Economic Development for Inclusive Cities at CityNet Congress

In collaboration with the Asia Foundation, GSEF organised a SSE session on ‘Economic Development for Inclusive Cities’ on November 6th, at the CityNet 8th Congress took place in Colombo, Sri Lanka (5 ~ 8 Nov, 2017. Various innovative urban initiatives were presented during the session by municipal representatives of Suwon (Korea), Seberang Perai (Malaysia) and Jaffina (Sri Lanka) as well as by urban experts based in Sri Lanka. Below is the summary of the session organized. Around 30 government officials, civil practitioners, and academics participated as the audience.

The session was consisted of mainly two parts: First part was the case presentations of two cities, Suwon and Seberang Perai. Mayor Tae Young Yeom of Suwon city spoke about the city’s strategy of promoting social economy, starting with the candlelight protest last year in Korea, and the role of city government to protect the citizens’ spirit of democracy and their participation in every step of policy making and implementation. Their efforts for democratization of economy are being resulted in the rapid increase of social enterprises and reducing social issues including lack of employment for youth ,people with disability, and high cost of energy, etc. The second presentation was by Mayor Dato’ Sr Hj Rozali Bin Hj Mohamud, regarding social and economic inclusion of their city. He explained about how the city’s 5 year strategic plan was made as citizen-owned plans and introduced their gender responsive participatory budgeting and local development plan of New Butterworth region as its examples.

The second part of the session was a roundtable of three experts from Sri Lanka, and they talked about inclusiveness in the development strategy of Sri Lanka after 30 years of war ended. As a policy expert, a civic analyst, and a local government official, three panellists discussed about the governments’ preparation on legal frameworks on inclusive social and economic development and came to conclusions that if the system to suit the need of local communities, certain level of local governments’ autonomy should be guaranteed to build the local foundation to develop inclusive development policies.

In the following Q&A session, city representatives from Bangladesh, Philippines and Vietnam commented and asked the two case presentations of Suwon and Seberang Perai regarding solutions to tackle poverty in the region and discussed the level of citizens’ participation in the governance of public policies, and the level of central government’s control over local governments’ budget and programs.



Contents addressed

Part I

Moderated by Laurence Kwark

Tae Young Yeom (Mayor, Suwon City)

 Suwon’s participatory policy making   process, budgeting and citizen led   governance.

Suwon’s Social Economy Support Center   for promoting social enterprises   to addressi youth unemployment and   marginalised groups.

Dato’ Sr Hj Rozali Bin Hj Mohamud (Mayor, Seberang Perai)

 Seberang Perai’s strategic development   plan co-constructed by citizens.

Participatory and gender responsive city   budgeting with urban regeneration   project ‘New Butterworth Project’ for   vitalizing public spaces.

Part II

Moderated by Gopa Kumar Thampi

(Director of Economic Governance, The Asia Foundation)

A. Subakaran (Chief Technical Advisor, Centre for Governance Innovations)

 Inclusive development plan of Sri Lanka   is well equipped in terms of law and   policies. However the voice of   communities has not reached enough to   the policy makers. The power of   regional council should be increased   more.

N. Liyanage (Research Professional, Centre for Poverty Analysis)

 In the government’s megapolis   development strategy, inequality of land   ownership becomes the barricade of   inclusive development. The government   should aware more about whom to be   included in the development and what   is actually happening in the field.

P. Vegeshan (Commissioner, Jaffina Municipal Council)

 As a local government officer, peoples’   desire to make a small change at the   local level is important after the war.   Jaffna city focuses on equal access to   ICT for policy making and administration.


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