Cities Alliance Donor Coordination - 4 March 2011

4 March 2011

Dear Consultative Group Members,

Warm greetings from Washington DC.

Next week, on March 10th and 11th, EXCO will be holding its first meeting -  with its new composition and in its new role -  at the World Bank offices in Washington DC. We have a full agenda over two days, with a combination of substantive and organizational issues to be considered and discussed.

As you will recall, one of the many highlights of the Mexico City meeting was the decision that the Cities Alliance should increase and improve its focus on sub-Saharan Africa. With the adoption of the new Charter, the CG also clarified the role of the Cities Alliance as a Partnership, focused on a set of specific goals as stated therein.

We will be presenting to EXCO a process to combine these two fundamental decisions and, in the first instance, build the Partnership around the Cities Alliance’s support to Africa.  We will be seeking the Executive Committee’s support for an intensive and collaborative process of developing a scaled-up Cities Alliance work programme to support African cities, to be discussed and adopted at our annual CG meeting, currently scheduled for November in Maputo (dates to be finalized).

You will further recall that, during the Africa debate in Mexico City, I indicated our intention to commence with the development of a Joint Work Programme with the Africa Region of the World Bank, which is attached below for purposes of donor coordination. I hope you will find the time to read this proposal, as I believe you will then appreciate the innovative and programmatic approach that is being proposed.

At the same time, the Secretariat  - with an active role for the Policy Advisory Forum (as formalized in the Charter) - proposes to proactively engage with  Cities Alliance members with an active portfolio in Africa, or with a specific interest in Africa, in constructing a comprehensive picture of what activities Cities Alliance members are already supporting in Africa, as well as their planned, future activities. Through this process, we aim to construct a comprehensive picture of the activities CA members are supporting in Africa, as well as their planned, future activities. This will identify key issues, learning needs, potential networks and opportunities for complementary CA activities. Leveraging CA member activities, adding complementary CA-funded action and increasing the overall coherence and synergy of CA activities will lead to the bold, multi-year Cities Alliance programme that members called for in Mexico City.

In my view, the active participation of our members in the development of this work programme would provide an unprecedented opportunity to capitalize on the diverse membership of the Cities Alliance which not only includes the major multilateral and bilateral agencies active in Africa, but also the representatives of local government as well as three of the most influential national governments on the Continent, and the significant international networks of SDI and Habitat for Humanity. The development of this work programme focused on Africa would become a major deliverable for this year and, ineed, the centerpiece of the Maputo meeting.

With the support of EXCO, we will be following up with those members that are interested to work with the Secretariat and the PAF to develop a work programme. In the meantime, I encourage you to read the attached proposal, "Supporting Africa’s Urban Transition", which is being funded from the Africa Facility.

We would welcome  any early feedback or suggestions you or your country-based colleagues might wish to bring to our attention and would ask that comments be sent by 18 March 2011.

Please be advised that for ease of access, all Proposal Updates are routinely posted on the members page of our website -- accessible through "Members Login" at   . Kindly please create a personal login to access the new, updated, Cities Alliance Members Home Page.

With my best wishes,






William Cobbett
Cities Alliance
1818H Street, NW
Washington DC


I. Proposal for Donor Coordination
Comments, if any, are due back to the Secretariat by, 18 March 2011.

1 .  Supporting Africa’s Urban Transition
Proposal type
: Joint Work Programme
Request to CA: $920,000
Submitted by:  World Bank