Aliyu Kawu, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Nigeria

Presentation Title: Climate change, urban management and livelihood challenges in low-income neighborhoods of developing countries



The increasing rate of urbanization in developing countries has long attracted the attention of urban managers and environmentalists across the globe. Shortages arising from limited finances for urban facilities have increased the need for efforts by resident groups such as Community Based Organizations (CBOs). Although demographic change and the accompanying negative consequences have characterized poorly served enclaves of burgeoning cities, intervening organizations have largely deemphasized peculiar self-help efforts in the increasingly diverse segments of low-income cities. This presentation explored the extent to which urban facility provision and management by ill-served urban residents has been able to tackle lingering challenges of life and livelihood in cities of the Global South.

Key Lessons Learned

  • The urban poor continue to form associations to address inadequacies in sanitation, environmental management and adequate provision of facilities.
  • CBOs have created different avenues for funding community self-help projects through different modes of self-finance; the majority of these groups receive no input or assistance from the government.
  • There are hardly any urban development projects executed by the government in full collaboration with CBOs; avenues for collaboration between CBOs and other partners in development are rarely explored.

Policy/Practice Implications of Research

  • There is a strong need for institutional reform to accommodate community organizations.
  • Policy implementation often suffers due to lack of recognition by the government to the contributions of CBOs.
  • CBOs are more effective in dealing with local issues than governments and external organizations as well as addressing climate change and other related issues
  • Community organizations should be on the boards of government ministries and local government agencies

Knowledge Gaps and Needs

  • There is the need for additional data on what constraints exist that limit collaboration of CBOs with outside organizations including sister organizations and public agencies.
  • The availability of accurate data is a complex problem and deserves further attention. The dearth of spatial data has in many instances thwarted studies of the spatial distribution of CBOs, and is further constrained by the limitations imposed by the lack of geo-referenced maps desired by donors and beneficiaries for effective intervention.
  • There is the need for further research on the localization of democratic processes and principles in leadership.
  • A study is needed to establish a process of integrating CBOs in formal urban administration and management.


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