The EFC—Funders’ Forum for Sustainable Cities and upcoming events

In the initial phase, the Forum will focus specifically on examining how foundations support innovation in two areas: advancing citizen participation and good governance in cities; and catalysing new financing vehicles for urban development.

This article was originally published on the European Foundation Centre website. The original can be found here.

efc_150The Funders’ Forum for Sustainable Cities is an emerging global collaborative network committed to increasing foundations’ role and effectiveness in promoting inclusive growth in cities; tackling urban poverty, promoting equitable development and opportunities; strengthening local governance and participation in decision making; and generally providing support for a sustainable urban agenda.

Thematically, the Forum’s work will develop around three overarching themes that offer a broad framing for the Forum’s work:

  • Managing population and infrastructure size and needs
  • Investing in community well-being and public safety
  • Advancing good governance, sustained leadership and effective execution of policies

In the initial phase, the Forum will focus specifically on examining how foundations support innovation in two areas: advancing citizen participation and good governance in cities; and catalysing new financing vehicles for urban development.

Objectives

  • Articulate the role and impact of foundations on cities and citizens in an urban environment
  • Develop guidelines for effective philanthropic investment in cities
  • Build foundations’ voice and participation in international dialogues on urbanisation
  • Promote a culture of systematic knowledge sharing amongst foundations, and between foundations other key stakeholders
  • Build an active global network representing foundations working in diverse cities and world regions

Activities

  • Organise a half-day programme as part of the European Foundation Centre’s Annual General Assembly and Conference, which features sustainable cities as its core theme
  • Compile case studies on effective philanthropic involvement in cities
  • Create an online sharing and learning platform to help funders connect, discuss common challenges, and share useful resources
  • Organise an Annual Conference every autumn bringing together foundations, their partners and key city stakeholders

Background

The Forum was initiated by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, The Ford Foundation, The German Marshall Fund of the United States, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Fundación AVINA and Realdania.  By creating a network that brings together experiences from different parts of the world, the Funders’ Forum for Sustainable Cities aims to advance both an individual foundation’s and its partners’ work on urban sustainability issues.

The conception of the Funders’ Forum for Sustainable Cities was one of the key outcomes of the Global Philanthropy Leadership Initiative. GPLI​ was a joint initiative of the Council on Foundations, European Foundation Centre and Worldwide Initiatives for Grantmaker Support, under the leadership of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian. It was designed as a two-year process (2010-1012) involving some thirty foundation leaders from different parts of the world.

Upcoming EFC events in the first half of 2014

30 January 2014 : Follow-up webinar on the global urban agenda : Outcome of the Open Working Group on SDGs was held 6-10 January 2014, which dealt with, among other things, sustainable cities and human settlements. Event announcement.

6-7 April 2014 : Side event to World Urban Forum 7 in Medellin, Colombia : Preliminary details about the programme will be shared later in January

5-11 April 2014 : World Urban Forum 7, Medellin : FFSC submitted a proposal for a networking event, which was accepted. Details to follow

15-17 May 2014 : EFC AGA session in Sarajevo: “Uprising cities: From urban protest to laboratories for social change and new forms of governance” : Full details about the EFC AGA available here.

For more on the GPLI, visit the WINGS GPLI programme page.

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