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Urban Resilience: From Global Vision to Local Practice - Final Outcome Evaluation of the 100 Resilient Cities Program

September 15, 2022

Summer hailstorms in Mexico City, weeks-long heat waves in India, hurricane-force winds off the Great Lakes—extreme weather events are becoming commonplace, testing the resilience of local and regional governments across the world. But urban resilience extends beyond weathering climate shocks. It also entails maintaining and improving infrastructure, ecology, economy, and community at the city level.For six years, from 2013 to 2019, the 100 Resilient Cities program sought to boost the capacity of local governments across all facets of urban resilience. Although the program ended earlier than anticipated, its unprecedented breadth of participating cities and scope of intervention provided potential lessons for cities across the world as they prepare for and face an increasingly uncertain future.KEY TAKEAWAYSThe 100 Resilient Cities program included three cohorts of cities from across the globe, each of which experienced three interventions to improve city governance operational and planning capacity for resilience: the creation and selection of a Chief Resilience Officer, the development and publication of a resilience strategy, and the implementation of that strategy, with technical support provided by the program. The Urban Institute monitored and evaluated the core features of the 100 Resilient Cities program for almost seven years, with this final report focusing on the outcomes for city planning and operations attributable to interventions across a 21-city sample. From this program, we believe the following lessons learned can help cities improve their resilience moving forward.Cities must focus on chronic social vulnerability in addition to unexpected shocks. Although cities must be prepared for extreme weather events and civil unrest, both of which can cause extreme devastation, they must also address ongoing issues, such as failing infrastructure and health care accessibility.Chief Resilience Officers and robust networks can facilitate city-to-city learning. As with any program, collaboration and sharing of knowledge can benefit all parties involved. The network of Chief Resilience Officers could advocate for successful resilience strategies from other cities, which could lead to more collaboration in local governments and across regions.Resilient governance requires more voices to be involved in planning and development. Foregrounding inclusion and equity is crucial for building resilience, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic has drawn attention to many underlying systemic inequities in countries across the world.Resilience building takes a long time. Despite the necessary urgency of building resilience, solutions take a long time to implement and need consistent funding and support to fulfill their potential. When the 100 Resilient Cities program ended early, many cities had developed plans and strategies but lost the support that would have helped them enact those solutions. Ongoing political and funder support is critical for long-term resilience.

Guidance on Measuring Economic Outcomes

March 1, 2016

This guidance has been produced to assist applicants in preparing their detailed (Stage 2) applications to the Coastal Communities Fund.It provides guidance on identifying, assessing and monitoring the economic impact potential of projects using an Indicator Framework, against which individual projects will be appraised.

Tools and Frameworks

Measuring Women's Economic Empowerment

January 1, 2014

When women are economically empowered, communities and nations benefit. Yet, there has been a crucial knowledge gap regarding the most effective interventions that directly advance women's economic opportunities. In early 2012, the United Nations Foundation and the ExxonMobil Foundation joined forces, launching a project to address this gap and identify which development interventions best improve women's productivity and earnings.The two foundations, under the technical leadership of United Nations Foundation Senior Fellow Mayra Buvinic, convened a select group of more than 35 development economists and other experts from top universities, international agencies and non-profit organizations. The researchers worked on 17 review and empirical studies that investigated practical, implementable projects aimed at women's economic advancement. Together, the findings, with supporting evidence from more than 135 additional studies, were compiled into a report, A Roadmap for Promoting Women's Economic Empowerment, that outlines which interventions may work best to increase women's productivity and earnings in developing economies. The Roadmap was released in September 2013.In 2014, the United Nations Foundation and the ExxonMobil Foundation invited researchers who developed the Roadmap to help identify outcome measures or indicators for women's economic empowerment programs, informed by the researchers' first-hand experience with rigorous research and program evaluation.

Tools and Frameworks