Call for Paper web bannerRapid urbanization increases the pressure on governments, especially in developing regions. With the proportion of urban population growing from 30% in 1950 to more than 50% in 2010, local governments are challenged to find innovative ways to plan city extensions, optimize their operations, and provide sufficient and equitable access to public services while ensuring transparency, accountability and public participation. Prospects of further growth suggest that in the future the challenge will be even greater: urbanites worldwide are likely to triple by the year 2050, reaching 1.23 billion in Africa and 3.3 billion in Asia. A second global trend is that Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) has become widespread. One third of the world’s population was online in 2011 and 62% of users were in developing countries.

ICT: A tool to improve the inclusiveness and responsiveness of public policies

In developing countries like Kenya, where there is estimated 79% mobile telephone penetration, ICT is transforming the way governance takes place. Thanks to the innovative thinking of public officials and citizens, ICT has become a tool that has improved the inclusiveness and responsiveness of public policies at the local level and it has helped in recent years to improve service delivery in many municipalities and countries. However facilitating policy-making and deliberation is another business altogether. Comprehensive ICT systems that support the policy cycle are not yet fully developed and used. UN-Habitat recognises that good urban governance is characterised by the interdependent principles of sustainability, equity, efficiency, transparency and accountability, security, civic engagement and citizenship. UN-Habitat believes that ICT can, if appropriately used, accessible and affordable, become a catalyst to improve governance in towns and cities, help increase the levels of participation, efficiency and accountability in public urban policies, and can be an asset for citizens including the most vulnerable communities. The ICT-enabled governance is allowing governments and communities to use technology to i) improve policy outcomes; ii) increase inclusiveness and responsiveness; iii) increase public openness and iv) engage citizens as partners, not only recipients, in the governance of towns and cities.

Purpose of this call for papers

UN-Habitat was invited to join the Future Policy Modeling consortium (FUPOL) as a full partner in 2013. FUPOL is a research consortium funded by the European Commission that aims to create a comprehensive information communication technology model to support public policy design and implementation. The consortium consists of 18 partners comprising innovative IT companies, leading research institutes, government agencies and municipalities. It investigates new governance models to support the public policy design and implementation lifecycle with innovative ICT. In the framework of this research programme, UN-Habitat coordinates the publication of a book on the same topic. The purpose of this call for papers is to further elaborate on ICT-enabled governance, especially in policy design, decision-making and relations with citizens and other spheres of governments in growing urban areas. The contributions for the book will portray efforts made by policy-makers, community organizations, IT companies, local and central governments to support urban policy design and implementation and revitalise the vertical, horizontal and polycentric relations between governments, citizens, non-state actors and private sector. The book will function as an essential reference that delves into the existing, emerging and potential experiences, summarizes researchers’ perspectives, and gives practical insights to urban and local policy-makers to support them in planning and managing sustainable urban development. Opportunities for research dissemination will happen in the framework of FUPOL activities and UN-Habitat’s global urban agenda.

Target audience and recommended topics

The working title is: “e-governance and urban policy design in developing countries”. Researchers, experts, urban practitioners, local and central decision-makers, youth organizations, and IT companies are invited to submit abstracts. Contributors from developing countries are encouraged to submit proposals. The papers will explore evidences, practical case studies, and display lessons learnt, best practices, critical points of view and research analysis in the selected topic. Focus can be either geographical (regions Africa / Asia / Latin America), at the city level or thematic. The abstracts should cover issues such as:

  • Urban e-Governance models and frameworks;
  • Best practice cases of urban e-Governance in selected regions;
  • e-Governance in fast growing cities;
  • Particular topics: e-Governance and… land use management, slum upgrading, metropolitan governance, local governance, multi-level governance;
  • ICT tools and technologies to support urban e-governance, including mobile e-governance applications for cities;
  • Security and privacy, open government data and business models, big data;
  • Participation and accountability: open urban government and transparency, effectiveness and equity, youth participation, empowerment of citizens;
  • Future trends in urban e-Governance.

Submission procedure and timeline

  • Languages: all contributions should be written in English.
  • April 30, 2014: Deadline for abstract submission.Interested contributors should submit an abstract of their proposed paper. The template for the abstract is attached. The submission should also be accompanied by a CV of each author/co-author.
  • Submittal abstracts and CVs should be sent by email to: and
  • May 9, 2014:Notification of abstract acceptance (where proposals list multiple authors, the first author listed on the submittal form will be notified).
  • July 4, 2014: Submission of full paper. Guidelines on the format of the paper will be sent to selected contributors.
  • July 30, 2014: Results returned after individual review. Contributors may also be requested to serve as reviewers for this project.
  • September 3, 2014: Submission of revised and final version of paper. The editorial committee consists of UN-Habitat and Cellent. This publication is anticipated to be released in 2014 and published by UN-Habitat.
  • Send all inquiries to: and
  • For your abstract, please use the following Abstract Template
  • Learn more about UN-Habitat and FUPOL consortium