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Deputy Prime Minister’s Sustainable Communities Summit Manchester February 2005

Zen and the Art of Sustainable Communities

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UNDP EGYPT and Removing Unfreedoms Design Associates
April/06The UNDP Cairo office has volunteered to explore the possibility of applying an expanded approach to development using Amartya Sen's concepts of "removing unfreedoms" and human development capabilities, to the MISR decentralised governance programme and Ismailia Slum –upgrading programme.

The objective is to re-appraise and increase the capabilities of the individual viewed as the active agent of change in the provision of services and infrastructure. Activities to include an introduction to the UNDP Staff and donors with an exploration of two communties. A second mission would set out a two day training retreat to introduce the project activities and discuss steps to implement the pilots with guidebook and tool-kit.

In this respect, the country office first invited an international consultant, Ms. Jane Samuels, the Director of the "Removing Unfreedoms" Project, initiated by the UN Adviser Romi Khosla, Michael Parkes UNHABITAT liaison office in Brussels and Michael Mutter at UK DFID with collaboration of Amartya Sen, to explore the possibility of implementing the above conceptual framework within UNDP Egypt project in February 2005.

The mission explored the possibilities and means to enable two different communities to participate and identifying the root cause obstacles they face. Further activities set out community led freedom interventions and how to document the credible human development process supported by a local NGO and UNDP volunteer and prgramme consultant. The impact will be firstly assessed in view of the increased capabilities that determine new societal arrangments in their lives, And secondly the impact on UNDP decentralised implimentation of the MDG goals to country level programmes.

The training took place in October 2005 and included over 40 experts and consultants in Egypt. After further consultation and review the final guidelines and tool kit was completed in April 2006

Within this new vision, the development objectives are the creation of instruments that will remove obstructions though a multi-objective approach that includes both the community and individual.

When implemented, the bottom up approach will identify and remove obstruction prioritised by the community --will enable citizens to expand their opportunities and increase their capabilities to assure the appropriate provision of services.

The overarching objective of human development becomes the pursuit of enabling an individual’s ever-expanding freedom. The individual is therefore viewed as an agent of change whose obstructions have to be addressed to enable him/her to use his/her full potential and lead the life he/she values. The objectives set out a process of engagement and implementation strategy for governance and test in what way participation has enhanced individuals' ability to make choices in their lives.
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Posted on 15 May 2006 by Admin

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