Launch of the Cities Alliance Catalytic Fund

26 January 2011

Dear Members of the Consultative Group,
Following our decisive meeting in Mexico City, and the adoption of a new Charter and Business Model for the Cities Alliance, I am delighted to announce the launch of the Catalytic Fund.
Attached you will find all of the relevant documents, explaining the Fund, and guiding you through the application process.
The Secretariat has paid great attention to the comments that it has received from members, and has tried to simplify the process and make it as clear as possible. For those members that made specific comments, you will find a matrix where those comments are reflected, as well as the manner in which the Secretariat has responded.
In particular, I would like to draw your attention to the following:
  • With this communication, the Catalytic Fund (CATF) is now open. All documentation will be posted on the Cities Alliance website;
  • The Deadline for submissions in this first round is Thursday 31 March 2011;
  • Concept Notes can be submitted in Arabic, English, French, Portuguese or Spanish. Templates and instructions will be available on-line, initially in English only. Other languages will be posted as soon as they become available.
  • To simplify the operation of the  CATF, we have decided to have only one competitive step - the review of the Concept Note. Sponsors of successful Concept Notes will be  notified, and invited to develop a full proposal. A successful Concept Note will constitute an `in-principle` approval, subject to the full application meeting CA expectations and standards. Full Proposals will need to be submitted within two months of the approval of the Concept Note;
  • Donor coordination will now happen in parallel with the work of external evaluation panel. While the panel is conducting its evaluation, the Cities Alliance Consultative Group examines the Concept Notes to ensure that the proposed activities do not conflict with or duplicate Cities Alliance member activities. The Secretariat will consolidate feedback from the CG and the recommendations of the panel in selecting a final list of concept notes approved in principle for funding. 
  • With the launch of the CATF we are also setting up the External Evaluation Panel (one chair, two members and two substitutes). Attached are the two TORs for your comments outlining the role of the Chair and the panel Members. The CA Secretariat has approached Mr. Jamie Simpson, GHK, to act as the Chair of the panel.
  • The CG is urgently requested to submit nominations of appropriately qualified individuals for the two members and two substitutes.  The Secretariat will need to ensure that there is an appropriate mix of skills, background and language proficiency on the Panel.  The Secretariat will welcome nominations until Friday 4th February.
In closing I would kindly request all members to circulate the information of the CATF to your constituencies and partners.
I also give you advance notice that, next week,  the Secretariat will post - in the Member's section only of the Website - the application form and instructions for applying to the Small Grant Facility (SGF).
With my best wishes,






William Cobbett
Cities Alliance
1818H Street, NW
Washington DC



On the Catalytic Fund Launch:

CATF External Evaluation Panel:

Answers to CG Comments: