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Urban Programming

Urban Programming Framework

Urban-A developed a framework for Oxfam International’s urban programming in the Horn, Eastern and Central Africa region in 2019. With rapidly growing and sprawling cities, the number of city dwellers in Africa will increase from around 500 million people to about 1.4 billion people by 2050, with a large share living in informal or unplanned areas. While the urban population in general have better access to services and jobs overall compared with the rural population, poor service provision and living conditions coupled with high population density – particularly in informal and unplanned areas - poses severe challenges to be addressed, including protection and gender risks, climate change and conflict vulnerabilities. Already overcrowded and unplanned urban areas are not prepared to receive the massive influx of people forecasted in African cities over the next decades. Urbanisation is one of the most important and defining trends in the HECA countries where Oxfam operates, and sound urban programmes thus hold the potential for Oxfam to have additional impact, at scale, in the region.


Acknowledging the changing needs landscape, the urban programming framework was commissioned to better understand the potential for and how the organisation can advance its urban programming across the region. The report systemises and advances the Oxfam’s current urban engagements, leverages existing programmes and activities and considers the potential value-added of piloting new programmes, in light of Oxfam’s overall work and objectives.


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