IHC Weekly Update
March 4, 2016
In this Update 

IHC Urban Poverty Research Workshop

Now it its sixth year, please join IHC for a presentation 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 masters and PhD students. 
Please join us for a discussion of metropolitan approaches for the urban poor, innovation in urban water and sanitation, and 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
African Governments Adopt Platform for Habitat III

Last week, government representatives from across Africa met in Abuja Nigeria for a Habitat III Regional Meeting. The outcome document from the meeting creates the formal input from the entire region into the Habitat III process. For the first time, the African region will have a single agreed upon "Common Platform" heading into Habitat III in October. The platform has 8 pillars and discusses the importance building capacity, infrastructure, and resiliency, especially in informal settlements and slums. It also stresses the need to strengthen institutions and foster "people-centered" development, acknowledging the key role that African cities play in the future of urbanization.

This document is a considerable accomplishment and important step for the region though critics of the Abuja Declaration worry that grass-roots voices and the needs of the urban poor were not adequately heard in the document, particularly on issues such as land-grabbing and forced evictions. 

Read the full declaration here . Read more about the process from CitiScope here
CSIS Paper: The Case for Integrated Development

CSIS's Director for the P roject on Prosperity and Development recently published a short paper discussing the challenges and opportunities of integrated development programs.  A popular topic recently among the humanitarian and development communities, integrated development seeks to "link the design, delivery, and evaluation of projects across different sectors." IHC believes that integrated and cross-sectoral delivery systems and programming is crucial for equitable and effective urban development.

In his paper Runde argues that integration can lead to greater efficiency and the ability to address more complex multi-dimensional challenges. However, budgetary restraints and donor policy must significantly change to take advantage of these opportunities. The paper suggests some concrete next steps to help support the idea of integration, including greater research, pilot projects built within existing siloed funding streams, and expanding opportunities for development professionals to learn about work in other sectors. 

Read the full paper here
Habitat III Urban Dialogue on Financing Urban Development

In the ongoing process of drafting a New Urban Agenda, the outcome document agreed upon at the Habitat III cities conference in October 2016, you can add your voice in shaping future policies of the cities where you live.

Local authorities all over the world are playing an increasingly important role in the delivery of fundamental basic public services. However, they are also facing huge challenges, in particular the widening gap between the availability of financial resources and municipal expenditure needs. 

Until this Sunday, March 6th, UN Habitat has invited individuals and organizations to contribute input on the topic of Financing Urban Development.  During this online discussion, participants are encouraged to discuss how urban authorities in developing countries can generate increased revenue from local revenue sources, deliver better urban services and planned city extensions.

Find out more and participate here
US Leadership in International Development:
 A Conversation with Gayle Smith

Please join the Brookings Intitution and AEI for a discussion with Gayle Smith, the newly confirmed Administrator of the US Agency for International Development.  Administrator Smith will discuss her vision for USAID, the efforts of the Agency in the world's trouble spots, and the future of U.S. leadership in international development. Administrator Smith will join AEI's Danielle Pletka and Brookings's George Ingram for a conversation following her remarks.

IHC members might be particularly interested in learning Smith's views on the impacts of urbanization and cities on the US and global development agenda. 

WHEN: Wednesday March 9th 2:00 - 3:30 pm
WHERE: Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room SD-G50
Washington, DC  20002

Find more information and RSVP here
In the News and Around the Web
  • Read a blog post from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs on the connections between urban poverty and rural food security here.
  • Read an article from the Guardian arguing that you can't discuss urban inequality without addressing homelessness here
  • The World Habitat Award Winners were announced this week. Read about the winners and their innovative projects here. here

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