. Community Development Programme (CDP) of UNCHS (Habitat)
CDP Summary Profile
UN Logo
Top Introduction Objectives Habitat_Agenda Gender Twelve_Lessons
Current_Achievements Organization Example Contact_Persons Bottom
Community Development Programme (CDP):  Next, Back or Top
 The international community faces a major challenge to reduce poverty and search for alternative solutions to improve the conditions of people living in deteriorating cities, towns and villages. The Community Development Programme (CDP) breaks with conventional approaches by strengthening community management in human settlement improvements, targeting communities and governments (local and central) with training and operational pilot projects in select countries in Africa, Latin America, and South Asia.

Currently, the programme has operational activities in more than 45 communities, municipalities and rural districts. Programme activities build upon the activities of women's groups, community-based organizations and people's movements as the primary stakeholders of community development. It is providing practical management and technical skills as well as opportunities for collaboration with other (secondary) stakeholders in the human settlements sector. CDP educates public authorities about the importance of community participation and assists governments to formulate policies which place end-users of local development at the centre of the planning process. Collaborating with local initiatives and public authorities in this way, CDP facilitates cooperative working partnerships in which governments enable communities to manage improvements that better the working and living environment of the poor.

CDP Objectives:  Next, Back or Top

CDP and the Habitat Agenda:  Next, Back or Top
 The development and promotion of participatory sustainable human settlements development is recognized in the Habitat Agenda, which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1996. Specifically, the CDP work refers to Chapter III, COMMITMENTS, "Sustainable Human Settlements" and "Enablement and Participation." In Chapter IV, GLOBAL PLAN OF ACTION, furthermore, it refers to "Sustainable Human Settlements Development in an Urbanizing World," especially the section on "Social Development" and to "Capacity-Building and Institutional Development," particularly sections on "Decentralization and Strengthening of Local Authorities, as well as "Popular Participation and Civic Engagement."

CDP and Gender:  Next, Back or Top
 The Programme recognizes the different needs of women and men. It targets capacity building on gender awareness and planning towards women and men at community level as well as within (especially) the operational level of municipalities and local governments.

Twelve Lessons  Next, Back or Top

Twelve Lessons on Participatory Community Development: 

  1. Communities have a right to participate in decisions that affect their living and working conditions.
  2. Only participation with decision-making power is sustainable and creative.
  3. Genuine participation requires community involvement in all phases of city, town and village improvements: planning, implementation, maintenance and monitoring. 
  4. Participation must build on gender equality and include youth and the elderly. 
  5. Capacity building is essential to promote equitable participation between women, men and youth. 
  6. Communities do have a hidden resource for participating in city, town and village development-capacity building can release this resource. 
  7. Communities are prime stakeholders among development actors to identify problems, improve and maintain their settlements. 
  8. Awareness and capacity building can make partnerships among communities, NGOs and municipal more equitable. 
  9. Community development which is planned by external persons and only requires communities' free labour, is unlikely to be accepted by communities at large. 
  10. Planning of participation is one of the most frequently overlooked elements of community development. 
  11. Charity makes communities dependent upon aid. 
  12. Community development is an essential contribution to overall urban management. 

Current CDP Achievements:  Next, Back or Top
  1. Physical improvements:

  2. Community-based sewerage and solid waste management, primary schools, piped water systems, street lighting, drainage, neighbourhood roads and stair ways, community centres.
  3. Management Capacity and Human Development:
  4. Mobilization of Local Financial Resources:
  5. Income Generation:
  6. Enabling Policies and Strategies:

CDP Organization:  Next, Back or Top
 The Programme is managed and implemented under the UNCHS (Habitat) Research and Development Division (RDD). It has the following main components:
  1. CDP Global Programme Management and Support:

  2. Global management and coordination, policy and strategy, research programme and coordination, technical backstopping, monitoring and evaluation.
  3. CDP Sub-Regional Programmes:
  4. CDP Country Projects:
  5. CDP Development Partners and Funding Partners:

  6. Community Development Programme is mostly working within National Poverty and Decentralization Programmes in the countries of operation. Currently the Programme works with:
  7. CDP Collaboration within UNCHS (Habitat):

Example  Next, Back or Top
Community Management in Practice; An Example from Costa Rica: 
The murder of young gang leader, Jonathan Delgado, created an unexpected dialogue for organized improvements in Rincon Grande de Pava, an overcrowded settlement with 40,000 inhabitants in peri-urban San Jose, Costa Rica. Beating of wives and children, gang rivalry and sexual abuse against minors is the order of the day in the settlement which has few, if any, services or places to breathe or relax. Violence is the solution to many people faced with poverty, drugs and exclusion from the society.
The death of Jonathan opened the way for a dialogue with 200 gang-members and the people from the settlement. Project staff sensitized residents to organize themselves towards the development of a society with services and amenities, to start a process of integration into the mainstream society and ultimately to find a way out of poverty. 
Project staff today coordinate an inter-institutional team that works with the communities to rehabilitate the physical infrastructure and create a social space for living in dignity and safety. "We want to build capacity and give decision-making power to people so they can take responsibility for their settlement's improvement and maintenance", says Maria Ester Vargas, area coordinator. During the six months of preparations, nearly US$900,000 was mobilized from public and private institutions in San Jose. 
The Project has worked to strengthen existing institutional and community capacity for democratic and effective community development. The inter-institutional team today works together with community leaders to design and implement integrated area plans for the eight sectors of the settlement. Plans jointly consider physical improvements, social integration and economic opportunities. Women, men and youth now work together to manage solid waste, remove garbage, establish community services, support income generation activities, etc. A few months ago, communities planted trees and placed benches at the only public space in Rincon Grandes de Pavas, which has been named after Jonathan Delgado. 

Community Development Programme Contact Persons:  Next, Back or Top
Gert Ludeking , Programme Coordinator, UNCHS (Habitat) 
Phone: 254-2-623110 
Fax: 254-2-624265 
. Chris Williams, Research Coordinator, 
UNCHS (Habitat) 
Phone: 254-2-623110 
Fax: 254-2-624265 
. .
Marcellus Chegge, Programme Management Officer, UNCHS (Habitat) 
Phone: 254-2-623116 
Fax: 254-2-624265 
Gita Dave, Administrative Assistant 
UNCHS (Habitat) 
Phone: 254-2-623120 
Fax: 254-2-624265 
. .
Felisa Cuevas, National Project Director, Community Management Project, Costa Rica 
Phone: 506-2-332089 / 552774 
Fax: 506-2-551976/579029 
Hiram Quiroga, Chief Technical Adviser, Community Management Project and Andean Region Resource Facility 
Phone: 593-2-562773 
. .
Adolphine Asimah, National Project Director, Community Management Project, Ghana 
Phone: 233-21-234902/780363 
Fax: 233-21-667911/234902 
Phil Bartle, InterNet Data Provider, 
Community Management Programme, 
Pro Bono 
Victoria, BC, Canada 
Phone: 1-250-727 9214 
. .
Erik Vittrup Christensen, Coordinator, 
Central American Resource Facility 
Phone: 506-2 -332089 / 552774 
Fax: 506-2-579029 
Robert Kapopo, Regional Coordinator, East African Resource Facility 
Phone: 254-2 -623461 
Fax: 254-2- 623658
. .
Jan Meeuwissen, Coordinator, 
CDP Asia 
Phone: 254-2-623121 
Fax: 254-2-624265 
Peter Swan, Sub-Regional Coordinator, 
Phone: 662- 288-1604 
Fax: 662- 288-1097

Bottom of Page:
Disclaimer:The above document expresses the views of the authors only, and is not necessarily the official executive policy of the UN, SCN, CDS, any NGO or any ministry that implements community development projects.
Permission is granted to copy some parts or all of this document, so long as the source is identified. 
This site is hosted through Community Development Society (CDS) by Seattle Community Network (SCN)
Correspond with us. Archival Document

Link to:  -- Fact Sheet -- or -- Home Page.

Top Introduction Objectives Habitat_Agenda Gender Twelve_Lessons
Current_Achievements Organization Example Contact_Persons Bottom