A Year of Results, Consolidation for the Cities Alliance
The past year was a particularly eventful and important one for the Cities Alliance. It was the first year managed under the new Cities Alliance business model, which is showing great promise for the organisation and is already demonstrating concrete results.
These results are especially evident in the Country Programmes underway in Uganda, Ghana, Vietnam, Mozambique and Burkina Faso. In Uganda, for example, the Transforming the Settlements of the Urban Poor in Uganda (TSUPU) programme was expanded to include nine additional cities that are part of the World Bank’s US$130 million municipal support initiative—meaning that all 14 of the country’s secondary cities are covered by TSUPU.
In Vietnam, the groundwork was laid for scaling up urban upgrading efforts to as many as 50 cities. Three important grant agreements were put in place in Ghana, effectively launching the programme there. In Burkina Faso and Mozambique, extensive design processes led to broad consensus about the programmes to be rolled out in the coming year.
Other highlights of FY2012 include:
- In keeping with the partnership’s emphasis on Sub-Saharan Africa, most projects approved by the Cities Alliance were in Africa; US$1.9 million was approved for the Cities Alliance Country Programme in Ghana alone.
- The first proposals were approved under the Catalytic Fund, following the FY2011 Call for Concept Notes. The second Call for Proposals, issued in February 2012, focused on the theme “Youth and the City.” It generated considerable interest, with more than 200 applications submitted.
- Regional work programme activities were approved for the Middle East-North Africa (MENA) region, where Cities Alliance members have formed a partnership with the Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI) to support cities and national partners in designing and implementing inclusive development strategies.
- Partnership programmes in Brazil and the Philippines were deepened, with funding for Brazil’s efforts to formulate a national involuntary resettlement policy with universal relevance, and a knowledge management and exchange system for city managers in the Philippines, arguably the home of the City Development Strategy (CDS) methodology.
- Two major publications were produced: Financing Africa’s Cities by Dr. Thierry Paulais, the culmination of four years of research and analysis financed jointly by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the Cities Alliance; and a series of Quick Guides for Policy Makers: Housing the Poor in African Cities, published in partnership with UN-Habitat.
The partnership also emphasised knowledge generation and capturing lessons learned from our extensive portfolio. We launched a new publication series, Cities Alliance in Action, to distill lessons from some of our most successful projects. The Cities Alliance website was also overhauled to focus on results and knowledge products.