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This report describes the knowledge exchange process among local governments from cities of the Global South sharing experiences and lessons learned through the first waves of Covid-19.
Since Covid-19 started spreading around the globe, local governments have been playing a key role in containing the pandemic and mitigating its social and economic impacts. This is particularly exemplary considering the limited mandate, finances and capacities of many of them, especially in cities in the global south.
When most countries adopted emergency measures, including lockdowns, local governments in developing countries increased efforts to deliver services including access to sanitation, socio-economic support, legal advice to women affected by domestic violence, protection equipment, and information campaigns.
These measures have been particularly critical for managing the situation in informal settlements where it is difficult to adopt the recommended social distancing and hygiene practices.
Cities Alliance, in collaboration with United Cities and Local Governments Asian and the Pactific (UCLG-ASPAC); All India Institute Of Local Self Government (AIILSG); and the Regional Centre for Urban and Environmental Studies (RCUES) created the Platform for Cities of the Global South to foster knowledge exchange and peer-learning among cities across Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Through a series of virtual discussions city officials, urban practitioners and civil society organizations identified good city practices in managing and mitigating the spread of Covid-19 in informal communities. Innovative south-south knowledge exchanges took place among organizations such as Digital Agency for Public Innovation of Mexico City, East Delhi Municipal Corporation; the Secretariat for Human Rights and Citizenship of the Sao Paolo and Iriga City (Philippines).
The Platform for Cities of the Global South has proved the importance of knowledge exchange initiatives among key urban practitioners to improve the development of vulnerable urban territories.
This horizontal integration of key stakeholders working in an interactive manner through online dialogues has been useful in providing relevant insights to urban policy planners and decision-makers.
The ultimate goal is to improve the efficiency of cities managing emergency responses and planning recovery processes, learning from each other and enabling robust participatory governance processes.