Building Participatory Accountability Systems for City Policies

Rapid urbanisation is one of the main challenges of cities across the globe. Cities are trying to react rapidly and effectively to its impacts while acknowledging that inclusion is fundamental for resilient and sustainable development. Inclusion also means adapting to the context and finding suitable, tailored solutions for needs at the local level. Developed by UN-Habitat, this handbook is a guide for participatory approaches to urban projects. It presents a methodology designed and deployed in six cities in Bolivia, Brazil, and Peru from 2017 to 2020. The publication showcases how to strengthen participatory, transparent and accountable systems at the local level and introduces results, lessons learnt and innovative tools for capacity-building.

Author: Beatriz González Mendoza
Publisher: UN-Habitat
Publication Date: 2021
Copyright: UN-Habitat

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Ghost Citizens: Women and Informality in Cities - What Can Europe do?

Most people in the world live in informal settlements, work in the informal economy or have no identity documents. These people are especially vulnerable to crises and women represent a high number in this population. They are disproportionately affected by inadequate housing, services and infrastructure. Development action still insufficiently addresses the needs of women in informal contexts. The brief highlights the need for EU policymakers to implement the frameworks of the European Gender Strategy and the Gender Action Plan III effectively and enable inclusion in shaping future EU policies and action on giving legal recognition to people and specifically women, living in informal contexts. It provides thematic knowledge, recommendations for strategic and operational work and case studies on the topic.

Author: Giulia Maci, Felicity Kitchin
Publisher: Cities Alliance
Publication Date: 2021
Copyright: Cities Alliance

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The Territorial Impact of COVID-19: Managing the Crisis and Recovery Across Levels of Government

The COVID-19 pandemic required governments across the globe to address health, social, political and economic issues quickly and in a coordinated way. It also showed the need for coordinated, multi-sectoral and multi-level response to ensure addressing the crisis and recovery appropriately. While vaccinating the population is the main priority for governments, this also presents many challenges, especially for multi-level governance. Indeed, the effects of the pandemic are different across regions and cities. This paper analyses the different territorial dimensions of the pandemic's impact. It not only provides an overview of subnational responses to COVID-19 through the lenses of the health, economic, social and fiscal dimensions, it also offers a perspective on how the crisis can reshape multi-level governance.

Author: Dorothée Allain-Dupré, Isabelle Chatry, Antoine Kornprobst, Maria-Varinia Michalun, Courtenay Wheeler
Publisher: OECD
Publication Date: 2021
Copyright: OECD

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Resource Guide: Building Transparent and Open Public Procurement Systems for Achieving the SDGs in ASEAN

This resource guide by UNDP promotes collective action through multi-stakeholder partnerships where governments, citizen, and the private sector at all levels of government work together to strengthen transparency and openness in public procurement systems. Open and transparent public procurement systems are an important tool, not only in preventing corruption but also for achieving the SDGs, as they are a prerequisite for the delivery of basic services like medical goods, water services and infrastructure. This guidebook maps existing tools and best practices in the ASEAN region. Furthermore, it lays out some entry points for policy dialogue on this topic and reforms at the national and subnational levels. 

Author: Magda Theodate
Publisher: UNDP
Publication Date: 2021
Copyright: UNDP

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Gender Mainstreaming in Local Public Policies in Tunisia

These policy briefs fit into the greater framework of the "Improving the gender-mainstreaming within local public policies" project in the cities of Béja and Médenine. led by Aswat Nissa in partnership with Cities Alliance and Heinrich-Böll Stiftung. The aim of these brief is to contribute to reduce gender inequalities in a Tunisian context by decentralization of powers. The research is based on two field surveys that try to identify the gender needs of the population and assess the degree of gender mainstreaming in local policies. The policy briefs comprise recommendations to strengthen gender mainstreaming in the community planning process and thereby support the fight against all forms of discrimination and violence that vulnerable groups and especially women in the communities may face.

Publisher: Heinrich Böll Stiftung, Aswat Nissa, Cities Alliance
Publication Date: 2021
Copyright: Heinrich Böll Stiftung, Aswat Nissa, Cities Alliance

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Towards the Localisation of the SDGs: Sustainable and Resilient Recovery Driven by Cities and Territories

The fifth report of local and regional governments (LRGs) to the High-Level Political Forum provides readers with a comprehensive analysis of LRGs’ efforts to respond to the pandemic in cities and territories worldwide, as well as their connections with the SDGs under review. Focus is laid on the 43 countries presenting Voluntary National Reviews this year. It shows how LRGs are contributing to promoting a safe, just and green recovery at all levels and what challenges must be overcome to harness their full potential. Throughout six insightful chapters the policies and enabling environment for SDG localization are showcased as well as the effects of and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic through concrete means of implementation are laid out.

Publisher: UCLG
Publication Date: 2021
Copyright: UCLG

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Financing Sustainable Urban Development

This report identifies relevant measures to help mobilise financing for urban development at all levels of government. Through urban case studies from different countries such as Senegal, Somaliland (Somalia), Uganda, Kenya and Malawi, as well as interviews with experts and practitioners, this report outlines why it is increasingly important to scale up investment from all sectors and sources in cities in developing countries. It also demonstrates the relevance of identifying concrete and actionable measures that could help alleviate constraints to mobilising finance for sustainable urban development. This working paper focuses on investment conditions and drivers, recognising the importance of flexibility for a wide variety of contexts. It fosters the support towards strengthening urban finance for liveable and equitable cities.

Author: Katharina Rochell, Dr. Xing-Quan Zhang, Lennart Fleck, Victoria Delbridge and Oliver Harman
Publisher: EU, UN-Habitat, International Growth Center
Publication Date: 2021
Copyright: EU, UN-Habitat, International Growth Center

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ADB COVID-19 Policy Database

The ADB COVID-19 Policy Database displays the measures taken and monetary amounts announced or estimated by the 68 members of the Asian Development Bank, two institutions, and nine other economies to fight the pandemic. The database allows the extraction of data classified along different categories like policy measures implemented by each economy, financial positions of government, or green recovery initiatives that support economic growth and produce environmental benefits.

Publisher: ADB
Publication Date: 2020
Copyright: ADB

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Fiscal Decentralisation and  Redistributive Politics: Evidence from Kenya

This working paper by Michael Mbate provides insights on how party politics shape decision-makers’ incentives to compare each other’s performance across neighboring localities in the specific case of Kenya. The fiscal decentralization efforts and the public spending across local counties in Kenya through a partisan reform that increased spending in ten of Kenya’s 47 counties is examined. Drawing on household survey and further evidence, this study shows that policy-makers in the abutting counties that bordered the ten reform counties engaged in ‘’free riding’’, meaning that they reduced spending on their own public goods and services because they relied on citizens accessing services in neighboring counties.

Author: Michael Mbate
Publisher: ODI
Publication Date: 2021
Copyright: ODI

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Local Dynamics of Conflict and Peace in Afghanistan

The series of six briefs analyses dynamics of conflict and conditions for peace in different regions in Afghanistan, namely Central, Western, Southern, North-East, Northern and Eastern Afghanistan. The briefs were produced in the context of the joint project Reaching Out For Peace by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), Afghanistan Public Policy Research Organisation (APPRO) and Mediothek Afghanistan for Development and Peace Organisation (MADPO).  The three organisations want to engage Afghan citizens at the local level to identify the challenges for peace in open dialogues. The briefs are part of the outcomes of the project, aiming at reflecting ideas and perspectives of citizens concerning the needs for inclusive peace processes that can create long-term stability in Afghanistan.

Author: Lucile Martin, Saeed Parto, Martha Le Grand
Publisher: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Afghanistan
Publication Date: 2021
Copyright: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Afghanistan

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