Session: Urban Engagement in Developing Countries: South Africa and Bangladesh

Urban Sustainability Stream


Day 2, Parallel Session 2C: 3:30pm – 4:30pm

Location: Storey Hall (Building 16), Seminar Room 1, Level 7, Room 1

Chair: Elizabeth Ryan (UN Global Compact Cities Programme)


Liam Magee From Dormitory to Business Zone? A Case Study of Issue Based Aid in Orlando East

  • Presenter and main author: Dr Liam Magee (RMIT University)
  • Abstract: Orlando East is one of the oldest, and remains one of the most economically disadvantaged areas of greater Soweto. In spite of nearly two decades of ANC rule, local economic development options remain limited. Since 2008 World Vision has conducted a project to promote local economic development in this urban area. It has engaged a range of community, business, government and NGO stakeholders to develop partnerships, facilitate greater financial literacy and advocate on behalf of the most disadvantaged. The project has been something of a departure for how NGOs attempt to tackle systemic economic problems in the region and, if successful, might point towards a more inclusive model for delivering aid. Here we present findings based primarily on a series of interviews with community members, partner organisations and local World Vision staff. We show the project has had mixed success to date. Economic options remain limited and heavily dependent upon government support. However the NGO has been able to build a strong organizational network that provides a range of training, business development and employment-related services. Such networks can provide an important counterweight to government authorities, and help to build more sustainable economic development options for the target community.
  • Co-authors: John Van Kooy (World Vision International) and David Lansley (World Vision International)
  • About the presenter: Dr Liam Magee is responsible for the coordination and development of UN Global Compact Cities Programme’s research activities which are conducted to support, inform and add value to cities’ innovation projects and enhance knowledge from their methodology and outcomes. This role includes development of new research projects, submissions for funding and supervision of interns research activities. Liam’s academic expertise and interest lies in the intersection between social research and new technology. The focus of his doctorate, awarded in 2010, was on the social construction of information systems, with a principal focus on the Semantic Web. Since joining RMIT in 2010, Liam has developed software to facilitate decision making in indicator selection, worked collaboratively with Accenture on the development of the Smart City Simulator and most recently, developing Fierce Planet, an urban simulation tool with a game interface. His current research interests are in using technology to model, analyse and visualise challenges in the urban environment.
Mushfiq WahedMushfiq WahedRaisa AshrafiRaisa Ashrafi To Pay or Not To Pay, That is the Question: Urban Planning and the Ability to Pay in Bangladesh

  • Presenters and main authors: Mushfiq Wahed (UN Global Compact Cities Programme/Swinburne University of Technology) and Raisa Ashrafi (UN Global Compact Cities Programme/RMIT University)
  • Abstract: This presentation analyses the role of local communities in the urban planning process of local councils in Bangladesh. Apart from the contributions of good policy makers, good urban planning is contributed by good urban inhabitants. The key to urban planning for a developing country like Bangladesh involves working at the grass-root level where communities are engaged in urban planning projects through participating in surveys, FGDs, etc. However, in Bangladesh, where policy makers are held accountable for poor urban planning, an empirical analysis shows that people’s Willingness to Pay (WTP) is disproportionate to their demand for superior local amenities (healthcare, sanitation, recreation centers, waste management systems), and infrastructure (public transportation, water, electricity, sewage system). While the country’s low income demography may justify the willingness to pay less or no amount for appropriate services, it is mostly the negative attitude of the reasonably sized mid-income demography and their ignorance regarding personal accountability towards community development that adversely affects the decision making process in urban planning. The aim of this presentation is thus to emphasize on how increasing people’s accountability in urban planning through their WTP for services can foster sustainable urban planning process that is for the people and by the people.
  • About Mushfiq: Mushfiq Wahed joined the UN Global Compact Cities Programme (UNGCCP) as an Intern in February 2013. He is currently pursuing his Master of Professional Accounting and Finance at Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne. Mushfiq’s role at the UNGCCP is to further develop external partnerships, particularly for the UN Global Compact Cities Programme URBAN Research Incubator and to support Cities Programme communication activities. Mushfiq’s prior experience includes working as a Research Consultant at the UK based engineering and management consulting firm Mott MacDonald. During the course of his employment in the company, he was engaged in the design and management of several research studies and market assessment projects for a host of government, donor and private sector agencies in Bangladesh, including the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands.
  • About Raisa: Raisa Ashrafi joined the UNGCCP as an intern in September 2012. As an international student from Bangladesh she is currently pursuing her Master of Communication degree at RMIT University. Her involvement with the Cities Programme at present includes developing a Project Management Framework for RMIT University, the UNGCCP and Heritage Enterprise’s proposed Hosted Postgraduate Research Placement Programme in Malta, Europe, and writing for the UNGCCP website. Having completed a BSc in Economics, Raisa brings with her the experience of working for development projects funded by the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and other donors in Bangladesh. She has acquired leadership skills training during her stay in the United States from 2004-2005 as a foreign exchange student for the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs (ECA) sponsored Youth Exchange & Study (YES) Program.