Urban Management

Conceptual focus

Projects supported by SUM Consult are designed to make a lasting contribution to the social and economic development of a country, city or community. This goal pervades SUM Consult’s approach to design and implementation, based on seven inter-related principles:

Replicability of the approach
A replicable approach creates the potential for re-implementation in similar situations. Rather than designing for individual cases, this spreads the benefits to a larger target group.

Sustainability of the results
After implementation, a project should continue producing positive effects without additional support from outside. This is particularly relevant for the operation and maintenance of infrastructure.

Young unemployed men, Kenya
Institutional development and capacity building
We work closely with local institutions, introduce them to new approaches, increase management capabilities, and train and develop local personnel. Through institutional development and capacity building we attain replicability and long term development.

Active community participation
Participation and self-help are key instruments to achieve user satisfaction, to tap community resources and attain sustainability. The community must be empowered to actively participate at all stages of the project decision-making processes.

  Consideration of existing potential
No amount of government or donor funds could ever be sufficient to solve infrastructure, housing or poverty problems in developing countries. Cooperation projects must be designed to tap into local potential and to leverage community resources, and reduce dependence on the volatile availability of subsidies.

Community meeting Omaheke Corridor 17, Namibia
Promotion of youth and women
Long-term development depends on the successful integration of young people into the local processes, the future owners of the development results. Women, often the most reliable partners in development, are frequently discriminated against, legally or otherwise. We consider and incorporate the particular problems and potential of both sub-groups into the design and implementation of projects.

left: Community assembly, India
right: Working with children, Kosovo

Ecological soundness
SUM Consult carefully evaluates the ecological consequences of the proposed solutions. We aim to minimise negative effects on the environment, to identify potential problems and to incorporate mitigating measures. Wherever necessary, SUM Consult considers energy-efficient concepts in housing and infrastructure projects.