Proposal for a New USAID Approach to Programming for the Urban Poor

Resource Library | Author Stephen Giddings | Date December 2009

The continued demographic transformation of the world from rural to urban is a defining reality of the 21st century and one of the major forces shaping the future of developing countries. Urbanization is often viewed in terms of its negative consequences, such as the growth of slums. If managed prudently, however, it can have many positive effects on the economic, social and democratic development of the world’s poorer countries. Given the importance and urgency of urbanization, USAID, as a global leader in addressing economic, social and democratic development, has an opportunity to adapt to the changing realities of the time and re-establish itself as a leader in urban programming and slum upgrading. Despite the current uncertainty surrounding the future of U.S. Foreign Assistance legislation, USAID need not wait to revise its approach to urban programming.