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UWEP: Urban waste management in low-income countries

UWEP was an 8-year programme of WASTE. The goal was to contribute to a better livelihood ( e.g. income, safe working conditions) and a better environment in relation to urban waste management, in particular for low-income city residents.

What we do

UWEP was an 8-year programme of WASTE. The goal was to contribute to a better livelihood ( e.g. income, safe working conditions) and a better environment in relation to urban waste management, in particular for low-income city residents.

The UWEP Programme operated for eight years, with a first contract from 1995-2001, and an extension called UWEP Plus running from 2001 through 2003.

 How we do it

During the first phase, the focus of the programme was on action research and pilot projects, while working wth 4 partners in the Philippines, India, Mali, Costa Rica & Honduras and young researchers in several countries. During the second phase the number of countries and partners grew to 8.

Themes dealt with during the programme were: community participation, linkages, knowledge and expertise-sharing, social sustainability, stakeholder platforms, micro-privatisation,

All these projects and researches have resulted in a stream of publications and during the project the concept of ISWM (Integrated Sustainable Waste Management) has been developed, refined and tried and tested in other projects. The ISWM concept is now an important methodology for WASTE when working in the field. See the links to these documents below.

Impact & Sustainability

While the formal goals of the programme had to do with improving waste management, the broader underlying emphasis becomes clear when quoting the five desired results:

  1. A comprehensive set of appropriate waste related knowledge and experience has been generated and customised for dissemination, both at the practical level of organisations in the South and at the policy level of authorities and development agencies.
  2. Local waste handling and waste management expertise has been acquired which responds to the demand for expertise by organisations in the South, and y authorities and development agencies developing community and micro-enterprise-related waste policies.
  3. Organisations in the South have gained access through local sources in their respective country or region, or through South-South exchanges of knowledge and information, to appropriate waste-related knowledge and experiences.
  4. Responsible governments and donor agencies have been come to understand the legitimate role of informal, community and micro-enterprises in relation to waste management and resource conservation, and to support policy interventions that strengthen and legitimise this.
  5. Organisations in the South have received assistance to develop and formulate qualitative proposals for improvement and to channel these through responsible governments and donor agencies.

These five results can be characterised by the short names:

  1. appropriate knowledge;
  2. local expertise;
  3. facilitating Southern access to information and expertise;
  4. community and MSE policy focus; and
  5. continued practical improvement (in solid waste management, implementation, and knowledge-building).

An important note here is the UWEP programme was designed as a one-time intervention, to shift the knowledge and projects to the South.