IHC Weekly Update
March 11, 2016
In this Update 

IHC Urban Poverty Research Workshop

IHC cordially invites you to join us for the sixth annual urban poverty research workshop and panel presentations from the winning authors of the 2015 Urban Poverty Paper Competition. 
Recognizing the need to strengthen the ties between urban policymaking and new scholarly work on urban development and to disseminate evidence-based research on urban programming, IHC, joined by the Woodrow Wilson Center, USAID, the World Bank and Cities Alliance, sponsor an annual competition for papers focused on urban poverty. The competition invites submissions on different urban poverty themes each year and is open to masters and PhD students worldwide. 
Please join us for a discussion this year of (1) of metropolitan approaches for the urban poor, (2) innovation in urban water and sanitation, and (3) inclusive smart cities. The three winners, from Cambridge University, University of Colorado Boulder, and University College London, selected from a field of 149 submissions by emerging scholars, will present their solutions-oriented research, with commentary offered by experienced professionals working in the urban sector.  

WHEN: Tuesday March 15th, 1:30 - 4:00 PM
WHERE: Woodrow Wilson Center, 5th Fl
1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington D.C.

Find more information and RSVP here
Event Recap: USAID Administrator Gayle Smith  

On Wednesday of this week, Gayle Smith, the new Administrator of the US Agency for International Development, spoke at an event hosted by the Brookings Institution and the American Enterprise Institute. In her first public address since her confirmation in December, Smith spoke on the current state of international development and the role that USAID will play into the future. 

Smith praised the success of ongoing USAID programs such as PEPFAR and Feed the Future, as well as new programs such as Electrify Africa. She noted that the sector has changed drastically since the creation of USAID, and as official government assistance accounts for less of global funding for humanitarian and development assistance, USAID must work to create " systemic public private partnerships"that deliver long-term lasting results. 

IHC was glad to hear her focus on a "grand bargain" of greater transparency  and evaluation in exchange for increased flexibility and for the agency to test innovations and quickly scale up solutions. She also noted many times the need to not get stuck in "flavor of the month" program patterns, and instead use resources for long-term steady investments that tackle the underlying causes of instability. Smith closed by highlighting the need to "adapt our systems and our institutions to the world we face," even as that world rapidly changes. IHC hopes that as she works to achieve this goal, the Agency will begin to see urbanization as a global challenge that requires such adaptation.

Read her full address here. Read an article from Devex here

Habitat for Humanity Launches Solid Ground Campaign

This week, IHC founding sponsor Habitat for Humanity International launched their first global advocacy campaign Solid Ground. Launched on International Women's Day, the campaign aims to draw attention and ultimately remove one of the biggest obstacles in the path to a world where everyone has a safe, decent and affordable place to live: access to land for shelter.
The campaign calls for sound policies, laws, systems and attitudes that eliminate barriers to decent housing for all on a global scale. Land in this context doesn't only mean soil itself, but also more broadly as a place to live: a place to cook your meals, relax and sleep, and to feel safe.
The campaign is built around four sub-themes: gender equality, secure tenure, slum upgrading and disaster resilience. All four are key to ensuring that more people around the globe have a decent place to live.  

IHC is proud to be an original partner of Solid Ground, and is enthusiastic about supporting a campaign on this very critical issue. We hope you will think about joining as well.  Find the information and learn more about getting involved here
Wilson Center Event: 
Loss and Damage: Innovative Climate Finance Solutions

The 2015 Paris Climate Agreement represents a breakthrough in the increasingly important need for vulnerable countries to be supported in the face of looming climate-related "loss and damage." How can existing sources of finance be scaled up to address loss and damage? What innovations in insurance and financing for climate impacts are on the horizon? What are the key concerns, issues, and ideas that should be considered in upcoming discussions?

Please join the Woodrow Wilson Center, and George Mason University for a discussion, part of the ongoing  "Managing Our Planet" series now in its fourth year. Hear speakers from  George Mason University, the  Centre for International Governance Innovation, and the  Office of the Prime Minister, Government of Jamaica.

WHEN: Wednesday March 16th, 3 - 5 PM
WHERE: Woodrow Wilson Center, 6th Floor
1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington D.C.

Find more information and RSVP here
Habitat III Thematic Meeting: Financing Urban Development

A Habitat III Regional meeting is taking place this week in Mexico City, focused on financing urban development. Local and regional governments are critical to improving urban service delivery, infrastructure, and economic opportunity in a sustainable and inclusive manner. However they often lack the financial resources or delegated power to effectively participate. 

The thematic meeting has convened a wide variety of stakeholders to discuss solutions for the strengthening of municipal finance and strategies to increase institutional and financial capacities, as well as the standing of cities as critical stakeholders in  the New Urban Agenda.

Read more about the conference from CitiScope here. Read a framing document from the Sustainable Development Solutions Network here, and read the official concept note for the meeting here
In the News and Around the Web
  • Watch a BBC video on a water purifying device using salt and power from a car battery to create chlorine here
  • The Habitat III policy unit papers are now online, including papers on housing. More analysis will follow next week, but in the meantime read the policy papers here

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