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Habitat II Conference                      [ Back to Habitat II ]

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IV Global Plan of Action

D. Capacity-building and institutional development

4. Human settlements management

183. Local authorities and others involved in human settlements management need to draw on the skills and resources of a diversity of people and institutions at many levels. The scarcity of suitably qualified personnel and the weakness of institutional systems and technical capacity are among the main obstacles to the improvement of human settlements in many countries, particularly in developing countries. Capacity-building and institutional development strategies must form an integral part of human settlements development policies at the national and local levels. In addition, the use of new skills, know-how and technology in all aspects of human settlements planning and management will be necessary. In countries where changes in human settlements patterns are rapid, resulting in socio-economic and environmental challenges, there is a need for Governments and the international community to ensure effective and efficient development and transfer of leadership skills, planning and management expertise, know-how and technology.


184. To facilitate capacity-building and institutional development for the improvement of human settlements planning and management, Governments at the appropriate levels, including local authorities and their associations, should:

(a) Support training programmes for administrators and civic officials at all levels, and for all other key actors, as appropriate, to enhance leadership qualities and promote the inclusion of women and young people in staff structures and decision-making;

(b) Consider establishing private-public, community sector, business and economic forums to exchange management know-how and experience;

(c) Promote comprehensive training, education and human resources development policies and programmes that are gender-sensitive and involve local authorities and their associations/networks, as well as academic, research, training and educational institutions, community-based organizations and the private sector, focusing on:

(i) The development of a multisectoral approach to human settlements development that includes the unique contributions and institutions of indigenous and immigrant people;

(ii) The training of trainers to develop a core capacity for institution-strengthening and capacity-building that includes gender awareness and the needs of children, youth and the elderly as integral components;

(iii) The development of local capacity to define needs and undertake or commission applied research, particularly with regard to age and gender-sensitive analysis, social and environmental impact assessments, shelter strategy formulation, local economic growth and job creation, and to incorporate the findings in management systems;

(d) Develop information systems for networking, for accessing resources in a timely manner and for the exchange, transfer and sharing of experience, expertise, know-how and technology in human settlements development;

(e) When appropriate, encourage, within the context of transparency and accountability, as appropriate, the involvement of private-sector authorities, including non-governmental organizations, in improving public-sector management and administration and the formation of entities that are public in their function, private in their management and public-privately funded;

(f) Consider developing mediation programmes to resolve conflicts, including those between competing actors over access to and distribution and use of resources in human settlements and train civil society in their use;

(g) Be encouraged to increase their knowledge about the eco-cycles involving their cities so as to prevent environmental damage;

(h) Integrate gender-sensitive policies and standards in each of the categories above, if not already specifically indicated.

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