The Cities Alliance implements a performance monitoring system to measure the results of its activities and capture their impact in a systematic way.
At the core of Cities Alliance’s performance system is the Corporate Scorecard, which serves as a summary of the organisation’s overall results and performance, and as an annual report to the Management Board. The scorecard includes 42 indicators and provides the Cities Alliance Secretariat and members with information on the achievement of development results, effectiveness in achieving those results, and the efficiency of operations. It also supports strategic planning to fill crucial gaps, foster learning and corrective actions, and promote accountability for results.
In addition to the core indicators reported in the scorecard, each Cities Alliance programme designs and implements a customised Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) framework. This ensures accurate and specific reporting on programme results and incorporates a learning function into the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) system to improve programmatic knowledge sharing, organisational learning, decision making and ultimately performance.
The Results Framework (below) shows how each step builds towards achieving cities with improved quality of life and better opportunities for all, especially the urban poor. It lays out the different levels of results expected by the partnership so that all parties – Cities Alliance Secretariat, its members, and cities – can be held accountable.
The Results Framework articulates the different tiers of results expected by Cities Alliance interventions. It lays out the products and services that will be delivered over a period of time (Tier IV), the changes these products and services will generate in the short/ medium time (Tier III), the effect on the main clients (Tier II), and the overall influence on the national and global developmental goals, including SDGs (Tier I).
The vertical progression across tiers approximates the chronological and causal or logical progression across a result chain: from inputs to outputs, intermediate outcomes, outcomes and impact. It should be noted that, for corporate-wide aggregating exercises, this vertical progression – which is different from project logframes – should not be considered scientific or attributable.
As per standard international practice, this tier is primarily contextual and reports on the long-term development goals that partner countries are achieving. The universe of measurement is the priority countries where Cities Alliance has long term engagements. Developmental impact is measured in terms of a subset of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), i.e. those which relate most to the Cities Alliance mission and livelihood of the target population – the urban poor – across three aspects: poverty, tenure and gender representation. It is important to include Tier I in the Results Framework to encapsulate Cities Alliance interventions within the broader developmental picture and define what the organisation is ultimately trying to influence.
This level reports on the clients’ results as promoted, supported and/or influenced by Cities Alliance. The city (broadly defined) is the client of the Cities Alliance. In fact, the Cities Alliance provides technical assistance services and demonstration projects. It also facilitates the leverage of financing that helps cities be more effective, participatory, and able to deliver improved, responsive services to the urban poor. Partner cities and national governments are the primary parties responsible for results at this level.
This tier covers the results of Cities Alliance’s programme activities. Through its Secretariat, members and partners, Cities Alliance provides technical assistance support for upstream diagnostics, planning, and policy advice and development. It also supports long term institutional strengthening and capacity development by engaging and investing in national, regional, local and community institutional structures, including universities. Cities Alliance contributes to infrastructure development in slums, typically delivered through community engagement and dedicated funds. Specific attention is paid downstream to project preparation, aligning Cities Alliance support to maximise the mobilisation of domestic and international financial resources. Cities Alliance is responsible and accountable for delivering these outcomes via the Secretariat, implementing members, and partners.
This tier covers the overall performance of the Cities Alliance Secretariat through its two operating windows (global window and country window) and across four different areas: partnership, volume, efficiency, and sustainability. The Secretariat is responsible and accountable for delivering these outputs. It is the Secretariat’s Terms of Reference.