CDIA Holds Succesful Back-To-Back Events At The 6th Asia Pacific Urban Forum, Jakarta

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From 19-21 October, in Jakarta, Indonesia, CDIA had an exciting week full of inspiring and forward-looking discussions on Sustainable Urban Development in Asia-Pacific. The 6th Asia Pacific Urban Forum (APUF 6) was indeed a great event that gathered key stakeholders from across Asia-Pacific to share ideas on the New Urban Agenda. Click here to view the APUF 6 video, which summarizes the key issues in urban development for Asia-Pacific in the twenty-first century. Click here for the CDIA APUF 6 Photo Gallery.

Here are the highlights of the CDIA events:

19 October
Parallel Session: Putting Local and Regional Gov’ts in the Driver’s Seat for Financing Sustainable Urban Development
Jointly organized with the United Cities and Local Governments Asia Pacific (UCLG-ASPAC), CityNet, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and PT Sarana Multi Infrastruktur (PT-SMI), this CDIA session revolved around the six recommendations that were made by the Global Taskforce (GTF) to make sustainable subnational financing happen. During the session, practitioners from local governments (Naga city, Philippines), national governments (BAPPENAS), academia (Institute of Social Sciences, India), advisory agencies (PT-SMI), and financiers (ADB) shared good practices and lessons learned from applying these recommendations to finance local and regional governments in the Asia-Pacific Region. The panelists made the following conclusions and recommendations.

• The capacities of subnational governments must be increased to prepare bankable projects, levy local taxes and tariffs, monitor official flows and improve budget management.
• Guarantees should be provided to allow local and regional level to access credits and issue bonds in order to raise long-term financing.
• Regulatory and legal frameworks (including capacity for Public Private Partnerships) have to be improved at the national level to ensure that local and regional governments have appropriate powers and capacities to manage local/urban development.
• It is necessary to reform performance-neutral transfer schemes from central to local governments, which do not incentivize local revenue generation and collection.
• The experience calls for a more calibrated 2nd phase of decentralization, where good performing cities and urban towns are accordingly rewarded with lesser regulations and greater access to financing by national governments and international donor institutions.
• The institutional financing framework must be transparent, fair, consistent and predictable. Such a culture includes a greater understanding by local governments of their need to prioritize debt, as well as legal changes that ensure that these authorities prioritize debt repayments.

20 October
Parallel Session: Institutionalizing Inclusive Local Economic Development
Organized with the Cities Alliance, Oxfam, UNDP and UCLG-ASPAC, this CDIA parallel session aimed to strengthen the dialogue among local governments (City of Makassar), academia (Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies, Rotterdam and National Institute of Urban Affairs, Delhi), the private sector (Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industries), and international organizations (WIEGO and UNDP) about well-functioning institutional arrangements and actions for promoting inclusive LED in Asia. Participants agreed that the ability of local governments to shape inclusive economies and to create a livelihood and business enabling environment will be essential for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and implementing the New Urban Agenda. They also highlighted that investments in urban infrastructure, skills, and partnership development programs, market and credit access for SMEs, and promoting local products are crucial for inclusive local economic development.

Plenary Session: Financing the Sustainable Urban Development Agenda
Joris van Etten, CDIA GIZ Program Coordinator, spoke on how to bridge the gap between cities’ development plans and the implementation of their infrastructure investments.

22 October
Training Event: Linking Cities’ Infrastructure Investment Projects to Finance (L2F)
This one-day training course provided an opportunity for learning, discussing, and exchanging ideas on how to link urban infrastructure investments to finance. About 23 participants attended this fruitful cooperation activity with our implementation partners PT SMI and UCLG-ASPAC. Holding the course back-to-back to the APUF 6 allowed CDIA to complement its largely Indonesian audience by a few CDIA city representatives from Nepal, Philippines and China. The CDIA L2F Training material and course concept is currently being prepared for a 2-3 day event in 2016 featuring a solid introduction into the world of finance lingo for cities, as well as concrete localization of financing options and hands-on case study exercises.

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