The New Cities Alliance Business Model
In order to implement the vision outlined in the new Charter, the Cities Alliance is repositioning its business model and adopting a more strategic, programmatic approach to managing its operations.
In order to implement the vision outlined in the new Charter, the Cities Alliance is repositioning its business model and adopting a more strategic, programmatic approach to managing its operations. The three primary instruments for the new business model are: country programmes, a Catalytic Fund, and Joint Work Programmes (JWPs).
The new Catalytic Fund replaces the former open-access grant facility. It has two primary objectives: to catalyse urban transformation processes that promote more inclusive cities, and to advance collective know-how through learning distilled from project experiences.
Some of the key elements of the Catalytic Fund are:
- It is competitive process that is open twice a year.
- Application requirements include a Concept Note on the proposed project.
- The grant size is limited to US $50,000 – US $250,000.
- Sponsorship by a Cities Alliance member is required.
The Catalytic Fund focuses on proposals for projects that make a clear impact, leverage a system of cooperation, are innovative, and foster knowledge and learning. For more information about the Catalytic Fund, please visit the Catalytic Fund FAQ.
These programmes seek to mobilise the Cities Alliance membership around long-term, demand-oriented interventions that are uniquely tailored a country’s specific urban context and needs. They are based on the following principles:
- Coherence of effort among the drivers of urban development in a country
- A long-term focus on benefitting the urban poor
- A multi-sectoral approach that maximises the alignment of efforts
- A demand-oriented programme design process
- Building long-term institutional capacities
- Engaging for systemic change and impacts at scale
Country programmes have been initiated in Uganda, Ghana and Vietnam. A fourth programme has recently been approved for Burkina Faso.
Joint Work Programmes
Joint Work Programmes (JWPs) between Cities Alliance members and partners are a key instrument for leveraging the Alliance’s knowledge. They leverage members’ comparative advantages to generate coordinated approaches and to deepen knowledge on cross-sectoral topics such as climate change, the environment, and integrated urban environmental planning. The JWPs also nurture stronger and more effective partnerships between Alliance members and city stakeholders.
Recent examples of JWPs include those between:
- UNEP, UN-Habitat and the World Bank on Cities and Climate Change;
- Cities Alliance and UNEP focusing on assisting city officials and practitioners in integrating environmental concerns into their city management and planning practices; and
- Cities Alliance and the World Bank on the linkages between climate change, disaster risk, and their effects on the urban poor, resulting in a final report that will be presented at the C40 meeting in 2011.