Preparing urban plans for the future is one part of the process of development. Its implementation and execution is only complete with the knowledge of urban governance. The exercise outcome was in the form of a presentation depicting an audit of an existing public service in order to ascertain its state. Students prepared a proposal while analysing the constraints if any, of the allocated budget in order to make the same service better.
Maximising the potential of urban areas requires institutionalising mechanisms of coordination, planning and accountability among diverse stakeholders which is only possible through good governance. While ineffective urban governance affects both the rich and the poor, the rich can escape into their gated societies, outsourcing the services which the government has to provide, the poor cannot do the same. As a result, these cities will become centres of poverty, inequality and conflict.
Labs on public policy and urban governance were conducted where students discussed and debated on how public policies should be formed as well as what services government should provide. Further, students audited a public service, on the ground, to understand the issues and challenges faced by the users as well as service providers. They also studied the policy documents related to the service and understood the chain of command in terms of who takes the decisions, flow of cash from the allocated budget and the revenue generated. With this understanding, students then gave their own proposal in order to make the same service better.