Decision never regretted

Jul 9, 2015 | BLOG POST

Cities Learn Best from Each Other! The importance and benefits of local government networks

Horizontal exchange between cities has proven a powerful tool for sharing and implementing successful practices and strengthening capacity, particularly when high cost technical solutions are not always attainable, and often not practical.

CityLinks teamed up with GIZ and Engagement Global for a panel workshop at the ICLEI Resilient 2015 Bonn Congress (June 8- June 10, 2015) to discuss with practitioners the challenges and opportunities in nationally, locally, and internationally coordinated local government networks that contribute to locally relevant, resilient urban development.

Panelists  include Brazilian CB27, The Association of Local Authorities Tanzania (ALAT), and under the USAID CityLinks program, the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Compact, the Central KwaZulu-Natal Climate Change Compact (CKZNCCC; South Africa) , and the Durban Adaptation Charter (DAC). 

The photo below is a special photo , capturing the CityLinks story and  what cities could achieve through partnerships with each other. 



CityLinks developed a city-to-city partnership between the city of Fort Lauderdale and Broward County, Florida  and Durban to explore the benefits and challenges of collaborating with nearby jurisdictions to implement regional climate adaptation strategies (regional compact models).  Susanne Torriente, Assistant City Manager, City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida  (far left) and Sean O Donoghue  , Manager of the Climate Protection Branch, Environmental Planning & Climate Protection Department of eThekwini Municipality (second to the right) both participated in the partnership  and discussed the lessons learned and results of compact models and engaging in international city partnerships.

As a direct result of the exchange visits, the city of Durban established its own regional compact, Central KwaZulu-Natal Climate Change Compact ( CKZNCCC) modelled on that of the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact.[i] Noloyiso Walingo (second to the left), is Environmental Manager, Ugu Municipality South Africa and a  current member of the Climate Compact and discussed her experience, challenges and opportunities in her daily working life and how being a member of the Compact had affected her work and her professional career. She stated "Joining CKZNCCC is a decision never to be regretted”". 

 In addition to the regional compact , Southeast Florida and Durban committed to a South-South partnership,  extending the partnership from Durban’s establishment of its own regional compact (modelled on the Florida experience) to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’s efforts at climate change adaptation, specifically with the Association of Local Authorities Tanzania (ALAT. ) A global SUPER COMPACT emerged where cities would be able to work with each other beyond the North-South traditional relationship and could show their national counterparts that action against climate change is happening, particularly on the local level.  Coincidentally, Habraham Shamumoyo, Secretary General, Association of Local Authorities Tanzania (ALAT) (far right) was sponsored by GIZ and Engagement Global for the panel but he also detailed his experience with CityLinks partnership with Durban.

Even after 2 hours and going through lunch, the room remained a full house!




Following the panel, there was a lively open consultation session where the panelists proposed a challenge faced by their institution and the audience acted as a peer advisory group for the speakers, discussing the case and proposing   solutions.



We received great positive feedback and can’t thank the panelists enough for being champions  and can’t wait for what’s to come!





[i] Durban Adaptation Charter 2013 Annual Report


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