Catalytic Fund on Know Your City Closed 30 June

This year's Call generated a record 243 applications, which are currently being processed according to established guidelines.

In May, the Cities Alliance issued a new Call for Proposals for its Catalytic Fund  focused on the theme Know Your City: Information for Transformation. 

Applications for the Catalytic Fund closed 30 June, and the 243 concept notes – a new record  – have already started being processed according to established guidelines.

This considerable attention and excitement generated by this call vindicated EXCO’s selection of a timely theme which resonated with members and partners alike.

A better knowledge of cities can help bridge the engagement, information and accountability gaps between city governments and their citizens. It can also support good governance and inclusive planning. Here are some of the top reasons to Know Your City:

  • More effective city planning. Without knowing how many people live in a city and where, it is very difficult for a city to provide services or plan for future growth. Once mayors or city officials have accurate data on the entire city – not just the formal areas – they can make more informed policy choices, such as where to provide services, housing and infrastructure so that residents benefit most.
  • A more inclusive city. Because the urban poor generally live in informal areas, they are often excluded from the formal governance and planning process and effectively locked out of the city’s economic growth. Once the poor are counted and acknowledged by city officials, a debate can take place about the city’s future involving all residents so that everyone can benefit from the city’s growth. 
  • Better governance and accountability. When residents are counted and recognised as part of the city and as citizens, they can have a voice and participate to the future of their city. They also have the capacity to hold city officials accountable for the progress in their neighbourhoods and push for more transparent and participatory decision making and planning. 
  • Dialogue between city officials and residents. When communities of the urban poor collect data about their own neighbourhoods in partnership with their local and national governments, they develop a constructive dialogue based on collaboration that allows both parties to work together to develop the city. City authorities begin to learn what their residents’ priorities are, and the citizens learn how to work with city officials to improve their communities.
  • Empowered urban poor. The process of collecting information on their own communities helps the poor mobilise and obtain the necessary tools to interact effectively with local authorities. Once they have acquired the data on their neighbourhoods, residents can create forums to discuss the issues affecting them, develop a community participatory plan for resolving those issues, and how to obtain funding for their community projects.

For more about the application process, eligibility requirements, and this year’s thematic focus see