International CDS Knowledge Exchange Workshop held in Beirut

Local government representatives from the MENA region recently participated in a City Development Strategy (CDS) knowledge exchange workshop in Beirut

As part of the Jordan – Secondary Cities Development Strategy (CDS) Program, funded by the Cities Alliance, an international CDS knowledge exchange workshop was held in Beirut, Lebanon recently. Community participation in the CDS process was one of the key topics discussed at the two-day event. This is significant in the backdrop of the pro-democracy movements in the MENA region.

The workshop was attended by 20 participants from Sfax (Tunisia), Tripoli (Lebanon) and local government units and CDS focal points for the four Jordanian cities which are implementing the CDS, namely Karak, Mafraq, Zarqa and Tafilah. The mayor of the city of Saida, Lebanon, which is soon about to embark on the CDS process also participated.

The Cities Alliance has supported CDS implementation in Sfax and Tripoli and the workshop saw a lively exchange of experiences and feedback between the city representatives. It reinforced the strategising process (which the four Jordanian municipalities have already undertaken) and provided inputs as they embark on the next phase, which includes a validation phase and dissemination of the action plans. 

The Jordan – Secondary Cities Development Strategy Program commenced in 2010 and is the second step in a programmatic approach to assisting four secondary cities in Jordan - Karak, Mafraq, Zarqa and Tafilah and their surrounding regions - in CDS development. Nearing completion, one of the key objectives of the Program is to build the capacity of Jordan’s largest municipalities and generate local economic development opportunities outside of the nation’s capital, Amman, in cities which include the highest poverty rates.

The Beirut workshop was organised by The World Bank’s MENA region in partnership with the four Jordanian municipalities with the support of Centre for Mediterranean Integration and Cities Alliance.

Read more about what transpired at the workshop on the Cities Alliance website.