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HABITAT DEBATE. 1996 Mar; 2(1):20.Zambian communities in 21 settlements have developed partnerships with District Councils and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) with the aid of the Community Development Programme. A Training Programme for Community Participation in Settlements Improvement was implemented by the government from 1984 to 1994 with the support of the UN Centre for Human Settlements (UNCHS) (Habitat). Although seed money for physical settlement improvements was not included, integrating training with the actual process of upgrading enabled the participating communities to make the improvements. The selected communities, with the support of District Council staff, produced project documents to solicit the support of NGOs. The partnerships consisted of three groups; 1) Resident Development Committees, which represented the communities; 2) NGOs; and 3) District Councils. The first group mobilized the communities in the identification of priority needs and in action planning. The second group supplied equipment and funds. The third group provided technical services and created a legal framework in the form of a memorandum of understanding, which was signed by all partners. Sustainability, maintenance, and management of services after the phasing out of NGO support were defined in the memorandum. Schools, clinics, storm-water drainage, and road improvements were some of the benefits obtained from this tripartite partnership.
Sustainable cities and local governance: lessons from a global United Nations programme. Habitat II, Second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements, Committee II Hearings from United Nations Agencies / Organizations, Istanbul 7 June 1996.
[Unpublished] 1996.  p.This paper summarizes some lessons learned about the Sustainable Cities (SCs) Program that were presented at the Second UN Conference on Human Settlements and Committee Hearings in 1996. An SC is defined as one where achievements in social, economic, and physical development are ensured to last for generations to come. SCs are protected from environmental hazards at acceptable risk levels. Social and economic development are based on SCs. SCs rely on broad-based local governance. The SCs Program is part of the larger aim of sustainable development that applies specialized knowledge of urban environmental management at local, national, regional, and global levels. The SCs Program relies on a learning-based process of data collection among partner cities. The Program is driven by local needs and opportunities. The SCs Program relies on inter-agency cooperation and is a joint UN Center for Human Settlements (UNCHS) and UN Environmental Program (UNEP) effort. Broad-based local governance means reliance on local technical and financial resources and mobilization and application of these resources from the local private, public, and community sectors. SCs Program funding has grown from $100,000 to $20 million. Funding comes from UNCHS, UNEP, UNDP, the World Bank, WHO, ILO, the Netherlands, Denmark, Canada, Italy, and France. Demonstration projects are in 20 cities around the globe and follow Agenda 21 strategies and plans. Cities include Accra, Asuncion, Concepcion, Dar es Salaam, Dakar, Guayaquil, Ibadan, Ismailia, Katowice, Madras, Shenyang, Tunis, and Wuhan. Some cities are ready to move from pilot to national replication. The aim is to include environmental management within urban development decision-making and to strengthen local capacity. City level success indicates that the SCs Program is an excellent facility for interagency collaboration.
AIDS ILLUSTRATED. 1996 Oct; 2(1):9.War and AIDS-related mortality in Uganda have created an estimated 1.2 million orphans in the country. Child welfare advocates and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) have therefore been working together for the past 4 years under an umbrella organization to coordinate efforts for vulnerable children. The Uganda Community-Based Association for Child Welfare (UCOBAC), links people and organizations involved in child advocacy, facilitates relations between the government and NGOs, and helps to strengthen the capacity of NGOs to identify and implement projects. UCOBAC emphasizes community-based initiatives which allow children to remain in their own communities instead of being institutionalized. One example of such an approach is a vocational skills training program in Rakai district established to help young orphans trying to make it on their own. More than 300 youths had benefitted from the program as of December 1994 and plans are underway to expand the program to 10 more districts. UCOBAC is also training communities and NGOs to identify and implement viable projects, and helps child welfare organizations by serving as a network for sharing information. UCOBAC came into existence in October 1990 with 93 members, including 57 local NGOs, 17 international NGOs, and 19 individual members. The organization has since established local offices in 35 of Uganda's 39 districts. UNICEF has thus far provided about US$130,000 for UCOBAC activities and will continue to fund local NGO initiatives through UCOBAC. UCOBAC, however, is giving priority to becoming financially independent of UNICEF within a couple of years. Future projects include an inventory of NGO child welfare projects, a child welfare resource library, and networking workshops with NGOs and government policymakers.
In: The progress of nations, 1996, [compiled by] UNICEF. New York, New York, UNICEF, 1996. 33-4.This article's author argues that, at present, governments are the only resource allocation agency for promoting positive rights (PRs) and preventing widespread human destitution or ill-being. Market forces allocate resources according to purchasing power rather than need and can create poverty. Poverty, rapid population growth, and environmental degradation are forces that push people into destitution. Honoring PRs is fundamental to economic progress, social cohesion, and political stability. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child seeks to promote positive (something to be done) and negative rights (something not to be done). PRs in the Convention are the right to adequate nutrition, primary health care, and a basic education. PRs are dependent upon resources, which are affected by scarcity and competition. Negative rights are feasible without limitations and are available in rich or poor countries. Article 24 of the Convention urges countries to reduce infant and child mortality and combat disease and malnutrition. Article 4 allows that countries shall undertake the aforementioned measures to the maximum extent of their available resources. The difficulty with the Convention is the ability of countries to assess whether governments guarantee PRs to the maximum extent of available resources. The "Progress of Nations 1993" identifies the National Performance Gap as an assessment measure of the percentage of children adequately nourished, the percentage being educated to at least grade 5, and the percentage surviving to age 5 against gross national product per capita. Some argue that services and commodities necessary for better health and adequate nutrition are not rights but needs. The counterargument is that needs become rights when countries are capable of meeting that need and the need becomes essential to human well-being.
FORUM. 1996 Dec; 12(2):27-9.65 council members, their guests, and invited speakers convened at the 1996 International Planned Parenthood Federation's (IPPF) Western Hemisphere Regional council meeting held in Mexico City during September 20-21 to focus upon strategies for working with governments in the context of declining multilateral support. The IPPF's new charter on sexual and reproductive rights was introduced to the council during the meeting and programs discussed which actively involve males in family planning. The meeting was hosted by MEXFAM, the Mexican family planning association. Since 80% of births in Mexico occur among the poorest 20% of the population, MEXFAM focuses upon serving those least served by other agencies. The association has 17 clinics, works directly with more than 2000 community workers, and provides services paid for through contracts with more than 300 businesses. Sharing many of MEXFAM's concerns, Mexico's Ministry of Health plans to use a $400 million loan received from the World Bank to take health services to isolated rural communities. The course of the meeting is described.