ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is a global network working with more than 2,500 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development.


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ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is a global network working with more than 2,500 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development.

ICLEI Regional Secretariats and country offices

Improved Municipal Planning in African CiTies (IMPACT) – for a Climate Resilient Urban Future

What we did

In this action research project, ICLEI is providing support to four southern African cities in developing collaboration mechanisms that advance climate resilient development, which can then be adapted to other contexts. The implementation of each the two project country’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) via enhanced multi-level governance has been identified as an area of focus of this project. Through this project, ICLEI builds on the understanding of what enables collaboration mechanisms for climate resilient development, such as environments that allow for learning-by-doing and accumulation of knowledge that can be harnessed, local government officials who are engaged and passionate about building climate resilience, and cities where strong multi-sectoral partnerships exist. Building climate resilience is a multi-sectoral and multi-disciplinary issue, and therefore ICLEI promotes collaborative governance, which favours transdisciplinary collaborations that increase the depth and breadth of knowledge and expertise that can be drawn on when tackling complex issues such as climate resilience.

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How we tracked

1. To understand how different African city stakeholders understand climate resilient development. • Desktop situational analysis; • Stakeholder mapping exercise; • Socio-economic modelling and infrastructural needs assessment; • Conduct a review of downscaled modelling of climate change trends (mid-century); • Gather information about the status and ownership of development plans and whether a shared vision exists; and • Conduct stakeholder interviews 2.To develop locally relevant criteria for the assessment of the effectiveness of collaboration mechanisms in contributing to climate resilient development. • Through desktop research and consultative engagements; and • Co-develop a set of criteria that can be used to assess the effectiveness of collaboration mechanisms in building climate resilience. 3.To identify and assess the barriers and enablers of collaboration mechanisms currently in place in four cities. • Conduct 3 learning engagements per year in each country; • In year 1, co-explore and adjust the project with a broader set of local stakeholders and gather information necessary for the scoping phase of the project; and • Year 2 and 3 explore and implement collaboration mechanisms, and analysing the barriers to enablers of the collaboration mechanisms. 4.To assess in what ways tailor-made collaboration mechanisms can be successful in enabling climate resilient development. • A collaboration mechanism that is in existence in each of the main project cities, and can be improved with knowledge gained in the project, will be assessed and improved for its ability to contribute to climate resilient development, as defined by the project city stakeholders (co-produced); and • If a viable existing collaboration mechanism does not exist in a project city, the project team will develop such a mechanism with city stakeholders. 5. To develop guidelines for the implementation of collaboration mechanisms that contribute to climate resilient development, which can be applied in local government policies and plans. • Conduct a decision-making mapping exercise; • Engage with municipal stakeholders to determine appropriate means of institutionalising and implementing the collaboration mechanisms locally; • Develop a guideline document; • Development five policy briefs; and • Dissemination of project outputs and lessons via platforms available to ICLEI 6. To build the capacity of stakeholders engaged in the project to implement contextually relevant collaboration mechanisms that contribute to climate resilient development. • The training and mentorship of two Masters students. • Harnessing opportunities at ICLEI’s World Congress (2018), the Resilient Cities congresses (each year) and the Local Climate Solutions for Africa congress (2019) to share lessons related to the project, and in particular, profile the IMPACT mechanisms guideline document. • A think tank event will be convened at LoCS (2019), The IMPACT Project also has a comprehensive MEL strategy that is followed closely and updated regularly.

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What we achieved

Through IMPACT, ICLEI and partners are exploring opportunities to integrate innovative collaboration mechanisms that may prove successful in the implementation of each of the countries Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), which will lead to climate resilient development at a local level.

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Chinhoyi University of Technology, The African Climate Development Initiative, University of Malawi,

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Related publications

IMPACT Project Brochure
A Guide to Collaborative Multi-level Governance for Climate Resilient Development
Meeting climate commitments. Transforming cities and nations
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