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Université de Montréal – RESAUD Network (Réseau d’Échanges Stratégiques pour une Afrique Urbaine Durable)

By on August 30, 2016
Université de Montréal

Contact name and title
Michel Max RAYNAUD , Ph.D. Professor


Title of activity
RESAUD Network (Réseau d'Échanges Stratégiques pour une Afrique Urbaine Durable)

Description of activity
RESAUD Network (Réseau d’Échanges Stratégiques pour une Afrique Urbaine Durable), an initiative led by the Université de Montréal (Canada) and UN Habitat (Nairobi, Kenya) was created in 2014 at the Université de Montréal’s Faculty of Environmental Design upon the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the university and UN Habitat. We are a francophone network of experts from UN Habitat, as well as specialized researchers from the Montreal Campus (Université de Montréal and École Polytechnique) in urban studies including project development and management, planning, public security, infrastructure and ecosystem resilience, as well as other French-speaking African university researchers. Our mission is to reduce poverty and insecurity of human settlements in French-speaking African cities by strengthening the capacity of local governments to make evidence informed decisions by using facts and tangible evidence. We are driven by the conviction that local solutions with proven effectiveness carried by responsible governments are a powerful lever for improving urban poverty reduction policies.
RESAUD acts in four countries: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Senegal. RESAUD is organized into Observatories hosted at local universities and its headquarters are in the Go.S.U.D. Laboratory (Gouvernance et Sécurités Urbaines Durables) of the Observatoire Ivanhoé Cambridge of the Université de Montréal’s Faculty of Environmental Design. Four Observatories have been created: Observatory RESAUD Burkina Faso in Université de Ouagadougou; Observatory RESAUD Cameroon in Université de Yaoundé; Observatory RESAUD Ivory Coast in Université Félix Houphouët Boigny and Observatory RESAUD Senegal in Universityé Cheikh Anta Diop. Each Observatory, offers RESAUD’s triple expertise (local university, UN Habitat and Montreal Campus), it works on the basis of official contractual partnerships with municipal governments to find pragmatic solutions to the specific problems of precarious human settlements and evaluates the effectiveness of results, to train elected officials and public administrations in the mechanics of project management, negotiations; and to disseminate the results to national and international policy-makers and civil society.
RESAUD’s activities address four urban securities priorities: 1) tenure and urban planning security, 2) public safety and urban design, 3) health security (WSH) and cooperative management, 4) environmental security and risk management. Our activities are based upon technological innovations, institutional innovations and economic innovations.
These four priorities will only be achieved locally and in an integrated (holistic) manner in consultation with local elected officials and civil society (communities, associations – particularly women, and investors). To meet the demands and needs of their populations, elected officials, supported by the Observatory must innovate by basing their actions on solid evidence: choose the best solution, implement it, evaluate the results, and learn from what does not work and why. In other words the question that is asked by local policy makers is: HOW can we achieve better security and safety outcomes, access and coverage for the urban poor? These actions imply the availability of reliable local data, suitable tools, performance indicators and a trained administration – basic resources that elected officials recognize are currently greatly missing.

For example the first Observatory for West Africa was officially launched in March 2016 in Senegal at Cheikh Anta Diop University (UCAD Dakar). Housed at the École Supérieure d’Économie Appliquée, it offers RESAUD’s triple expertise: UCAD’s national and regional expertise, UN Habitat’s monitoring expertise, and Montreal Campus’ expertise in research and tool development. The partnership agreement signed between UCAD’s Senegal RESAUD observatory and the Mayors of the administrative area of Dakar contractually commits them to act to secure the living conditions of citizens living in socially, land tenure, and environmentally vulnerable areas: waste, flooding and coastal erosion.
The objectives for the Observatory for the Dakar region over the next two years are as follows:
1. Enhance UCAD’s expertise and provide resources for municipal public administrations: mediation, project development, environmental risk prevention, public security, and measures and data analysis;
2. Train municipal professionals in municipal management tools;
3. Develop a protocol for a pilot-type response in consultation with elected officials, local decision-makers, communities and associations intended to restructure several vulnerable neighbourhoods;
4. Advocate for the strategic alliance between the city and university through the United Nations and national and regional institutions.

Sustainable Development Goal 11 targets relating to activity
11.1 By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums
11.3 By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries
11.5 By 2030, significantly reduce the number of deaths and the number of people affected and substantially decrease the direct economic losses relative to global gross domestic product caused by disasters, including water-related disasters, with a focus on protecting the poor and people in vulnerable situations
11.6 By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management
11.7 By 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities
11.b By 2020, substantially increase the number of cities and human settlements adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters, and develop and implement, in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, holistic disaster risk management at all levels
11.c Support least developed countries, including through financial and technical assistance, in building sustainable and resilient buildings utilizing local materials
Main themes of this activity
Social Inclusion
Slum Upgrading
Planning and Design
Information and Monitoring
Capacity Development
Climate Change
Changes that took place as a result of this activity
Four partnership agreements have been signed between the four local Universities and local governments of the cities: University of Ouagadougou/City of Ouagadougou; University of Yaoundé/Communauté urbaine of Yaoundé; University Félix Houphouët Boigny/District of Abidjan; University Cheikh Anta Diop/ City of Dakar.

Three master students of Faculty of Environmental Design (University of Montreal) work with cities, and supported by UN Habitat:
1) One student works with Communauté urbaine de Yaoundé to adapt ‘urban infrastructure vulnerability and resilience’ tool, developed by Centre Risque & Performance of École polytechnique (Campus Montreal)
2) One student works on case study concerning urban planning and project management in Ouagadougou.
3) One student works with two municipalities of the Great Dakar (Pikine and Guediawaye) to adapt a mapping tool developed by a startup CAMIDUS, created by an ex graduate student from École polytechnique (Campus Montreal)

Urban crime and violence Virtual library at University Felix Houphouët Boigny in collaboration with School of Criminology (University of Montreal) is under construction.

RESAUD Network is member of GAP (General Assembly Partners) Academia Research Constituent Group. RESAUD was mainly present at the PrepCom2 session for Habitat III (Nairobi 2015/04), at United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 2015 (New York 2015/09); at Thematic Meeting Metropolitan Areas for Habitat III (Montreal, 2015/10)
Director of RESAUD Network collaborated at several expert group meetings: Metropolitan governance (Guadalajara, 2015/11); Expert Group Meeting: Safer Cities and the New Urban Agenda (Genève, 2016/07).

How the impact of the activity was measured
RESAUD Network opens an innovative way to collaborate with local governments.
Our goal is to help cities (elected and public administration), supported by local universities, University of Montreal (Campus Montreal), Program Division and Program Managers of UN Habitat, to strengthen their capacities to achieve governance best practices for the benefit of the urban poor.

The impact measures will target public administration, civil society and urban public policies.

We start all our activities and, in terms of research action, we will conduct quantitative and qualitative research methods (statistical and perception studies) based upon change theory and causal pathway design. We shall measure the impact of our activities with indicators developed by UN Habitat (Urban Prosperity Index 2012) and the UN Agenda 2030 indicators (in progress).

Links related to the activity
  • resaud.net
Additional notes