Learning from city-to-city cooperation

In times of reduced budgets for co-operation, the need to reinforce collaborative efforts between individuals, cities, local governments, associations and networks is greater than ever and it is crucial for members and partners to take advantage of the lessons of peer learning.

In this regard, UCLG, the Global Network of Cities, Regional and Local Governments, launched in January 2013 a project to improve the capacities of local authorities in Brazil and Mozambique. This South-South cooperation project was established to consolidate the sporadic cooperation initiatives that were initiated during the City Future project (2005 – 2013) between eight cities in Mozambique and six cities in Brazil.

The city partnerships have focused on collaborative work plans between the cities for exchanging knowledge, monitoring progress and documenting outcomes. Politicians, local government representatives and communities are involved in the process and exchange methodology. Throughout the course of the project the associations involved have been able to develop new roles as platforms and promoters of decentralized cooperation.

The first stage of this process will end in 2015, but UCLG and its partners are motivated and committed to continue to support this flourishing and effective cooperation work.

The project is coordinated by UCLG, the National Front Association of Mayors (FNP) from Brazil, the Association of Mozambican Municipalities (ANAMM), Architects without borders (ASF) and the Unesco Chair in Intermediary Cities at the University of Lleida. This initiative has also been supported for two and a half years by the Norwegian government, the European Commission and Barcelona City Council. The cities and associations involved have also invested financial and human resources during the implementation process. 

Several documents have been drawn up to gather these peer-learning experiences and lessons learned from this process from the perspectives of municipal leaders and professionals. In the publications, each pair of cities explains their specific contexts, objectives, challenges, outcomes and the lessons they have learnt during the exchange period. They also present their perspectives on future collaboration. 

Information on all of these peer learning experiences, as well as on other peer learning case studies, is available in the following publications:


Source: UCLG for European Year for Development website