CG Meeting Reports

Consultative Group Home PageInformal Working Level Consultation on
Design of Governance and Organisational Structure
of the Cities Alliance
11 October 1999
Agence Française de Développement
Paris, France

M. Alain Chetaille welcomed the participants on behalf of the meeting hosts and expressed the French Government's support for the Cities Alliance. He noted the importance of providing assistance to small and medium-sized secondary cities (in addition to large cities), and of finding a way to take full advantage of parallel-financed activities under the Cities Alliance.

Mr. Hildebrand suggested in his opening remarks that the rapid growth of urban poverty and the sheer numbers of the urban poor mean we cannot afford to continue with "business as usual" but must find the way to make strategic investments to scale-up the impact of urban development cooperation. The Cities Alliance should provide the framework for collective action to achieve this goal. He noted that the day's discussion would be about how to achieve this and how to design the framework of the Alliance and its Consultative Group so that each partner can make a positive contribution towards this goal.
He summarized some of the recent activities of the Cities Alliance at the country level, as well as the preparation of the "Cities Without Slums" action plan for moving to scale in slum upgrading. He also briefed the meeting on the outcomes of recent consultations with international associations of local authorities and with prospective bilateral and multi-lateral partners. He noted that the challenge is now to quickly translate these expressions of interest and support into a serious, concerted effort to channel the resources and commitment needed to reach the two operational objectives of the Cities Alliance. He suggested two goals for the day's meeting:
  • to agree on a governance model and framework at a level of detail suitable to put forward to the first meeting of the Consultative Group and to guide our initial operations; and
  • to understand how the resources required to meet our two objectives will be mobilized.

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Discussion centered around the September 1, 1999, "Governance and Management Issues Paper." The outcomes from the discussion are summarized below, including issues which should be addressed in finalizing documentation for the first meeting of the Consultative Group.

I - The Cities Alliance: Objectives and Rationale

There was consensus in support of the objectives and rationale of the Cities Alliance and its two areas of focus – scaling up slum upgrading and city development strategies. Strong support was also expressed for the "knowledge and learning" component of Cities Alliance activities.

Considerations: Make more explicit in Cities Alliance documentation the objective of "sustainable urban development" and the links to implementing the Habitat Agenda which was adopted at the City Summit in Istanbul.

II – Relationships with Programs of Participating Donors

Agreement that Memoranda of Understanding should be negotiated with programs which would be interested in serving as implementing agencies for Cities Alliance activities, e.g. the UMP, the MDP, ICLEI, etc.

Consideration: Need to engage associations of local authorities in Alliance activities:
1) at inception, to launch and create local buy-in;
2) in implementation, to mainstream successful activities; and
3) evaluation.

III – Proposed Activities

Agreement that the Cities Alliance needs to take stock of all on-going and pipeline activities (upgrading and city strategies) of prospective partners and implementing agencies/programs, and provide an overview for partners.

Partners were asked to provide by 15 November a list of their ongoing bilateral activities related to City Development Strategies and urban upgrading for: 1) countries identified in the 2000-2002 draft Cities Alliance budget document, and 2) for other countries where work is underway which could potentially be expanded within the framework of the Cities Alliance.

Consideration: A mechanism is needed for informing partners of what activities are taking place and what is working well. A method is needed to determine whether and to what extent on-going and pipeline activities of partners, and new parallel-financed activities, should be defined as Alliance activities, or recognized as activities that support its objectives.

Consideration: How to facilitate linking decentralized cooperation with the urban investments of the Bank and other partners. Need to strengthen, not displace, local lending mechanisms.

IV – Governance and Organizational Structure

Consensus to use the PPIAF Consultative Group model for the Alliance, including the provision for core funding and the utilization of non-core funding. The Secretariat will prepare revised Governance and Management paper that takes into account issues raised by prospective partners and submit revised paper to partners prior to the Cities Alliance Pledging Conference and first meeting of the Consultative Group.

Consideration: An "associate membership" is being considered at least for an initial start-up period for PPIAF; associate membership would be non-voting, but could share information and participate in key meetings. The Cities Alliance may want also to adopt this concept, at least during its start-up period.

Considerations: Need to involve mayors and other local stakeholder representation, particularly associations of local authorities in the Consultative Group. Need to integrate regional technical expertise into the Cities Alliance Policy Advisory Board. Need to involve regional development banks.

Consideration: In addition to a minimum core funding contribution ($250,000 per year), by members of the Consultative Group, their strong commitment to and engagement in achieving the goals of the Cities Alliance will be critical to its success.

V - Funding

Partners were asked to provide the Secretariat, over the next 3-4 weeks, with a sense of resource commitments (core and non-core/earmarked) that they might be pledging in preparation for the Cities Alliance pledging conference which will be held on either December 13 or 16. This meeting will be followed the next day by the first meeting of the Cities Alliance Consultative Group.

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