Policy Brief: Participating in Effective Urban Governance
City authorities across Africa face the massive challenge of effectively managing the day-to- day running of cities with a limited tax base, often unclear mandates resulting from partially implemented decentralisation policies, and a large population of vulnerable citizens lacking
basic services. Urban governance which refers to whereby the city government in partnership with a range of stakeholders delivers the services and infrastructure required for a city to function. Local governments can make progress towards improving urban governance by engaging in communities, civil society and the private sector on the urban management agenda and shared priorities.
Transforming governance practices at the urban scale will require city authorities to rethink current institutional frameworks with the purpose of enhancing strategic investment and ensuring the delivery of basic services.
The process of reimagining institutional mechanism for service delivery will require participation from an engaged and informed community, including individuals from the informal sector, civil society, the private sector and other arms of government. Using mechanisms such as participatory budgeting and creating forums to construct a shared vision of citywide development will increase local government’s legitimacy and expand its resource base for building inclusive and sustainable cities.
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