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Towards more pro-poor local governments in urban areas

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Source : editorial of Environment and Urbanization,Volume : 12 Number : 1 Page : 3 — 11

URBAN POVERTY IS much influenced by what
city or municipal governments do -or do not do;
also by what they can or cannot do.This is often
forgotten -as discussions of poverty and the best
means to reduce poverty tend to concentrate on
the role of national government and international
agencies.One reason why the role of local government
has been given so little attention has been the
tendency to view (and measure)poverty only in
terms of inadequate income or consumption. As
an understanding of poverty widens -for instance
to include poor quality and/or insecure housing,
inadequate services (water,sanitation,health care,
access to education)and lack of civil and political
rights -so does the greater current or potential
role of local government to contribute to poverty
reduction.The potential contribution of local
government to poverty reduct ion is further
enhanced, as protection from discrimination and
from economic shocks, disasters, crime and
violence are also recognized as part of poverty