Engaging with the urban poor and their organizations for poverty reduction and urban governance. An issues paper for the United Nations Development Programme



There is a hugely important poverty reduction process in urban areas that is rarely noticed by international agencies and hardly ever documented – the successes of particular urban poor groups in what they do and in how they negotiate change in their relationship with local government agencies. A proportion of these successes have proved to be catalysts for change that get larger impacts. Many urban poor groups have undertaken initiatives as ways to show local government their capabilities.

This paper is primarily about the initiatives of organizations formed by the urban poor themselves and the potential these have as partners for UNDP offices. This includes the work of grassroots organizations formed around savings groups, mostly managed by women and in which most savers are women. This paper has a particular interest in how the scale and scope of what they do and what they can influence has been increased by the city-wide and national federations that they have formed, and the local NGOs that support them.

Share |