitment to inform selected national policies?
        How can the commitments in the Agenda be integrated at a local level where
         responsibilities in higher levels of government are divided both across sector-based
         ministries as well as between national and state/intermediate governments?
At the local level:
        How can the internationally agreed Agenda commitments inform local, participatory
         urban governance and development so as to promote effective poverty reduction
         measures?
        What is the role of the Habitat Agenda as a policy framework for poverty reduction at
         a local level where urban poverty is widespread and there is limited local government
         capacity? What part can NGOs and CBOs play?
        What determines the ‘readiness’ of a city or town to successfully adopt the Agenda?
        What are the most effective approaches for improving the ‘readiness’ of local
         government and civil society organisations for the implementation of the Agenda?
        How has the Best Practice initiative promoted the implementation of the
         commitments of the Agenda in local policies and initiatives, particularly in relation to
         poverty reduction?
        In practice, has the lack of meaningful indictors inhibited wider local use of the
         Agenda?
        What are the most relevant indicators at a local level for judging the effectiveness of
         particular policies and initiatives including Best Practice?



Max Lock Centre, University of Westminster                                                                xi
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