Category Archives: Competitions

High Level Panel on the New Urban Agenda and UN-HABITAT

Eight people, who directly decided the Secretary General, António Guterres , presented the UN-Habitat Evaluation Report, which diagnoses and issues recommendations to provide the agency with the necessary tools and capacities to Effectively address the new challenges and commitments under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the New Urban Agenda (NAU). The Panel came to the consensus that UN-HABITAT has key areas of opportunity and its role is more important than ever.
With information from UN-Habitat

Urban challenges are substantial, growing and global sustainable development will be increasingly linked to what is happening in cities. Given the need to reconcile this inevitable reality within Agenda 2030, it is necessary to have an urban leader .

In this way, the Panel was urged to make bold recommendations to improve UN-HABITAT’s effectiveness, efficiency and accountability, ensuring that the Agency is prepared to address the requirements of inclusive and sustainable urban development, Which implies greater transparency, responsiveness to a rapidly changing global and urban landscape, and flexibility to seize opportunities as they arise.

To this end, the Panel responsible for this report was established to conduct an independent, objective and evidence-based review and evaluation to make recommendations for improving effectiveness, efficiency, accountability and oversight of the agency in four areas Operational mandates, governance structure, partnerships and financial capacity.

recommendations

The role of UN-HABITAT

2) Recognizing that UN-HABITAT plays a key role in addressing sustainable urbanization but faces challenges that compromise its ability to respond effectively, the Panel recommends that the first priority be to rapidly stabilize and strengthen UN-HABITAT.

(3) Considers that UN-HABITAT is the appropriate entity of the United Nations to play a promotional role around the importance of urban issues. In this way, it would assist and support Member States, United Nations agencies and other stakeholders in integrating the New Urban Agenda and urban aspects of the Sustainable Development Goals into their development operations, providing guidance And tools to strengthen urban work at the national level.

4) In complementing the role of UN-Habitat, the Panel proposes that UN-Urban be established as a coordination mechanism similar to UN-Water or UN-Energy as part of the United Nations system-wide reform, With a small secretariat based in New York.

The mandate of UN-HABITAT

(5) The Panel recommends that with ODS and NAU as guiding frameworks, UN-HABITAT’s normative role is to “leave no one behind”, a policy widely supported by human rights frameworks backed by the United Nations system . This implies promotion and supervision with Member States to ensure that urban work reflects this guide as well as guidance on the best means to achieve this goal.

(6) Further recommends that all operational work be clearly linked to policy priorities and a closer link to global strategic policy and governance oversight.

(7) The Group recommends two priority areas in this regard: attention to equity, vulnerability and exclusion in urban development and a focus on urban planning, legislation and standards that best support the equitable development priorities together With environmental sustainability and economic soundness.

😎 In particular, it is recommended that UN-Habitat provide guidance on informality as the engine of exclusion.

9) Clear project documentation is recommended to demonstrate the complementarity of normative / operational work and the interpretation of the normative / operational distinction in each project.

10) In the urban definition, the Panel calls for a conceptual change towards a more territorial approach, focusing on the metropolitan regions, including the cities, towns, outlying areas and villages they contain, and avoiding excessive simplification of the rural-urban dichotomy.

(11) The Group recommends that UN-HABITAT, in its data support role, pay particular attention to gaps in the collection and analysis of data obscuring the realities of excluded groups.

Governance

(12) The Group agrees that the current governance model suffers from systemic problems affecting accountability, efficiency and effectiveness and recommends some key changes, focusing on the need for participation of all Member States and capacity for Reflect the complexity of the urban development landscape with its multiple actors.

13) Recommends a new governance structure that includes the universal membership of the 193 Member States in a General Urban Assembly and the addition of a small Policy Board focused on providing strategic and policy advice as well as project oversight. The Policy Board would integrate input from the CPR, the Secretariat and the Executive Director, but also a committee of local and subnational authorities and a committee of urban stakeholders, both with capacity to assess and revise resolutions and provide coordinated guidance to the Policy Council . UN-Urban would also advise this Board.

(14) The Group recommends that the Urban Assembly organize its calendar and the location of its meetings to maximize the potential for overlap with both the United Nations Environment Assembly and the General Assembly.

15) UN-HABITAT should also have a greater staff presence in New York, especially high-level staff to improve coordination and closer relations with United Nations entities in New York.

16) UN-Habitat should have more staff in Nairobi, New York and regional offices, with gender parity to fulfill its mission and mandate to support Member States, subnational governments and United Nations country teams.

Associations

17) In order to have active, effective and inclusive partnerships that can contribute to the fulfillment of its inclusion mandate, the Panel recommends that UN-HABITAT explore and strengthen relations with representative organizations of local governments and civil society, as well as Strengthening partnerships with the United Nations and the Regional Economic Commissions.

18) Also urges UN-HABITAT to explore ways to encourage private sector actors to examine the unwanted negative impacts of their investments and to find ways to mitigate them.

19) Finally, it recommends institutionalizing the World Urban Forum (WUF) to help keep NAU firmly on the global agenda. It proposes that the results of the WUF be integrated into the UN-Habitat strategic plan and program of work and budget. This should be done through a report on the results of the Policy Board for its integration into the resolutions of the Urban Assembly.

Financial capability

20) The Group recommends that an urgent appeal be made to Member States to support UN-HABITAT with committed funds for several years. In addition, it recommends that UN-Habitat develop a medium-term plan and expenditure framework for four to five years.

21) In order to encourage voluntary contributions from Member States, the Group recommends that UN-HABITAT specify the percentage of core funds spent on staff and other administrative costs.

(22) In order to reinforce the priority assigned to normative work, the Panel recommends that part of the financing of specific technical cooperation be earmarked for linkage with the normative mission and firmly proposes a limit to the funds allocated from Member States Which are intended for operational work.

(23) The Group recommends that UN-HABITAT explore the benefits of grant modality, giving the organization more management flexibility and responsiveness, while allowing it to remain a part of the United Nations Secretariat.

24) In order to explore new and innovative sources of funding and increase available resources for inclusive and sustainable urbanization, the Group recommends that UN-HABITAT develop a strategy of cooperation with multilateral banks, financial institutions and private sources of funding. The potential for funding and fundraising inherent in local urban relations could also be explored.

25) Finally, the Panel recommends the creation of a Global Trust Fund to serve as a platform for alternative funding for sustainable urbanization efforts.

In order to maintain momentum for the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and reflect on the position of UN-HABITAT in this regard, the President of the UN General Assembly convened a High-level Meeting of the General Assembly On 5 and 6 September 2017 to discuss, inter alia, the Independent Panel Report of the Secretary-General to assess and improve the effectiveness of UN-HABITA

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Youth and Local Government develop Urban Real-time Innovations and Solutions

‘One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man’. –Elbert Hubbard

Elbert Hubbard died in 1915 but the quote still rings true in 2015, exactly a century later. And in light of this statement, UN-Habitat, Ericsson and Strathmore University came together in a pilot project dubbed ‘The Innovation Marketplace’ seeking to incorporate youth in developing and implementing technological solutions to solve urban challenges facing the counties. A key phase in the project was the hosting of a hackday at @iLabAfrica, a Research and Innovation Centre at Strathmore University that took place from Friday, 25 September 2015, 8AM through to Saturday the 26th, 1 PM.

The hackday sought to bring together youth passionate about technology, social change and cities through the development of ICT solutions that can be used to improve our counties and by extension, our cities. We received over a hundred applications for the hackday but we had to select the 30 most extraordinary of them.

Dr. Sevilla, Director of @iLabAFrica Research Centre gave the welcoming remarks. Marcus Nyberg, Senior Researcher at User Experience Lab, Ericsson Research gave a macro view of how ICT solutions have been used to address various urban challenges while Pontus Westerberg, the Transparency Affairs and Digital Projects Officer at UN-Habitat gave an overview of the project and introduced the participants to the challenge statements (grouped into four thematic areas) on which they would be hacking on. These were:

  • Urban basic services: How can ICT be used to enhance collaboration between county governments and youth, and utilize local capabilities to effectively provide water and sanitation services to those who lack it?
  • City Planning: How can ICT bridge these gaps, stimulate a continuous and structured interaction between county and youth, and enable more participatory planning? How can an ICT based solution be used to aid in the dissemination of spatial and urban planning information to avoid land being grabbed?
  • Local Economy: How can ICT be used as a tool to provide the youth with this information? How can ICT provide a platform to synergize collaboration between government, the private sector and youth?
  • Local Governance: How can ICT be used to help address these barriers? What kind of solution can create awareness about available opportunities and requirements necessary to meet selection criteria, while at the same time increasing transparency and reducing bureaucracy to make service delivery faster and more efficient?

In addition to the youth, five county representatives from Kiambu (the county selected to participate in the pilot project) and four mentors who used the specialty skills to guide the hackers as they developed their solutions. These were, Frank Tamre – Co founder Moringa School and UX is his expertise; Theo Dolan – Director, Peacemedia and Peacetech Lab Africa, specializing in Media and Technology; Robert Yawe, MD, Kay System Technologies with product and business strategy as his areas of expertise; and Marcus Nyberg, Senior Reseacher at User Experience Lab, Ericsson Research having UX, mobile services, research and innovation as his expertise.

After the participants were introduced to the challenge statements, they were given time to quickly think of solution ideas and pitch them. The hackers then group themselves around the ideas they believed were viable to work on. Frank Tamre took the hackers through a session of UX – problem definition and user profiling. Hackers were then taken through customer validation by Robert Yawe through the use of the Javelin Experiment Board with the hackers presenting on their finding after each session.

‘One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men’

With the hackers now having fully comprehended the context of the solutions they would be developing, hacking proper began. This went on through the night and into early Saturday morning where they were taken through developing a business model using the Lean Canvas by Robert Yawe and had a dry run of their final presentations to the mentors.

The judges: Dr. Joseph Sevilla, Robert Yawe, Judith Owigar – co-founder and Operations Director at Akirachix, Douglas Ragan – Unit Leader for Youth and Employment at the UN- Habitat, Kate Kiguru – CEO of Ukall, George Rabar – Customer Project Manager for Sub-Sahara Africa at Ericsson and a county representative from Kiambu; arrived at Strathmore ready to listen, advice, and evaluate the outcomes.

There were 8 teams which developed prototypes in the area of provision of land information. Solving the challenge of lack of dissemination of land information, mobile application that aids in data collection with analytics and visualization and Smart Reporting by citizens for Local Governance.

The winning app was Mat Q which was a web and mobile application for automating management at matatu (local bus) terminals which would both improve efficiency for the drivers and improve revenue collection. This app would solve the pen, paper and board rudimentary way of matatu management that faces many challenge of efficiency and transparency.

The winning team, MatQ
The winning team, MatQ

The last phase of this project will be incubation of Mat Q for them to further develop the solutions for the rest of the year and to be able to pilot it in Kiambu County. Concurrently, county representatives will also benefit from trainings that will increase their understanding of urban issues and acquire digital and other skills that will enable them to fully integrate the solution to their processes.

And the Winner is…#HomeIsWhereWeLive 2015

While we celebrated the International Youth Day on August 12, we went through the dozens of submissions for the “Home is Where We Live” Instagram contest 2015. And although it is clear that “home” has a different meaning to different people, one thing is shared by all: “home” represents a place of belonging.

It was a tough job to select the best, but here are the top three pictures:

By: Luciano Frontelle

Home is where you have the opportunity to connect with others around a common purpose and act to improve the place where you live. #iyd2015 One of those days where you combine your powers with superheroes in order to do your part to make your city a better place to live. #iyd2015
Home is where you have the opportunity to connect with others around a common purpose and act to improve the place where you live. #iyd2015
One of those days where you combine your powers with superheroes in order to do your part to make your city a better place to live. #iyd2015

 

By: Rohit Sharma

According to a calculation, Megacity Mumbai has just 1.1 square metres of open space per person. Compare this to London's 31.68 sqm per person or New York's 26.4 sqm per person. Globally it is worse than even the most populous city of Tokyo making Mumbai not only the densest, but also the most cramped city in the world. Mumbai has 14 sq km of open spaces (gardens, parks, recreation grounds and playgrounds) for approximately 12.5 million people. Also, according to World Bank, 54% of population of the city lives in shanties, 25-30% in chawls and on footpaths, with just 10-15% living in apartment buildings, bungalows or high rises. According to a naturalist, Sunjoy Monga, "When millions of people reside in such crammed conditions, they are being denied a fundamental right no less critical than breathing." #mumbai #india #asia #everydaymumbai #travel #indiapictures #people #_soi #ReportageSpotlight #photojournalism #IYD2015 #homeiswherewelive
According to a calculation, Megacity Mumbai has just 1.1 square metres of open space per person. Compare this to London’s 31.68 sqm per person or New York’s 26.4 sqm per person. Globally it is worse than even the most populous city of Tokyo making Mumbai not only the densest, but also the most cramped city in the world. Mumbai has 14 sq km of open spaces (gardens, parks, recreation grounds and playgrounds) for approximately 12.5 million people. Also, according to World Bank, 54% of population of the city lives in shanties, 25-30% in chawls and on footpaths, with just 10-15% living in apartment buildings, bungalows or high rises. According to a naturalist, Sunjoy Monga, “When millions of people reside in such crammed conditions, they are being denied a fundamental right no less critical than breathing.” #mumbai #india #asia #everydaymumbai #travel #indiapictures #people #_soi #ReportageSpotlight #photojournalism #IYD2015 #homeiswherewelive

 

By: Raleigh International

International Youth Day is coming up and we want to celebrate some of the positive things young people are doing. Rubi from India: “I went back to the village we worked during our @ICS_UK programme to make sure that 14 families received a government grant for new toilet facilities. I wanted to make sure it happened because the people in the community had very little formal education and I wanted to help them realise their rights. They called me “Queen of the Village!” #IYD2015 #YouthNow #Volunteer #raleighinternational #India
International Youth Day is coming up and we want to celebrate some of the positive things young people are doing. Rubi from India: “I went back to the village we worked during our @ICS_UK programme to make sure that 14 families received a government grant for new toilet facilities. I wanted to make sure it happened because the people in the community had very little formal education and I wanted to help them realise their rights. They called me “Queen of the Village!” #IYD2015 #YouthNow #Volunteer #raleighinternational #India

Well done everyone and thank you for taking part!!!

How to participate in “Home Is Where We Live” Instagram Contest?

To participate in the Home is where we live instagram contest  #IYD2015, post a picture of what Home means to you with a caption “Home is where……………” using the hash tag #IYD2015.

The winners of the contest will be announced on the International Youth Day 12 Aug  (#IYD2015) and the entries will be profiled in the UN-Habitat website.

“Home is where we live instagram contest 2015” #IYD2015.

Home Is Where We Live International Youth Day Instagram contest 2015!

Screen Shot 2013-08-08 at 3.42.23 PM

During International Youth Day, 12 August 2013 celebrations, UN-Habitat launched an Instagram Contest, dubbed “Home is Where We Live” #home #iyd2013. Young people from all over the world were encouraged to post pictures or videos of what “Home” means to them on their social media sites including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Flicker.

The response was overwhelming with stunning pictures and great captions flooding in our social media sites.

UN-Habitat is launching the second Home is Where We Live International Youth Day 2015 Instagram contest!  Upload an original high-resolution picture of your home with relevant caption on Instagram, using #IYD2015. The best entries will be featured on all our social media sites and the winners will be announced on August 12th, International Youth Day. Don’t miss out and join in!

Let us as well remind ourselves the best entries from 2013 and get that little bit of inspiration and nostalgia back:

1st place Nathasi Fadhlin

#Home is where they lived with simple family - Bundaran HI Jakarta #imacitychanger #iyd2013 home
#Home is where they lived with simple family – Bundaran HI Jakarta #imacitychanger #iyd2013 home

2nd place Khalil Sakri

Home from where we can connect #home#imacitychanger
Home from where we can connect #home#imacitychanger

3rd place Luciano Frontelle

home 3.
#home is where young people may express themselves trough music or anything else that they may want to use. #iyd2013 #imacitychanger