On 7 November 2014 in Addis Ababa, the Cities Alliance Consultative Group met for the last time and adopted a new governance structure for the Partnership – one that makes it, for the first time in its history, a truly global organisation, anticipating the post-2015 era.
This is no tweak to the Charter, but rather a significant shift that makes possible new dynamics and opportunities for the Cities Alliance. It moves the Cities Alliance away from the traditional North-South aid architecture, to a partnership of stakeholders from across the international development spectrum – equipping us to address the changing developmental challenges more effectively.
The final Consultative Group meeting was memorable for other reasons as well. In addition to approving the 2015 budget and work programme, members had the opportunity to review the Cities Alliance’s new Gender Equality Strategy, which addresses one of the key themes of our Medium Term Strategy 2014-2016. Other highlights include discussion of our emerging Country Programme in Ethiopia as well as draft regional strategies to guide the Cities Alliance’s activities in Latin America and the Caribbean and Asia.
The Secretariat also presented a very well-received new Corporate Scorecard, which – in addition to measuring our performance – will help the Cities Alliance contribute to the wider development agenda, especially Habitat III.
Last but not least, on 5 November we launched a new publication, Managing Systems of Secondary Cities. This significant study helps fill a major knowledge gap and draws attention to secondary cities, which have been ignored by the development community for much too long.
With all of these developments, the Cities Alliance is now prepared to move into the next phase of its organisational life. I would like to pay tribute to the representatives from UN-Habitat and UCLG, whose actions were instrumental in ensuring the positive outcomes of the meeting. At a personal and professional level, I am truly excited by what I think we can achieve next year, and beyond. The Cities Alliance is now extraordinarily well positioned for the coming years, and to becoming a cutting-edge Partnership that challenges and redefines development assistance.