This session is part of the Cities Alliance Assembly 2024 and aims to explore how to strategically work with local communities to become champions of locally-led climate action.

In the face of unprecedented social and economic challenges, urban poor communities worldwide are facing non-ending cycles of chronic and acute shocks. As climate change amplifies urban vulnerability, it becomes imperative for diverse stakeholders to collaborate in bolstering resilience from the grassroots level. This panel aims to explore innovative approaches for fostering locally led solutions which enhance adaptation and mitigation against climate shocks at the local and city levels.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Cities Alliance, Slum Dwellers International (SDI), and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency  (Sida) have deepened their partnership by strengthening support provided to SDI federations in 16 countries.

Phase I of the partnership (2020-2021) supported the COVID-19 response at the community level. The positive impacts and lessons learned provided an opportunity for continuous support (Phase II - 2022-2024) to strengthen communities’ capacity to recover and rebuild from the pandemic. As the work of organised communities exceeded expectations in multiple contexts, a clear impetus and drive arose from the communities to work on community-led climate action. Thus, a third phase (2024)  was approved with a focus on supporting locally-led climate change adaptation.

The objective of this panel is two-fold. The first is to discuss the model of partnership between Cities Alliance, SDI, and Sida and put forward key successes, lessons learned, and innovative approaches. The second, is to examine how the model can move forward and evolve – whether its methodology, scope of implementation, mutual learning, and mutual accountability in the partnership. The aim is to discuss how this partnership model can be replicated, adapted to, and scaled up in different contexts.

As mandated by its strategic plan, Cities Alliance seeks to continue several innovative methodologies of this partnership, such as:

  • Providing technical support to federations and local authorities on how to mainstream conflict-sensitivity, climate change, gender and youth leadership in grants
  • Supporting climate action and climate negotiations at the community and local level
  • Actively incentivizing sound and verified data
  • Through networks and peer learning develop multi-country and regional approaches to enhancing response to climate change
  • Promoting innovative models of partnership for the urban poor. 

During this session, Cities Alliance members and partners will discuss how to strategically work with local communities to become champions of locally-led climate action – through adaptation and mitigation in urban planning, (financing and building) infrastructure, negotiations for climate-proofing policies and implementation plans. 

Moderator: Mara Forbes, Urban Development Specialist, Cities Alliance


  • Joseph Kimani, Executive Director, SDI Kenya
  • Cerin Kizhakkethottamm, Programme Management Officer on Climate, UN Habitat
  • Eva Muchiri, Youth Leader, Muungano Wa Wanavijiji
  • Sebastian Herold, Senior Policy Officer, BMZ
  • Grace Karanja, Director Environment, Climate Change and Natural Resources, Nakuru County

Climate Adaption Session Flyer


Event Info
Event Date
Event Location
Naivasha, Kenya