What are investments doing to the cities, especially the city poor and other low income groups?
Investments determine the shape of a city, in terms of employment, infrastructure and quality of living. As of now, there is no-one monitoring ongoing investments in a city and their net effect in a comprehensive manner. Therefore, Investment Watch began as an attempt to fill in these gaps of information that sought to understand the city-wide impact on land prices, employment, poverty and growth. Eventually, the focus of the study became its impact on the urban poor. When seen in the context of its impact on the urban poor, we may find that while investments affect living conditions such as shelter, access to basic infrastructure and livelihood opportunities in some positive ways they also adversely affect the poor in terms of evictions/demolitions, increased constraints in accessing formal housing, higher user charges for accessing land, rental accommodation and other social services.
Investment Watch was therefore meant to contribute to the thinking, strategy formation, policy and plans for poverty reduction in general and improving quality of living and working of the poor in particular. It aimed to investigate the effects/impacts of public/private investments on the living and working of the city poor and bring that in the public domain. The attempt was also to establish a dialogue with the public and private investors to share analysis, learning and inferences. Based on the findings, it was intended to argue the poor’s case with investors for higher, better targeted, better delivered and better impact investments to inform effective, reliable, and participatory methods in investment planning.
INHAF undertook this study in the cities of Pune and Bhopal.
Investment Watch Bhopal report findings were presented to Government officials in English and Hindi alongside a day long workshop of NGOs, professionals, civic groups and media. The Bhopal report takes an in-depth look at the Bhopal Municipal Corporation’s investments in water supply, sanitation, transportation and housing for the urban poor.
Bhopal: Samarthan, Pune: Gokhale Institute of Public Policy
Investment Watch – Bhopal