Cities Alliance to Support India’s PEARL Knowledge Exchange Network

[14 January 2010] -- The Cities Alliance has approved a proposal to support India’s Peer Exchange and Reflective Learning (PEARL) network.
The PEARL network is part of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), a massive fast-track city modernisation initiative launched by the Indian government in 2005 that links investment with urban policy reform. JNNURM currently includes 63 cities across India.
The Ministry of Urban Development established the PEARL network in 2007 to help cities participating in JNNURM share knowledge on project implementation, urban reforms and city governance. To date, the Ministry has committed $500,000 over three years for PEARL.
The Cities Alliance has allocated $500,000 in grant funding to build on the Ministry’s initial efforts and contribute to making PEARL an effective learning and knowledge-sharing network. The duration of the grant is three years, through March 2012.
The primary objectives of Cities Alliance support to PEARL are as follows:
  • Operationalise the network by developing effective networking mechanisms;
  • Assess the network’s knowledge needs and fill in gaps by either accessing new knowledge products or developing customised ones;
  •  Build the cities’ capacity to use the knowledge gained from PEARL to implement infrastructure projects and urban reforms; and
  • Link PEARL with other national and international knowledge-sharing networks and help it develop into a platform for debate.
The Cities Alliance grant will be implemented by the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), which has been designated by the Ministry to coordinate the PEARL activities. Cities Alliance knowledge support to PEARL will be primarily through the Knowledge Network Support Unit, to be established under the NIUA.
The proposal was submitted to the Cities Alliance by the NIUA and sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID). It was formally approved on 24 December 2009.
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