UNCDF's participation in the sixth session of the World Urban Forum, hosted by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN Habitat) and the Government of Italy, is part of the Local Development Practice Area Strategy in the One UN context. Our partnership with UN Habitat, the sister agency in supporting local governments, is key to insure UN presence at local level, taking into account a territorial approach. On that account, UNCDF participated in the UN International Guidelines on Decentralization and Access to Basic Services for all and provided technical inputs based on the experience gathered on local finance in more than 30 countries in the world, especially in Africa. UNCDF will also provide inputs for the new initiative on Urban Planning Guidelines on the base of its experience in middle cities and the rural area.
Furthermore, UNCDF participated in the Knowledge for Cities 2 event. As the first speaker of the panel, Nicola Crosta, UNCDF’s Head of Knowledge, Policy and Advocacy presented UNCDF's approach to Knowledge Management, including the Local Development Academy, UNCDF’s emerging web-based platform. The Academy, to be launched in early 2013 will provide actionable knowledge to local governments across developing countries.
The event followed up on recommendations from WUF5 in Rio, on how best to share actionable knowledge on sustainable urban development. Participants exchanged experiences on how to advance knowledge exchange to the next level of promoting action and change on the ground and how existing knowledge sharing methods such as twining of cities, exchange visits, partnerships, social media platforms and publications can lead to improvements in cities. A panel of prominent urban actors and experts from around the world such as Diane Diacon, Director of the Building and Social Housing Foundation, M.G Mart Grisel, Head of European urban Knowledge Network (EUKN) Secretariat, shared practical experiences and challenged participants to find better ways to leverage existing platforms and to come up with new ways of turning knowledge into action for sustainable inclusive and livable cities.