Connective Cities organized an Expert Exchange in August 2015 in succession to a Connective Cities Dialog Event on ‘Innovative Financial Instruments in Urban Development and Housing Policy’ which took place in Leipzig, Germany in November 2014. The Dialog Event welcomed cities from different countries, which got together to discuss and exchange experiences with the challenges of innovative financial instruments in urban development and housing policy. Based on the main outcomes of this event, and aligned with interest of participants, the fundamental role of the innovative potential of new financial instruments such as revolving funds, microcredits and other innovative financial instruments was elaborated. During the event in Leipzig the theme ‘Building local revolving fund’ attracted great interest among the participants, mainly from the cities Leipzig (Germany), Lviv (Ukraine) and from Dar es Salaam (Tanzania). It was indicated that an exchange between the three cities would be very interesting and important.
Following-up this first event, a self-moderated expert exchange between practitioners was initiated by the three cities - organized and funded by Connective Cities. In total, 14 practitioners participated in this exchange – two from the Office for Urban Regeneration and Residential Development from the City of Leipzig, two from the City Institute of the City of Lviv, two from a Tanzania NGO and two participants from each of Dar es Salaam’s Municipalities – each bringing in their own perspectives, ideas and possible solutions to the discussed challenges and exchange of experience. Besides, two projects were visited in Dar es Salaam to demonstrate the implementation of community-based approaches realized with revolving funds: one housing project in Chamazi and one sanitary project in Keko Machungwa, both in Temeke Municipality, Dar es Salaam.
The objective of this expert exchange was to provide all participants with a good insight to best practices in the field in Dar es Salaam and to invite them on the other hand to contribute to the challenges with their own personal experience with the method of peer-to-peer consultation.
All participating practitioners were able to take home important lessons:
The City of Leipzig – Their major learning was how to establish and implement revolving funds in their own city and that the fund actually grows, the more it is being used. Furthermore, the practitioners from Leipzig took home a better understanding on how to strengthen and manage bottom-up processes.
City Institute Lviv – Especially interesting for them was to learn more about the role of active citizens and
how to involve residents into community development. Besides, the representatives took home a better understanding of how to implement revolving funds into their own projects.
The City Council Dar es Salaam – The City Council received a better understanding of its role within the whole framework of municipalities in Dar es Salaam. Furthermore, the representatives learned that it is important to have a coherent framework for changes which includes a deeper involvement of the civil society (esp. NGOs) and an improved communication with the other municipalities to maximize synergies.
The Municipality of Kinondoni – The representatives were especially interested in the important issue of maintenance of infrastructure extensions. They took home, that better planning is necessary and the key for successful maintenance afterwards. It is better to have fewer projects, but to include a budget for maintenance in the future. This has to be accompanied by education programs to raise the awareness of appropriate utilization.
All three cities underlined their interest in future cooperation. A first step will be a virtual meeting to see whether new ideas could be implemented and to facilitate mutual consultation on open questions.
A joint mission report of the expert exchange and its results written by the participants from the different cities as well as interviews with selected practitioners will be published soon to provide more information on this expert exchange.