Strengthen the Institutionalisation and Support the Operation of the Ethiopian Cities Network



Approval Date
Actual Completion Date
Proposal Focus
Core Focus
Secondary Cities
Country Type
Lesson Learned for Cities Alliance Members and Partners
• There is strong demand and desire by Ethiopian cities to participate and gain from mutual learning events. • The actual exchange of local knowledge and experiences greatly contributes to the enhancement of Ethiopian cities’ self-management capacities. Peer-to peer learning between cities has proven to be an effective and cost efficient way of capacity development for city administrations as well as for scaling-up best practices. • Strong ownership of member cities is the key for the future success of the ECA. • Further support is needed to establish the ECA as an independent organisation which is able to manage its operations in an effective and efficient way as well as to acquire and implement external funding by itself. • Through international partnerships and linkages, there is a wider potential for the ECA to share and learn from experiences of similar institutions and thus strengthen its own management capacity.


Since its establishment in November 2009, around 23 cities have joined the Ethiopian Cities Network. The diverse membership base of the network includes cities from less developed regions as well as big regions. This activity aims to strengthen the secretariat of the Ethiopia Cities Network by developing the operations procedures for better functioning of the Secretariat. The objective of the ECN is to provide a forum for member cities to exchange experiences on improvement and implementation of strategic urban planning processes and innovative approaches for pro-poor urban development. This activity intends to support the knowledge management and learning function of the Network.
1. Strengthen the secretariat of the ECN by assigning qualified staff and by establishing clear and efficient working procedures. 2. Support knowledge exchanges and learning among Ethiopian cities towards successful implementation of ongoing urban development reforms: 3. Identify, collect and share locally tested and innovative best practices and further contribute to the generation and dissemination of knowledge at the national level through annual events including the Ethiopian Cities’ Day and the Ethiopian Cities Best Practice Competition. 4. Organise mechanisms through which cities provide feedback to the Ministry of Works and Urban Development and other federal stakeholders on the design and implementation of national urban development programmes. 5. Support membership and exchange with other national and international/regional networks.
The major activities of the 2nd phase of the Ethiopian Cities Network are: 1. Develop operational procedures and a website for the secretariat of the Ethiopian Cities Network 2. Assign qualified staff for the secretariat of the Ethiopian Cities Network 3. Organize local and international knowledge and learning workshops 4. Support the organization and implementation of the 2nd Ethiopian Cities Day Competition 5. Organize and conduct 2nd Ethiopian Cities Best Practices competition and produce the annual publication of the competition 6. Dissemination of successful urban management tools and approaches to members and feedback to the urban management masters’ programme 7. Produce and disseminate report of cities that contains feedback on the design and implementation of national urban development programmes and national priorities and concerns
Expected Impacts and Results
• Developing standard working and management procedures is an important step towards enabling the ECA’s secretariat to independently manage its business and to acquire and implement internal and external funding. • The Ethiopian Cities Network is recognised as a useful instrument of knowledge exchange by Ethiopian Cities reflected by the increasing number of partner cities. • All experience exchange workshops have been found highly relevant by the participants and regarded valuable for improving their own city management. The exchange visit to South Africa has convinced participating member cities of the benefits of a strong and functional cities association but also clearly shown what is needed to get there. • Dialogue and feedback mechanisms are established between Ethiopian cities and other urban development actors towards the design and implementation of improved urban development policies and programmes. • The ECA was able to significantly contribute to the successful realisation of the 2011 “Ethiopian Cities Week” (ECW), formerly called Ethiopian Cities Day. With the aim of supporting the organization of the various activities held on the Ethiopian Cities Week, the ECA entered into a financial contribution agreement with the MUDC which is the co-organizer of the event.