Cities Alliance Annual Report 2021

This annual report represents both a year of achievements and transition. 2021 marked the final phase of our current three-year strategy, during which Cities Alliance operated in 63 cities across 30 countries, with an annual direct reach of over half a million people.

The global context in which we work has, however, become much more complex.


The impacts of Covid-19, the climate crisis, and the exacerbating threats to peace and security globally have increased the vulnerability of the poor, with women being disproportionally affected.


These compounded crises have multiplied internal and cross-boundary migration, placed cities under more pressure to deliver services, and heightened the need for more resilient infrastructure, processes, and communities.

During the past year, through close collaboration with our members, Cities Alliance continued to deliver transformative change for the urban poor. From improving access to sanitation in Liberia to integrating slum upgrading into local planning in Uganda to bolstering the resilience of informal communities during the pandemic across 17 countries, and to calling for action on climate change and urban poverty at the global level, the results of our action are manifold.

Some of these crucial achievements include the development of a new plan that will place gender priorities in all our programmes and operations, deepening and advancing knowledge on safeguards in infrastructure, and supporting the development of the African Development Bank's sustainable urban development strategy. All three areas will help shape and support our work in the future.

Working together with the members, we have also achieved a key milestone by developing a new Strategic Plan, which defines the future direction of the organisation for the period 2022-2025. The plan highlights the Cities Alliance partnership’s outstanding experience in tackling urban poverty. It sharpens the organisation’s focus on tested solutions to the most pressing challenges in cities, from climate impacts to unprecedented migration and increasing inequalities. 

None of our work would be possible without our advocacy, implementation, funding and local community partners, and the strength of our partnership and network. It is only through this collaboration, and the commitment of our staff and our members, that we can deliver in our quest to serve the urban poor and build better and more inclusive Cities for All. 

This report showcases the key highlights of our work in 2021.

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