Weekly Urban News Update
November 17th, 2017
In This Update

Every day, millions of migrants travel to the huge Chinese metropolises to make a living, and in turn serve as a significant part of the foundation of China's rapid development. However, the workers themselves and their families do not reap from the benefits of these rising cities, largely due to Hukou, China's intense registration system that ties a person's residency to where they are from originally. Because of Hukou, migrant workers face similar struggles to undocumented immigrants in the United States; they don't have access to the local and public benefits that are restricted to residents of the cities, and so live on the edges of urban society, where their children are relegated to informal schools set up by the community that are constantly at risk of being shut down. NPR interviews Molly, a teacher at one of these schools, about the challenges of maintaining these schools, and the other informal infrastructure that communities have had to create.
Read the interview here.

The UN Inter-Agency Expert Group for the SDGs (IAEG-SDGs) agreed this past week to reclassify the SDG tenure security Indicator 1.4.2 from a Tier III (no internationally established methodology or standards are yet available) to a Tier II (internationally established methodology and standards are available, but data are not regularly produced by countries). This change is a significant step in enabling governments to now monitor and use comparable land indicators for globally comparable data and in highlighting the importance of secure tenure. IHC Global partner, Habitat for Humanity International's Solid Ground campaign, mobilized leading up to the SDG tier review on November 11-14 with a mini-campaign with their network and partners using #Tier2Ready on Twitter garnering more than 200,000 impressions. Several national organizations with representatives on the UN agency sent letters directly to their UN delegates. As land rights and tenure security are key policy priorities for IHC Global, we are enthusiastic about this step, and what it means for equitable access to land for women.

Read a blog on the success  here, and why it is important here .
D  Event: World Toilet Summit 2017

In honor of #WorldToiletDay, the Australian Water Association is hosting the World Toilet Summit 2017 next week. The World Toilet Summit is a unique global event that brings together various sanitation stakeholders to collaborate on innovative inventions, projects and products in the sanitation sector under one roof. The event aims to empower delegates, exhibitors and sponsors to share best practices in the sanitation sector, and exchange knowledge, expertise and resources in scaling up impact and innovation in the sanitation marketplace. It will feature an exhibition where participants can demonstrate their innovations in toilet and waste management.

When:  November 20-21, 2017
Where: Melbourne Convention Center
1 Convention Centre Pl, South Wharf Victoria, Australia 

Learn more about the event   here.
Feature IHC Global Urban Feature: Urban WASH
The U.S. Government Global Water Strategy has been released

The Issue
The U.S. Government Global Water Strategy was released this week, after several months of deliberation and involvement from multiple sectors of the government, including the State Department and USAID. The strategy has outlined four strategic objectives to address the global growing concerns about water and sanitation, and their negative effects on security, health and economic growth:
  • Increasing sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation services, and the adoption of key hygiene behaviors;
  • Encouraging the sound management and protection of freshwater resources;
  • Promoting cooperation on shared waters; and,
  • Strengthening water-sector governance, financing, and institutions.
According to the strategy, these objectives will be achieved "through direct assistance to countries, scientific and technical engagement, and support to international organizations, institutions, and partnerships." In light of the U.S. Administration's commitment to rearranging foreign assistance, the strategy maintains that the small portion of funds for global water and sanitation needs will " be used strategically to mobilize financial resources from host country governments, the private sector, and capital markets, where appropriate, and will "focus its efforts on countries and regions where needs and opportunities are greatest and where U.S. engagement can best protect our national security interests." These areas are Afghanistan, Lebanon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Haiti, South Sudan, Indonesia. Uganda, Jordan, West Bank/Gaza and Kenya. Though ensuring rural towns and settlements have access to adequate water and sanitation remains a priority, the strategy pledges to give increased attention to urban services and utilities, particularly peri-urban settlements and secondary cities and towns.

What We See
It is fitting that this report has come out ahead of World Toilet Day on Sunday, a day on which governments and civil society organizations celebrate the advances that have been made around the globe to ensure that adequate sanitation is a priority. But it's also a day to recognize how much more needs to be done in regards to both water and sanitation, both urban and rural. As an organization promoting sustainable cities, IHC Global believes urban water and sanitation is an urgent priority: currently, one in five city dwellers still do not have access to a safe, basic toilet, and though the majority of city dwellers do have access to adequate drinking water, those that don't still number in the millions. With these issues in mind, and an ever-rising urban population, it is fundamental that the U.S. government continue to have a hand in developing better water and sanitation. IHC Global is pleased with the strategy's objectives and its commitment to adapt methods based on research an results, as well as its recognition of the high priority of urban water and sanitation. We are also pleased that, despite limited funding, the strategy aims to achieve its objectives- and other related issues, like gender equity- through cooperation and collaboration with civil society and the private sector. We hope that this strategy serves as a representation of the Administration continuing the U.S.'s commitment to foreign assistance and international development. Following its release,  every agency that was involved in the creation of the strategy has to come up with an individual implementation plan, while implementation itself will be coordinated through the Interagency Water Working Group. IHC Global looks forward to the individual implementation plans, and the points of opportunity where we can collaborate to create safer, better urban water and sanitation worldwide.
Read the full strategy  here and a summary  here
To learn more about IHC Global's Key Policy Topics, which are both barriers and gateways to better, more equitable urban development, click here
News In the news and around the web
  • Where do urban animals go when their habitat disappears?
  • As megacities get smarter, there are growing concerns that they will be leaving girls behind.
  • Valdivia, Chile, aims to be the place to grow old.
  • Reminder: applications for side, networking and training events for the World Urban Forum are due on November 24th at 11:59 (UTC +3). More information can be found on the IHC Global website.
Now listen here...

 Senior citizens in Valdivia, Chile, the city that wants to become the best place to grow old.
     Source: Guardian Cities
safetyTake our Making Cities Safe survey
IHC Global has created a survey to increase understanding and share knowledge around issues of safety in cities-looking specifically at safety in the home, on public transport, in formal and informal workplace settings, and in common spaces such as sanitary facilities. Results from this survey will provide input into a policy report addressing how SDG 11, Target 7, Indicator 2-which focuses specifically on making urban spaces safe--can be met.

Help us gain a better understanding of urban safety; take our survey  here!
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