Citizens to play an active role in planning for Integrated Services at the Counties
by Super User

Speaking after a two-day training session for Local Urban Forums (LUFs) on Integrated Urban Development Planning (IUDP) facilitated by the Civil Society Urban Development Programme (CSUDP), 

 Mr. Muchangi, the Chair Embu LUF, had this to say, “As local community leaders, this training has empowered us to actively participate in the planning processes of our towns. The skills we have acquired will enable us articulate development matters of priority to us to go into the urban plans and ensure adequate budgets are allocated for better services provision for communities in our urban areas.”About a 100 participants drawn from fourteen (14)[1] LUFs towns in thirteen (13) counties benefited from the training. The overall objective of this training was to impart basic skills in integrated urban planning to LUF members in order to enhance their capacity to organize and rally popular opinion in the development of Integrated Urban Development Plans (IUDPs). The training exposed the participants to concepts, principles, and the legal instruments that sets the urban context in Kenya and techniques of participatory planning. By the end of the training, the participants expressed readiness to participate meaningfully in the recent Government commissioned exercise to develop Integrated Urban Development Plans (IUDP) which had commenced in six (6)[2] towns.

Motivated by the skills and knowledge acquired, the participants were eager to embark on the mobilization of their various constituencies to generate ideas and positions that would serve to positively influence the emerging plans. It is expected that the experiences and lessons in the initial 6 towns will further serve to motivate more structured participatory engagement in the integrated urban development planning processes set to be rolled out.

 About Local Urban Forums (LUFs) LUFs are a mutli-stakeholder platform for promoting constructive urban dialogue and consensus building on key urban issues relevant for sustainable local urban development as Kenya embraces devolution. The LUF platform, guided by the participatory principles as enshrined in the constitution of Kenya and espoused through the County Government Act (2012) and Urban Areas and Cities Act (2011), have been used for citizen participation in the planning, budgeting, decision making and management in the 14 towns where they currently operate. Many county governments have acknowledged the importance of the LUFs and are applying a similar model to establish County Urban Forums to serve as platform for multi-urban stakeholder engagement at the county scale.

[1] The 14 LUF towns are Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru, Eldoret, Nyeri, Kitui, Machakos, Garissa, Embu, Naivasha, Malindi, Kakamega and Thika

[2] The six towns are Nyeri, Thika, Embu, Machakos, Nakuru and Naivasha.

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