Our Operations


Cities Alliance provides direct operational support to urban programmes aimed at reducing urban poverty and gender inequality. We focus on countries grappling with rapid urban growth, particularly in secondary cities where the needs are greatest and resources the least.

We also serve as the international platform that convenes countries and diverse organisations seeking to engage, learn and to share their specialised knowledge, expertise and resources in support of a common vision and advocacy.

Download the Cities Alliance Standard Operating Procedures

How We Work


Cities Alliance works through two main funding windows: The Country/City window and the Global Window. Relevant experience obtained through the Country/City window is funnelled to the global window and its Joint Work Programmes, which address the four thematic focus areas that guide our work: Equitable economic growth, resilience, gender and migration.


The Country/City Window


This window provides technical assistance at the city and national level across multiple countries. It comprises our established Country Programme model and the Innovation Fund.

Country Programmes

These are longer-term programmes tailored to a country’s context and needs, delivered through financing a series of key urban initiatives in a coherent, sustained manner to achieve development impact at scale. They typically include activities at three levels: community, local and national.

Innovation Programme

The programme aims to incubate fresh thinking and approaches to urban challenges, particularly in rapidly-urbanising cities. It is a flexible instrument also designed for new and non-traditional partners, especially in those cities and communities that are typically left behind.


The Global Window


The Global window promotes new analytical and collaborative approaches to tackle key policy issues. At its core are our thematic Joint Work Programmes (JWPs), which serve as a coordination platform, knowledge hub and think tank for advocating new thinking on key urban issues. They also absorb, analyse and disseminate key lessons from Cities Alliance’s operational activities.

Cities Alliance currently has four active Joint Work Programmes which anchor our guiding themes:

         -   Cities in the Global Agendas
         -   Gender and Women's Empowerment
         -   Promoting Equitable Economic Growth in Cities
         -   Resilient Cities