UCLG Learning Agenda 2016

As we move towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the hands-on experience of our members will be instrumental to achieving the goals set by the international community. The UCLG Learning Agenda offers a space to test new ideas and methodologies and develop learning spheres and communities of practice to address the specific interests of our members.

UCLG’s strategic mandate is to support the learning of its members by promoting decentralized co-operation and international co-operation between local governments and their associations, and to promote peer to peer ties as a means for mutual learning.

The UCLG Learning Forum: Shaping the Agenda

The Second UCLG Learning Forum took place from 29-30 September, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain. Participants came together to define the key criteria that will guide new initiatives. The Forum reiterated the need to reinforce the Learning Agenda by promoting decentralized cooperation, peer to peer ties, communities of practice and networks. The different  elements that should be taken into consideration when shaping the Agenda were mapped out and included  the need to ground it in reality and make it evidence based, while ensuring a flexible structure.

Building on the achievements in Africa

With many African cities very actively involved in building the learning agenda, Africities 2015 (29 November – 3 December) was an opportunity to remember the important impact on policies that Peer-to-peer learning has encouraged so far. A session dedicated to sharing the activates  of  members saw input from experienced actors such as the Swedish International Institute for local governance,  the South African cities network and UCLG, as well as the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) and  the International Agency of the Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG) among others. They all committed to encouraging the broader outreach of peer learning which is marked by the ownership of the process by Southern members who are supporting UCLG in promoting this approach in the hope of inspiring other regions such as South East Asia. 

Fostering cooperation and learning: Peer learning events

Peer-to-peer learning events enhance knowledge transfer based on sharing experiences between participants on a basis of trust and equality. In line with these principles, the Committee on Urban Strategic Planning and the Working Group on Local Economic Development together with the cities of Blantyre, Malawi and Negombo, Sri Lanka co-organized two peer learning events in December 2015.

In Blantyre, since 2014, peer learning has built on the commitment of the planning committee, partnered with the International Union of Architects and UN Habitat, to inform local policy and nurture global advocacy around public space.  

A request from UCLG Aspac to set an agenda for localizing SDGs and identify measures to shape a learning agenda for Asian members led to the learning meeting in Negombo. The event focused on SDG 8 (creating employment and local economic development) in partnership with the International Labour Organization.

The 2016 peer learning events are already taking shape:

Peer Learning Event on Intermediary Cities and decent work, Santa Fe, Argentina

Building on the lessons learnt through the sharing of a Basic Plan promoted by the Intermediary Cities Working Group, the Santa Fe Regional Government, UCLG and the International Labour Organization will host a learning event gathering regional governments from Latin America to look at Local Economic Development strategies such as decent work in intermediary cities and their connection to metropolitan regions. This event will  focus on issues like employment and food, and strengthening local strategies in  intermediary cities through  intergovernmental commitment.  

Our 2016 agenda towards the UCLG Congress in Bogotá

The World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders is the ideal scenario to explore new learning methodologies together with members and partners. With this in mind, the learning event “Walking the Congress” will implement a new methodology that aims to create short and highly technical sessions where specific challenges or solutions are explained and analysed. This event is aimed at elected local leaders and local public administrators as well as the civil society. 

For more info: