Urban poverty and urban development strategies are the subject of increasing discussions in the development community. The participants to this overdue debate came with widely varying experiences and ideological positions, which reflects the scale and complexity of the urban development challenge. It is also apparent that there is a lack of successful practical experience and policy expertise within many development organisations.
However,there is an emerging new orthodoxy focusing around urban productivity and the strengthening of urban institutions. Multi-lateral agencies such as UNDP and the World Bank have been the driving force behind the new approach with an increasing number of bi-lateral donors and academics being co-opted into the policy consensus. Both Northern and Southern NGOs have come to the wide debate somewhat slowly despite being acknowledged as vital participants in urban development and poverty alleviation.