The Policy Advisory Board (PAB)
*Note: In the wake of a considered review of its role and utility, the Policy Advisory Board was restructured into a Policy Advisory Forum at the Consultative Group Meeting in Mexico City in November 2010.
The Policy Advisory Board of the Cities Alliance is composed of eminent urban experts from each region. They provide guidance to the Consultative Group on key strategic, policy, and regional issues and support the implementation of Alliance activities. The Consultative Group established the composition, terms of office, and operating procedures of the Policy Advisory Board at the December 2000 Second Public Policy Forum meeting.
The board brings together civic leaders and policy advisers with a formidable range of public and private sector expertise that spans the leadership of community-based organisations, nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) and their networks, local authority organisations, community banks, community savings and credit schemes, commercial banks, and public sector financial institutions. What they have in common is political experience and practical knowledge from working with poor cities and the urban poor worldwide.
The board meets twice a year and has eight members: two from Africa, two from Asia, one from the Arab States, one from Eastern Europe, one from Latin America and the Caribbean, and one from the industrial countries. The members serve on a rotating basis, typically between two and four years.
For the Alliance’s November 2005 Public Policy Forum, held in Marrakech, the board’s representative from the Arab States, Yousef Hiasat, then Minister of public works and housing for Jordan, led a session on regional experiences in urban upgrading.
In May 2006, the board gathered in Amman, Jordan, for its annual spring meeting, organised by board member and chief executive officer of Beit Al-Mal Saving and Investment for housing (Beitna), Yousef Hiasat, and hosted by the Greater Municipality of Amman. Board members took advantage of the occasion to gain direct exposure to the strategic development planning and urban upgrading policies of the municipality and to learn of the innovative financing scheme that Beitna had introduced for ground-breaking private development projects in the city.
The board meeting in Amman marked the second rotation of the Policy Advisory Board members, as incoming members, José Forjaz, of Mozambique, and Clare Short, of the United Kingdom, filled the regional representative positions of exiting members Akin Mabogunje and Mary Houghton, respectively. Cities Alliance partners hope to continue drawing on the wealth of experience and knowledge its two exiting members have offered since the board’s formation:
Akin Mabogunje is an internationally renowned African development scholar who has published and lectured widely on urban management and spatial perspectives in the development process. He is chair of the Presidential Technical Board of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria and former executive chair of the Development Policy Centre.
Mary Houghton is the president and director of ShoreBank Corporation, in Chicago, a commercial bank holding company with $1.7 billion in assets, organized to implement community development strategies in targeted urban neighbourhoods and rural areas. She is also an adviser to private banks and microcredit lending institutions in developing and transition countries.
Policy Advisory Board members as of June 2006: (Former members)
Ana Vasilache is founding Director of the Partners Romania Foundation for Local Development, a Bucharest-based NGO that supports democratic processes of governance and decentralisation, and works to strengthen the managerial capacities of local governments; former Head of the Settlements Management Office in the Ministry of Public Works and Regional Planning in Bucharest; and has extensive experience with planning legislation and design of participatory strategic planning processes.
Clare Short is the United Kingdom's former Secretary of State for International Development. A Member of Parliament for more than 20 years, she continues to represent the constituency of Birmingham Ladywood. Former Director of Youthaid and the Unemployment Unit, she also worked at the Home Office and as Director of All Faiths for One Race, a community-based organization promoting racial equality in Birmingham. A former Opposition spokesperson on overseas development, Shadow Minister for Women, and Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, she is a member of the Helsinki Process on Globalisation and Democracy and an Associate of the Oxford Research Group.
Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi is Secretary General of the Municipal Development Partnership for Africa, based in Cotonou, Benin; Secretary General of United Cities and Local Governments of Africa; and an experienced practitioner in urban management and slum upgrading.
José Forjaz is the CEO and Founder of José Forjaz Arquitectos in Maputo, Mozambique. He holds a Master of Science in Architecture from Columbia University (1968). From 1975-1977, Professor Forjaz was the senior adviser for the Mozambican Minister for Public Works and Housing, dealing with housing policy, human settlements, planning, training and institution building. From 1977-1983, he was National Director of Housing, responsible for regional and urban planning, housing and social equipment. He was also in charge of training programmes for basic and medium level rural and urban planning technicians. The National Directorate of Housing covered the entire country through a network of ten provincial offices. Between 1983 and 1986, he was the Secretary of State for Physical Planning in charge of the National Institute for Physical Planning, responsible also for directing the National Directorate for Geography and Cadastral Registration. He served as a Member of Parliament from 1977-1986. Widely published, Professor Forjaz has lectured at universities around the world and is now in his fifteenth year as Director of the Faculty of Architecture and Planning at Universidade Eduardo Mondlane in Maputo.
Juanita Amatong is a former Secretary of Finance of the Philippines; and a former Executive Director at the World Bank Group. With an educational background in business, economics and public administration, she has worked with international consultancies, in academia, and as a tax economist at the International Monetary Fund. She is a prime mover of strong local government finance in the Philippines.
Paulo Teixeira is a Councillor for the Municipality of São Paulo, Brazil; former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development of the Municipality of São Paulo, responsible for the development of a large-scale slum upgrading and land tenure programme; a member of the UN Millennium Task Force Eight, Improving the Lives of Slum Dwellers; and a member of the UN-HABITAT Advisory Group on Forced Evictions.
Sheela Patel is founding Director of the Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centres in Mumbai, India, working in alliance with the National Slum Dwellers Federation and Mahila Milan in the federation of community-based organisations of the urban poor, facilitating their direct participation in addressing the problems of cities and their relationship with informal settlements; and Chair of Shack Dwellers International, a global alliance of grassroots community federations of the urban poor.
Yousef Hiasat is the Minister of Public Works and Housing of Jordan, with responsibility for the country’s road networks, government buildings, and construction and housing sectors; former Chief Executive Officer of Beit Al-Mal Saving and Investment for Housing, a leading investment and financial firm in Amman; former Director General of Jordan’s Housing and Urban Development Corporation, the public institution responsible for housing and urban development policies and housing schemes directed at middle- and low-income households; former Principal Adviser to the prime minister of Jordan on housing and urban development issues; and founding and board member of the Morocco-based NENA Urban Forum.