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Urban Partnership Program: Partners Forum

Categories: Events | Author: Monika Kresic | Posted: 6/15/2016 | Views: 3692
February 11-12, 2015 Vienna
 

February 11-12, 2015 Vienna

The Forum, hosted by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance, launched the second phase of the Urban Partnership Program (2015-2018) and brought together over 60 representatives, including local governments from South East Europe (SEE), Network of Local Government Associations (NALAS), local and international experts, and donor agencies. The participants discussed ways to move forward in the second phase, looking at possible synergies with other programs active in the SEE region.

 

On February 10 and 11, 2015, the UPP Partners Forum - hosted by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance - launched the second phase of the Urban Partnership Program (2015-2018).  The Forum brought together over 60 representatives, including Local Governments from South-East Europe, Local Government Associations, Network of Local Government Associations (NALAS), local and international experts, and donor agencies, including Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The participants discussed ways to move forward in the second phase, looking for synergies with other programs active in the South East Europe (SEE) region.

The World Bank-Austria Urban Partnership Program (UPP) aims to strengthen the capacity of local governments in SEE, and to equip local elected officials, city administrators and technical staff with practical tools for decision-making, to effectively manage urban development for inclusive and sustainable growth.  At the same time, the UPP offers participatory approaches for citizen engagement and fosters integrity building. 

While global in scope, this Program is targeted at SEE countries, including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia.  The first phase of the Program (2011-2014) focused on key dimensions of local government, including municipal finance, urban planning and land management, urban governance/ anti-corruption, and social accountability. 

A number of knowledge products were shared at the Forum including “Improving Local Governments Capacity: The Experience of Municipal Finances Self-Assessment in Southeast Europe”, which contains two-page data profiles on 13 SEE cities from Bar to Tirana, and a step-by-step user guide on how to conduct a financial self-assessment. The data profiles provide an overview of the city, its financial situation, a historical analysis of revenues and expenditures, a ratio analysis, financial projections and a municipal finance improvement plan; Collective Engagement for Results in South East Europe, a snapshot of UPP Phase I results; and Curbing Corruption and Modernizing Local Governments in South East Europe, which illustrates the participatory process applied as part of the anti-corruption capacity building.

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Innovative Solutions for Sustainable Cities

Worldwide, local governments face an increasing demand from the growing urban population to provide basic infrastructure and services, promote more inclusive growth, adapt to climate change, and mitigate risks from disasters. Although development pathways differ because of regional and local variations, one consistent pattern has emerged: economic prosperity most often occurs in cities.

Cities can reduce poverty and expand individual and national prosperity. The bulk of economic activities take place in cities; urban centers attract business, trade and other service industries, and offer dense labor markets with the ability to move products over smaller distances, shortening the supply chain. However, cities in South-East Europe (SEE) do not yet harvest their full potential to contribute to economic prosperity and deliver better quality of life for their citizens. They face a number of challenges such as climate change, natural disasters, increasing global competition and financial instability. At the same time, cities have room for improvement: they can use their own resources more efficiently and also possess a huge potential for energy efficiency.

In order to address these challenges the World Bank and Government of Austria have partnered to launch the Urban Partnership Program (UPP) aimed to strengthen the capacity of local governments in South-East Europe, to promote city to city exchange and peer learning within and beyond Europe and to equip local elected officials, city administrators and technical staff with practical tools for decision-making, to effectively manage urban development for inclusive and sustainable growth. While global in scope, this Program is targeted at South-East Europe, including Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. 

The Program is structured into three product lines to reflect the demand: E-learning & Knowledge products: Global curriculum through World Bank Open Learning Campus and Regional/local Partners: NALAS (E-Academy), LGAs; Connectivity through City to City Dialogues on Municipal Finance, Urban Planning & Land Management; and Sustainability through In depth city engagement, including self-assessment tools (Municipal Finance Self-Assessment and Urban Audit) and participatory methodologies (Integrity Building and Social Sustainability & Citizen Engagement). 

Where We Work in South-East Europe (Phase I)

 

 

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