[31 March 2016] – Mayors from around the world gathered in New York on Tuesday 29 March for the launch of the OECD and Ford Foundation’s Inclusive Growth in Cities Campaign. In recognition of the crucial role cities play in making inclusive and equitable growth happen, the campaign will create a global coalition of Champion Mayors for Inclusive Growth. The Cities Alliance is a key supporter of the campaign and was represented at the event though the Secretariat and members of its Joint Work Programme (JWP) on Promoting Equitable Economic Growth in Cities.
The new campaign is open to mayors around the world who are advancing more inclusive, equitable cities in a broad range of domains. Together, these Champion Mayors will help deliver on the potential of inclusive growth. Through the campaign’s global platform, Mayors will share their voices and perspectives with national governments and other key stakeholders, exchanging concrete solutions to overcome urban inequalities. Champion Mayors will not only continue to fight for more equal, inclusive and productive cities at home; by helping other cities address shared challenges, they will also work together to ensure that their efforts resonate well beyond their city’s borders.
The Cities Alliance Secretariat is actively supporting the campaign, mainly through the JWP on Promoting Equitable Economic Growth in Cities. The close collaboration between the Cities Alliance and the Inclusive Growth in Cities Campaign is a natural step, as they share common interests and objectives and are linked through the Ford Foundation – a Cities Alliance and JWP member.
Moreover, the potential synergies are substantial. The JWP focuses on supporting equitable access to local public goods and services – recognising both the important role of local governments and city authorities in enabling such delivery – as well as its potential to enhance growth and reduce inequality. While the specific areas and ways of collaboration with the Inclusive Growth in Cities Campaign will be further explored, synergies will be sought across the various JWP components, including global knowledge production, policy dialogues, and the production of local-level diagnostics and policy recommendations.
A key feature of the Inclusive Growth in Cities Campaign is the Champion Mayors’ endorsement of The New York Proposal for Inclusive Cities, a political commitment that will help shape a policy roadmap for inclusive cities to identify both the challenges and potential solutions to reducing inequality in cities.
As the culmination of Tuesday’s launch event, the proposal document was signed by 43 Champion Mayors; Angel Gurria, Secretary General of the OECD; Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation; and a number of supporting institutions, including the Cities Alliance. Kick-starting and framing the campaign, the signees committed to “champion an Inclusive Growth agenda in our city, our country and across the world, by promoting policies and practices that foster both economic growth and inclusiveness”.
Through support from the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF) and Ford Foundation, the JWP facilitated the participation of Mayors from Ghana and Uganda at the launch. A second meeting of the campaign will be held in Paris in November 2016.
The Joint Work Programme on Promoting Equitable Economic Growth in Cities
The Cities Alliance is currently in the process of establishing a member-led Joint Work Programme focused on fostering equitable economic growth in cities. The JWP responds to priorities set out in the Cities Alliance Medium Term Strategy and is part of the organisation’s commitment to strengthening its partnership approach.
The JWP aims to support growth trajectories characterised by inclusiveness, equity and environmental sustainability in cities. To accomplish this goal it will work with local governments, city stakeholders and development partners to produce global knowledge, facilitate policy dialogues and support city-level diagnostics and policy recommendations to respond to the challenges of equitable economic growth in cities. Recognising the instruments available at the local level, the JWP focuses on supporting equitable access to public goods and services by all citizens as well as formal and informal businesses in cities.
The JWP is funded and chaired by the UK Department for International Development (DFID). The work is undertaken by the JWP members, headed by the chair and actively facilitated by the Cities Alliance Secretariat. The current membership of the JWP includes DFID, UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), UN-Habitat, Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO), Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF), Ford Foundation and Clare Short (Cities Alliance Senior Policy Advisor). The JWP’s four-year work programme is currently being finalised and operations are set to begin during the second half of 2016.