Global Cities Initiative

Global Cities Initiative

Creating more livable, prosperous, resilient communities

Cities are expected to add 2 billion people by 2030 in developing countries alone. Half of this growth will occur in informal settlements, mostly in Asia and Africa. Global Communities has worked across the globe with city governments and urban communities for decades helping them manage this urban growth. We have now consolidated our most innovative programming and tools under our Global Cities Initiative.

Through the Global Cities Initiative we are creating more livable, prosperous and resilient urban communities across 100s of cities around the world. We do this by building the capacity of local government, promoting citizen participation, and working with community stakeholders to adopt inclusive, comprehensive, and long-term approaches that tackle issues related to poverty, rapid urbanization, and climate change. Below are some of the ways we achieve this.

Citizen Engagement, Accountability, and Policy Reform
Global Communities applies participatory principles toward enhancing citizen engagement in planning, budgeting, service delivery, housing, access to land, and employment. Our community-based responses are designed to meet all types of challenges, from assisting the private sector and governments in developing new towns and communities to density management. We support governing systems that promote accountability, mechanisms like Citizen Report Cards for citizen feedback, and transparency in financial allocations.

Service Delivery and Performance Measurement
We provide technical support to local governments, utilities, businesses, and communities to improve service delivery and oversight, especially in relation to water, sanitation, roads, electricity, and solid waste management. To promote efficiency, we link service providers to the private sector and microfinance institutions and take a decentralized approach with an emphasis on pro-poor investment. We help local governments apply tools like GIS, organizational assessments, and surveys to monitor and measure service quality and customer satisfaction.

Municipal Financial Management
Global Communities provides assistance to all levels of government in rapidly urbanizing centers to improve effective, results-based public financial management. We assist in the development of policy and the use of technology to increase revenue and efficiency. We also focus on issues related to inclusiveness in the development and administration of budgets and financial management and emphasize mobilizing local resources.

Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience
As cities invest in their adaption and resilience to climate change, this is also a window of opportunity to invest in new pathways to economic prosperity and progress for their most vulnerable citizens, those at highest risk. We help communities identify risks and develop action plans to address them, whether big or small.

 Some of Global Communities flagship urban development projects are being implemented in Colombia, Ghana, Haiti, India, Liberia, Nicaragua, and the West Bank and Gaza. These include:

  • India & Ghana - Slum Communities Achieving Livable Environments with Urban Partners (SCALE-UP) (2007-2011), The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • India - Slum and Village Improvement Program (2012-2015), John Deere Foundation
  • India - Trash to Treasure Program (2008-present), Caterpillar Foundation
  • Ghana - Water Access Sanitation and Hygiene for the Urban Poor (WASH-UP)
  • Ghana, IncluCity - Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Haiti - Caracol, USAID
  • India, LabourNet, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Ghana & Liberia, Youth Engagement in Service Delivery (YES) program, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Jordan, Community Engagement Project
  • Kenya Tuna Uwezo Program
  • Haiti, KATYE
  • West Bank and Gaza - Palestine Community Assistance Program

Global Cities Initiative: Insights and Innovations

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