Uganda Country Programme
The Transforming the Settlements of the Urban Poor in Uganda (TSUPU) Programme supports national and local government working directly with urban poor communities to collaboratively manage urban growth, improve residents’ access to services, and formulate inclusive urban development policies that benefit the poor.
TSUPU creates a framework to enhance cooperation among all partners: national and local governments, urban poor communities, Cities Alliance members, investors, civil society and others. TSUPU also builds effective partnerships among all of these stakeholders based on clearly defined rights and responsibilities.
The Government of Uganda implements TSUPU in partnership with:
These partners are supported by international organisations including:
Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the TSUPU programme is facilitated and supported by Cities Alliance.
In Uganda, cities and towns are growing at the high annual rate of 5.2 per cent. They are struggling to provide adequate services—especially secondary cities, where the bulk of growth is taking place. As a result, informal settlements are growing; some 60% of urban residents already live in slums.
In partnership with the Cities Alliance, the Government of Uganda is seeking to learn from international experience and proactively manage rapid urbanisation and improve living conditions for residents.
Better governance. By providing space for inclusive dialogue, TSUPU has established an institutional framework that creates channels for partnerships between citizens and their local governments. It has also ensured that issues affecting the urban poor are reflected in planning and the municipal development agenda. TSUPU has also created a mechanism for effective community oversight of public expenditure and catalysed a culture of rights and responsibilities among citizens.
Empowered slum dwellers. In the 5 initial TSUPU cities, nearly 14,000 slum dwellers have been mobilised into 303 saving groups, which are federated into committees at the settlement and city development level. These urban poor organisations worked in partnership with municipalities to identify and prioritise projects, and then oversaw their implementation. The projects were financed by small grants from a fund located within the municipal government.
Leveraged investments. The practical experience urban poor communities gained through TSUPU provided the upfront institutional framework to support the World Bank’s US$150 million municipal support programme, expanding TSUPU from five to all 14 secondary cities. Comic Aid and the Gates Foundation have also linked into TSUPU’s institutional structure, mobilising much-needed additional resources.
Training the next generation of urban planners. Urban planning programmes at Makerere University have been restructured, giving Uganda’s future urban planners hands-on training in inclusive development.
South-South Learning. Exchanges among Country Programme participants have exposed national, municipal and community leaders to a wide range of possibilities and brought a new dynamism to the urban agenda.
National dialogue on urban issues. National and municipal urban fora have been established to provide space where stakeholders engage in dialogue to inform urban policy agenda and investments. These stakeholders include, but are not limited to: urban poor representatives, municipal government, private sector, development partners, professional bodies, CSOs/NGOs, the academia, media, religious leaders, opinion/cultural leaders and individuals.
National Urban Policy. The Government of Uganda is developing an overarching national urban policy to respond to the rapid urbanisation growth and challenges with support through TSUPU.