Preparatory Study: Participatory City Development Strategies in Namibia



Approval Date
Actual Completion Date
Proposal Focus
Core Focus
Secondary Cities
Country Type
Lesson Learned for Cities Alliance Members and Partners
There is a willingness from all stakeholders to support CDS-LED initiatives. There is commitment from all spheres of government, business community, donor agencies and civil society organizations in Namibia to support the initiative.


Cities and towns in Namibia continue to be characterized by huge inequalities in terms of access to basic services and income generating activities while there is a lack of citizen engagement in the planning and decision making processes of local government. The preparatory study aims to prepare a proposal for promoting participatory and inclusive CDSs with a focus on local economic development (LED) in selected Local Authorities. The proposal is expected to address the issues of social and economic exclusion.
The objective of the project is to undertake a preparatory study that will evaluate and define the components and steps needed that will result in a Namibian Comprehensive Development Strategy (NCDS) for Local Economic Development (LED) for three Local Government Authorities. The specific objectives are: i) Develop selection process that will identify pilot local authorities for the development of NCDS ii) Enable local stakeholders to effectively participate in the NCDS process iii) Develop a funding proposal for promoting participatory and inclusive City Development Strategies in selected municipalities
i) Project Coordination: Retain capacity of ALAN to assist with research and NCDS study and workshop development ii) Research and Assessment: Familiarity with government and donor supported activities to promote participatory approaches to LED; Literature review of government policies, urban governance, decentralization, LED, and poverty reduction; Review of previous activities in stakeholder participation; Mapping of previous capacity building interventions; Exploration of options for long-term planning (i.e. sustainable financing and revenue generation) iii) NCDS Workshop Report/Proposal Development: Coordination for a workshop with select local authorities and key stakeholders; Preparation of a funding proposal; Identification of opportunities to replicate and disseminate the NCDS process with other municipalities.
Expected Impacts and Results
The preparatory study served as an opportunity to remediate bottlenecks in local planning activities, related to Namibia’s recent and still on-going decentralization process. The consultative process leading up to the development of the full CDS proposal both established and strengthened relationships across different stakeholders groups. These consultation processes also served to create awareness on the need for strategic urban planning and the role of local government in economic development. The local business community, through the Namibian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was sensitized about their role and their subsequent contribution to the CDS - LED program in Namibia through workshops. The role of ALAN is to focus on strengthening inter-regional relations and emphasize the need to increase local authority’s decision-making power through both capacity building and resource allocation. ALAN has developed a solid relationship with the MRLGHRD during the preparatory stage and it will continue to be fostered during the pilot to ensure CDS processes are efficient, effective, and legitimate. ALAN and NALAO are preparing to lobby the Ministry of Regional, Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, through its Regional Equity Trust Fund to avail funding for the development of CDS.