Call for Papers: Reducing Urban Poverty Competition 2014

Cities Alliance, USAID, IHC, the World Bank and the Wilson Center are co-sponsoring a fifth annual paper competition for graduate students. The deadline for abstracts is 30 April.

Abstracts due: 30 April 2014 

To encourage a new generation of urban policy makers and promote early career research, USAID, International Housing Coalition (IHC), World Bank, the Wilson Center, and Cities Alliance are co-sponsoring a fifth annual paper competition for graduate students, seeking abstracts on urban poverty in the developing world. 

Winning papers will be published and selected authors will present their work in a policy workshop to be held at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. in January, 2015. The grand prize winner will receive a travel stipend to present the paper at a Cities Alliance Forum in Brussels. 

Papers must be linked to one of the following sub-topics: 

  • Cities and Climate Change. Papers on this topic should explore the ways in which cities of the developing world are adapting to, and mitigating the severity of, climate change. 
  • Urban Resiliency. Papers on this topic should focus on long term reconstruction planning, preparedness, early response, resiliency, and recovery, and could address issues such as shelter and housing, service delivery, infrastructure, or city planning in a post-disaster setting. 
  • Inclusive Cities. Papers on this topic should examine policies that are confronting the challenges of urban diversity, developing and strengthening urban inclusion through governance structures, civic engagement, planning, the use of city space, and other mechanisms. 
  • Impacts of the Informal Economy. Papers on this topic should explore innovations in measuring the informal economy and supporting productive livelihoods in urban areas, especially in informal settlements. 

Papers from a variety of perspectives are appropriate, including (but not limited to) urban planning, economics, political science, geography, public policy, law, sociology, environment, anthropology, housing policy, governance, emergency services, and public health. 


This call for papers is directed at PhD students and advanced Masters students. To be eligible, applicants should be currently enrolled in a degree program as of April 30, 2014. Papers can be co-authored, as long as each author is a graduate student. In this case, only one author will present at the policy workshop. 

Abstract Submissions

  • Abstracts (max 500 words) and a brief CV should be submitted to the selection committee by April 30, 2014. Submissions should be sent to 
  • Abstracts should contain a title, paper description, author name and affiliation, and specify which of the topical areas listed below the paper will most directly address. 

Criteria for Selection 

  • Abstracts should present a clear, compelling research question. 
  • Preference will be given to the presentation of original, field-based research that builds upon existing scholarship as opposed to desk or literature reviews. 
  • Paper proposals should be policy-based and solutions-oriented and should critically examine existing projects and/or propose new strategies for tackling issues related to urban poverty in the developing world. 
  • Abstracts should be clearly linked to one or more of the four sub-topics outlined above. 

Request for Full Papers 

  • A panel composed of members of the sponsor organisations will review submitted abstracts and request full papers from finalists. 
  • Applicants will be notified in mid-May whether they will be asked to write a full paper, which will be due by July 31, 2014. 
  • Completed papers should be a maximum of 20 pages in length including appendixes (double-spaced, Times New Roman 12pt font) and utilise the guidelines used by the Chicago Manual of Style. 

For more information, please contact