Geoff was delighted to be invited back to Darmstadt Technical University again this year for four days of lectures and a game as part of the Urbano Mundus programme. The 23 students came from a wide range of countries and reported that they all had great fun. Geoff wishes them all the best on the course and in their careers.
Geoff’s lecturing at Darmstadt Technical University
Geoff’s class was also carried on outside in Darmstadt’s good weather
During the lectures, four different groups prepared their own project for a pro-poor settlement and presented with discussion parts.
After the discussions, Geoff summarised his own project and gave his closing speech.
Three bits of news from GPA towers this week. Geoff has recently returned from the Far East after contributing to studies in Ulaanbaatar and Shanghai – updated resources and material to follow.
Egypt – UN-Habitat Expert Group Meeting, 22 May:
Geoff has been commissioned by UN-Habitat to contribute to an Expert Group Meeting in Cairo, entitled Egypt’s Housing Sector Expert Group Dialogue 1: Setting the Scene. Instead of being present in person, it has been agreed that Geoff will prepare a presentation via Skype on ‘Affordable housing and urban land policy: lessons learned from international experience’.
Ulaanbaatar Land Administration and Land Markets Study:
Geoff was part of the World Bank mission (07-16 May) to present the findings of the Technical Assistance project which started in 2013. A workshop was held with senior officials from the Ulaanbaatar municipality to present the findings of the study and discuss their implications for policy.
Changning housing study, Shanghai, China, May 2014:
Geoff was part of the World Bank mission led by Mesky Brhane, for the final workshop on the Changning Affordable Housing project. Geoff contributed a presentation to a range of senior officials and academics from local agencies and universities on the findings of the project, following which discussions provide feedback for the final report due in June.
A new publication, co-written by Julian Quan and Geoff Payne, was launched on 06 May at the Commission on Sustainable Development in New York. ‘Secure Land Rights for All’ addresses land tenure issues and policy options in both rural and urban areas. The publication is intended to assist policy makers to understand and apply practical options for making land rights more secure in ways which also improve land policies as a basis for sustainable development.
It is with great pleasure that Geoff welcomes Isabel Wetzel (from Germany) who has recently completed a master’s degree at the London School of Economics and an internship in 2012 at UN-Habitat in Nairobi. She will be helping GPA on researching materials for a number of projects whilst she looks for long term career opportunities.
Geoff undertook a second mission to the Solomon Islands from 21 July – 03 August as part of the joint World Bank Justice for the Poor (J4P)/UN-HABITAT project on public land governance in the capital, Honiara. The mission team was led by Victor Vergara, Urban Sector Leader, East Asia Pacific, and included Shaun Williams, Land and Natural Resources Governance Adviser, Justice Reform, Legal Vice Presidency, Sarah MecArtney, UN-HABITAT Programme Manager for the Pacific and Geoff Payne, international adviser.
The mission team met members of the secretariat to the new National Task Force established by the Cabinet in October 2011 in order to discuss support for the Task Force once it has met. The team also met many other stakeholders from private and civil society groups and made presentations to an invited group as a basis for consideration. A tour was also made of the city and surrounding area to see developments on urban land and housing.
The mission then visited Port Vila, the capital of Vanuatu, where an intensive round of meetings was held with senior officials in the Ministries of Internal Affairs and Lands, a Member of Parliament, the Lord Mayor, Town Clerk, chiefs from the Port Vila Council of Chiefs, the Director of the Department of Local Authorities, planning professionals and staff from AusAid. A tour was also made of the city to see a range of housing types, both formal and informal.
Geoff was commissioned by the Commonwealth Secretariat to prepare a report on access to land and tenure security in urban areas of Commonwealth countries. The paper was distributed to ministers responsible for human settlement throughout the Commonwealth and Geoff presented a summary at the ministerial meeting held on 12 April at UN-HABITAT in Nairobi during the meetings of the UN-HABITAT Governing Council. The Commonwealth Secretariat has kindly agreed to make the paper available free of charge. To download a copy, please click here. To access other material from the Commonwealth Secretariat, please visit their website here, and to access other reports on urban issues by ComHabitat please visit their website here. As Geoff started his career thanks to a Commonwealth universities scholarship to India 40 years ago, this latest piece of work has brought him full circle and was an opportunity to repay some of the investment which the Commonwealth made!
GPA is happy to announce that Iraq’s Ministry of Construction and Housing recently published a National Housing Policy in cooperation with UN-Habitat. The new policy shifts the Government of Iraq’s focus from being a primary provider of housing to enabling the scaling up of housing delivery through the private sector and other partnerships. The Policy was launched by the Ministry of Construction and Housing on World Habitat Day, 4 October 2010. Geoff was engaged with the AECOM International Development team as Technical Advisor on Land for the project. The complete National Housing Policy (2010) is available here. Geoff had previously worked in Iraq in 1986 to prepare National Capital Region, Greater Baghdad and Baghdad City housing policy recommendations for the Japan Consortium of Consulting Firms (JCCF), and is happy to have had the opportunity to contribute to housing development in the country.
GPA was commissioned by UN-HABITAT in August 2009 to undertake a national housing profile of Uganda. The project was undertaken in collaboration with local consultants based at Makerere University and involved extensive fieldwork, includinbg interviews with representatives of all key stakeholders in public, private and civil society sectors, household surveys in Kampala and the northern city of Gulu, plus a visit to Mbarara and detailed case studies of selected households and organising and making presentations at local and national workshops. Frequent discussions were held with senior officials at the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development in Kampala. Geoff wishes to record his appreciation for help and information received from the Ministry, local consultants and staff at UN-HABITAT. It is hoped that the report will contribute to the formulation and implementation of housing policy in Uganda.