Many governments have difficulty in formulating a NUP due to insufficient capacity, ever changing political contexts, complex relationships between government departments/ministries, and political pressures from interest groups. Consultation is key during the formulation phase to build consensus. Good policy formulation requires political will, visionary leadership, organizational know-how, effective consultative mechanisms, and good negotiating skills on the part of the ministry or department in charge of urban issues. This Guide suggests that before starting the formulation process, it is essential that a thorough diagnosis of the urban sector is carried out, with extensive data collection, review and analysis. It is also advisable to assess the available capacity (human, financial, institutional and technical). Following this, aspects to consider in the formulation of a NUP include the selection of the lead agency, the quality of the data and information that is available, how the various stakeholders will participate, what resources are available, how the process will be coordinated, and what the context is – the needs and issues that will frame the policy.
According to this practical guide, a national urban policy (1) responds to the country’s development priorities, (2) is based on sound evidence, and (3) is focused on outcomes. This handbook provides practical steps and a coordinated process to formulate an urban policy that adheres to five key principles: participation, inclusion, affordability, sustainability and implementability.