The Centre for Human Settlements and Urban Development (CHSUD) was established by the Federal University of Technology, Minna in 2003, in collaboration with the UN-Habitat office in Nairobi-Kenya. UN-Habitat is the United Nations Agency in charge of its global human settlements challenges, development and management. The aim and objectives of CHSUD amongst others include:-
(a) To assist in Nigerian Development Planning in the area of Human Settlements, Urban Governance and Urban Development;
(b) To undertake training programmes related to (a) above in order to assist particular States and Local Governments in their manpower development; Programme development; project implementation; and enhancing internal revenue generation;
(c) To conduct conferences, seminars, workshops, etc. and such other activities as may contribute to the overall functions of the Centre and dissemination of research results;
(d) Participate in teaching functions of the University, where appropriate;
(e) Carryout research on all aspects of human settlements, urban governance and urban environmental management;
(f) Provide technical advisory services as well as conduct research for state and the local governments on human settlements, urban governance and urban environmental management;
(g) To collaborate with the Federal Ministries of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, and Inter-governmental Affairs, in the areas of research, technical advisory services and project implementation;
(h) Participate in the supervision of the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the performance of UN-HABITAT Programmes in the country on behalf of the Habitat Programme Support Office (HAPSO);
(i) Facilitate the sharing of practical experience and Best Practices among Nigerian cities and between them and others in different parts of the world;
(j) Provide facilities for the training of Nigerians at all levels – diploma, graduate and post graduate- in all aspects of Municipal Administration, Human Settlements, Urban Governance and Urban Environmental Management;
(k) Set up a Data Bank on human settlements, urban management and urban governance;
The Vision of CHSUD is to facilitate, through action research and technical advisory service, the development of self-sustaining cities that are competitive, harmonious, liveable and vibrant; whose guiding principles are human dignity, justice and citizenship.
The Mission of CHSUD is to generate, disseminate and exchange information between Cities and Local Governments aimed at institutionalizing good governance, transparency and accountability at State and Local Government levels.
The Mandate of the Centre is to conduct training, conferences, seminars, workshops, consultancy services and dissemination of research results in areas of human settlements, good urban governance and development.
CHSUD serves state and local governments by providing research services to support policy and implementation of reforms in areas of institutional and capacity building, regulatory framework, operational and financial dimensions and governance. To support policy decisions CHSUD provides institutional and needs assessment and project document preparation, feasibility studies, environmental impact assessment and project appraisal.
Inner cities are assets, not liabilities and its recognition can help in economic and social revival. UMC works with state and local governments to prepare action plans and to implement effective, sustainable and bottom-up slum upgrading projects.
Training and Capacity Building
CHSUD undertakes training and capacity building programs that range from enhancing the transparency and accountability of local governments to their residents and self sustainability in their operation, improving management skills through national and international study tours and training programs. CHSUD integrates workshops, seminars and conferences in its training programmes.
CHSUD facilitates study tours of students, state and local government officials to enable the participants to contextualize the learning and to apply them to their environment.
CHSUD partners with regional and international partners to facilitate Twinning and partnerships between Nigerian states and local governments and their counterparts in developed and developing countries. These twinning and partnerships are based on the premise that local governments worldwide face similar challenges and can learn from one another to develop solutions.
Public Service Delivery and Environmental Management
CHSUD works with state and local governments to determine specific service delivery needs and designs innovative ways to provide quality services to the citizens. CHSUD conducts local assessments, develops targeted work plans and implements projects in consultation with the stakeholders.
CHSUD provides technical assistance in areas of solid waste management, water, sanitation, urban planning, resource mobilization and land management.
Documentation, Dissemination and Transfer of Best Practices
Urban local governments, anywhere in the world, are challenged with similar issues. They are under tremendous pressure to deliver quality services to its citizens. Many cities have ventured to take innovative steps to find solutions to meet the challenges. These solutions are discussed and adapted in the local context to enhance the capacities of the city management. CHSUD encourages local governments and civil society organizations to adapt and evolve new ideas leading to paradigm shift towards more effective urban governance, transparency and accountability of local governments to their residents, self sustainability in their operation and efficient urban management. CHSUD is in the process of establishing a database of innovations and a Newsletter to disseminate and showcase good practice.
Establishment of City Networks
Local Government Associations over the world have emerged as important players in responding to municipal mandates effectively and lobbying with single voice for recognition of local government concerns. They have acted as the critical link between members to share experiences and disseminate information. CHSUD, in collaboration with its partners, is in the process of forming City Manager’s Associations (CMAs) in each of the 36 states of the country. These are to provide a platform for city managers to come together to share and learn about current issues and trends in the national and global urban management, climate change and governance. CHSUD intends to promote and facilitate the setting up of Good Governance Resource Centres in each of the six geopolitical zones of the Nigeria.
Monitoring and Evaluation and Performance Measurement
Monitoring and evaluation as a tool, is critical to effective measurement and evaluation of the impact of development and efficacy of programmes. CHSUD is assisting states and local governments in setting systems for project monitoring and evaluation.
Local Economic Development (LED)
In the globalised world, cities are competing with each other to offer attractive destinations to do business. CHSUD has developed training programme on LED, based on the manuals developed by UN-Habitat, for elected officials and staff of local governments, to build their capacity to improve local economies, enhance internally generated revenue and creating an enabling environment for employment generation and poverty reduction. CHSUD undertakes assessments of economic sectors of cities to prepare local economic development strategies and goals.
The Centre has been working with State and Local Governments in many parts of Nigeria. It diagnoses the development challenges facing the governments and helps find innovative solutions to address them. It is collaborating with Urban Management Centre (UMC) of India to Set-up a strong network of City Manager’s Associations (CMAs) in the States. Again, the Centre is facilitating the establishment of a Good Governance Resource Centres in each of the Six geopolitical zones of Nigeria, aimed at institutionalizing transparent and accountable local governance. Similarly, the Centre received a boost recently with the formal approval by the University Authority to pursue a short-term executive course for Chairman and Councillors of Local Governments, executive course for Directors and Heads of Departments, and also refresher course on Local Economic Development for built environment professionals.
Academic Courses Offered In CHSUD
The Centre, in its effort to build more professionals in the areas of Urban Environment and Local Economic Development, the following Certificate and Post-Graduate Diploma courses are currently being run in the Centre.
Certificate Course in PPPUE
Post-Graduate Diploma in PPPUE
Some other proposed courses which the Centre is trying to commence in collaboration with Habitat Partner Universities Initiative (HPUI) are:-
M.Tech. In Sustainable Urban Development
M.Tech. in Urban Ecology
PGD in Local Economic Development
CHSUD Journal is an International Journal Published bi-annually by the Centre. The Journal focuses on settlement development issues that affect cities of the 21st Century. The intention is to provide a medium for the dissemination of information on research outcomes and ‘best practices’ on new approaches and/or strategies for managing human settlement for liveability and sustainability. The journal therefore provides an information base for the academic community, professionals, policy makers, government officials, practitioners in the built environment and city managers.
CHSUD Reseach (completed and ungoing)
CHSUD participated and complete successfully the UNDP spornsored research on the Assessment of Good Urban Government (GUG) in 2010. The Centre was contracted AMAC and Bwari area councils. Also in 2010, An assessment of Minna Abatour was conducted by the Centre and the result was forwarded to the state government in anticipation of a collaboration to upgrade the standard of the abatour. The Centre in 2011 conducted a research on post occupancy occupation of some slum areas in Minna.
The Centre is currently undertaking a research on an assessment of articulated vehicle on street parking along Jebba-Tegina road and the design for their resettlement, the research work is being sponsored by the University Board of Research (UBR).
CHSUD is currently collaborating with the Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies (IHS), Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherland, for the application and approval of the Netherlands Fellowship Programmes (NFP) Tailor-Made Training (TMT), which is specifically aimed to improve the overall functioning of the Centre by training staff of the Centre. The training is designed to meet the specific needs of the Centre.