Livelihood Opportunities, Local Economic Development Strategies and Social Protection for Poor Urban Informal Workers in Southeast Asia

website AD photo 600

As part of the Asia Development Dialogue, a regional dialogue platform for governments, private sector, civil society, and academia, Oxfam, in collaboration with CityNet, WIEGO, and UCLG-ASPAC supported by The Rockefeller Foundation, organized a two-day workshop from May 10th in Bangkok. Approximately 47 people attended the workshop that focused on Inclusive Economies in Cities: Livelihood Opportunities, Local Economic Development Strategies and Social Protection for Poor Urban Informal Workers in Asia to foster and promote new ways and tools for inclusive growth and inclusive local economic development in South East Asia.

One of the discussion highlights was that there is a parallel growth of informal sectors alongside the formal economy in developing countries like in most ASEAN and South Asian countries. However, informal workers in some countries have not been integrated to the participatory planning process, thus haven’t exercised their rights to influence the policy making process. This triggered a debate whether informal economy needs to be formalized. That said there was another argument that formalization might not necessarily be the answer. Government’s main focus is to help the informal workers improve their productivity and opportunity for their voices to be heard by the government. Some of the success cases presented during the workshop included Makassar, Indonesia and Seberang Perai, Malaysia.

One other discussion highlights was the role of private sector, whether private sector has a role in providing opportunities for the informal workers. In the workshop, private sector representatives focused on the use of technology as a way to improve the productivity of informal workers such as the case of Echo Store and Grab Car.

Echo Store is a successful organic store in the Philippines that relies on products supplied by home-based micro and small enterprises run by women. Echo Store founder Pacita San Juan said the store also helps women improve the packaging and design of their products to make them more appealing. San Juan said that private sector depends on government’s efforts to engage with the informal sector. Private sector also needs to continue supporting government’s policies in improving the lives of informal sectors.

The workshop concluded with a general consensus that all inputs could be further discussed at the upcoming regional forums particularly UN Habitat Preparatory Committee Meeting III in Surabaya.

Training program in Innovative Governance of Large Urban systems

infor iglus s
The next training module of the EPFL’s Executive Master in the Innovative Governance of Large Urban Systems (IGLUS) is going to take place in Seoul, South Korea, from 6th to 17th of June 2016, jointly organized with Sungkyunkwan University, and in collaboration with The World Bank, UN-Habitat and the University of Seoul.

It aims at making city managers of tomorrow understanding how to go towards smarter and more efficient urban systems, by focusing on the management and governance of transportation, energy and water infrastructures.

Scholarships are available for highly qualified candidates in a management capacity (e.g., city managers), who have at least a 4 years bachelor degree, preferably a master’s degree, as well as at least 5 years of professional experience. If you are interested, send an email to

The IGLUS Executive master is accredited and offered by EPFL (which consistently ranks among the world’s top 15 universities) and structured on a rolling basis around 6 two-week training modules taking place in six locations around the globe; namely in Mexico-Guadalajara, the United Arab Emirates, Istanbul, Seoul, Detroit-NYC, and Dortmund.

For more information: IGLUS programme flyer

Inclusive economies in cities in Southeast Asia

CityNet encourages its member-cities in the ASEAN region to participate in the workshop entitled “Inclusive Economies in Cities in South East Asia” to be held on 10 -11 May 2016 at the Chatrium Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand. This event is held by Oxfam GB in collaboration with CityNet, UCLG-ASPAC, and WIEGO, and under the auspices of the Asia Development Dialogue ( platform, which aims to promote multi-sectoral discussion on key issues of urban governance in Asia. The platform is managed by Oxfam with support from the Rockefeller Foundation.

This workshop will highlight, explore and examine the multiple perspectives required for developing inclusive urban prosperity, with particular attention being paid to the challenges of the large informal sector of South East Asian Cities. The workshop aims to provide a space for concerted dialogue between stakeholders (City governments, CBOs, NGOs, Private Sector, National Government) and will attempt to develop commonly determined tools for bringing about Inclusive Local Economic Development in the region’s cities.

Furthermore, the key role of international frameworks, in particular ASEAN will be explored, the workshop acting as a timely opportunity for discussions and recommendations for “Habitat III” – the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, which will take place in October 2016.

This event will be an opportunity to share your perspectives of the challenges and solutions of social and economic exclusion in Asia’s cities. We would be grateful if you could confirm the Expression of Interest by May 2, 2016 to CityNet Program Officer, Mr. Jaime Paulo Mora at

Don’t miss a chance to join what is promising to be a very interesting discussion on Inclusive Economies.

For more information: Concept Note

World Cities Summit 2016

wcs title
The biennial World Cities Summit is an exclusive platform for government leaders and industry experts to address liveable and sustainable city challenges, share integrated urban solutions and forge new partnerships.

Themed Liveable and Sustainable Cities: Innovative Cities of Opportunity, the 5th World Cities Summit will be held in conjunction with the Singapore International Water Week (SIWW) and CleanEnviro Summit Singapore (CESS). To register your interest and request for an invite, visit

For more information: World Cities Summit

CDIA MFA Training on Urban Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience

In collaboration with the Singapore Cooperation Program and USAID Adapt Asia Pacific, Cities Development Initiative Asia (CDIA) is proud to announce that the Urban Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience Training to be held in Singapore from 23-27 May 2016 is now open for applications from cities in the Asian region.

The course aims to improve climate change knowledge among senior-level managers working in urban and infrastructure planning and, in turn, help them design better adaptation projects. This seven-module training starts with an introduction to climate change adaptation; provides tools and techniques for assessing climate change impacts and vulnerabilities; presents a framework for identification, design, appraisal, evaluation, and implementation of climate adaptation strategies, programs and projects; and finally looks at the options available for financing adaptation projects. Site visits in Singapore are also integrated into the program.

Duly completed Application Forms must be sent to

Call for Applications
Individual Application Form

International Symposium on Sustainable Future in Asia (TBD)

International Symposium on Sustainable Future in Asia (TBD) 

Date                  January 27-28, 2016

Venue                Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok, Thailand (TBD)


  Addressing problems related to climate change, Biodiversity loss and urban planning requires a comprehensive approach which includes technological changes and innovations coupled with societal reforms. For scientific and technological innovation on climate, biodiversity and urban related issues, scientists and researchers require information from multiple sectors which are often governed by the state.

The purpose of this symposium is to seek new ways of thinking to address the above mentioned challenges through an ‘information based’ policy development process. In this symposium we highlight four solution areas within the broader theme of Climate Change, biodiversity and urban planning namely;

・       Low Carbon Societies : Governments are gearing towards making progress in developing low carbon societies and  have made proposals for monitoring industry, business, transport and for individual households sectors. Tremendous progress has been made in realising this transformation, nonetheless, challenges still remain in the way governments and citizens perceive the process. This in fact has lead to heterogenous approaches by (or within) a state  making it difficult  to strategise or recommend any particular measure for a country or a region. One way to bring uniformity to the process is by developing a common framework of action at an international, regional or national level. Such measures are already recommended by the United Nations and regional bodies such as ASEAN. The recent sustainable development  goals also seek for low carbon measures and particularly on monitoring low carbon scenarios. Considering all the current needs, it is important to bring together the various developments that has taken place in monitoring low carbon measures in Asia.

・       Environmental Monitoring from Local to Global: Though environmental problems are considered a global issue, except for climate change, the impact of environmental problems are faced more at a local scale. Hence addressing such problems require monitoring grass root environmental issues and we should see how it effects national and international scenarios. However monitoring such issues are constrained by socio-political, technological and policy related issues. To address these challenges, we need to bring together the different streams of information compiled by governments, research institutions and NGO’s to a common decision making platform. The symposium will thus look into the environmental monitoring from a local to a global level.

・       Monitoring Biodiversity and Ecosystem services: Asian region is rich in biodiversity and is also a hub for ecosystem services. However, rapid development, industrial growth and illegal harvesting has lead to depletion of biodiversity. In order to address this complexity,  spatial and temporal information on biodiversity is fundamental. Such information is also required for assessing the various transformation exercises carried out by governments and local bodies in Asia for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. There exists multiple research projects to monitor biodiversity loss and management. Integration of such projects are also essential to identify key measures for addressing the challenges faced to the Asian biodiversity ecosystem.

・       Waste management:  Waste management is one major issue which is posing a challenge for the growth of Asian cities. Though countries such as Japan and Singapore has advocated intensive measures for the management of waste, several developing countries in Asia are still facing acute problems in managing waste. The key question is then on how can scientists, researchers and policy makers address the growing needs of the developing Asia in addressing challenges related to waste management. It is also important to assess the existing laws and policies on waste management in developing countries and how effective such policies are. For bringing the right mix of policy and technology, there is a need for an overall information on the behavioural pattern of the society and socio-economic situation at the local level.

Workshop Goals and Objectives

The purpose of this symposium will be to first highlight the current conditions on the above mentioned key issues faced by Asian societies. Focusing primarily on the information needs and requirements, the symposium will then highlight the ways to bridge the information gaps through effective and integrated monitoring systems. Based on these assessments, recommendations will be prepared on how societal transformations can be achieved in addressing the above problems. The

recommendation from the symposium can be used to stress the urgency of addressing environmental concerns among target public and private institutions to take responsibility on specific areas where there is a need for a change. Such recommendations can also support the existing global mechanism to address those challenges.

Organisers and Co-organisers

  1. Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Thailand
  2. National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), Japan
  3. The University of Tokyo (UTYO), Japan


Around 200 (TBD)

(Research scientists from three organizing institutes, AIT students, governmental officials, companies)


Download Program


Management of Urban Infrastructure course – Part 1

The Chair Management of Network Industries at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), directed by Prof. Matthias Finger, is happy to announce the release of the first free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), on February 16th 2016, on the Management of Urban Infrastructures.

This course is offered by EPFL, and diffused through the Coursera platform. The MUI MOOC provides an introduction to the principles of urban infrastructures management. In this MOOC, you will learn these principles from practitioners (City of Geneva, Veolia, Boston Consulting Group, CarPostal), Experts (The World Bank) and Academics (EPFL, CUNY).

The Course is structured in four blocks:

  • Block1: Introduction to Urban Infrastructures
  • Block2: Basic principles in management of Urban Infrastructures
  • Block3: Management of Urban Energy Infrastructure
  • Block4: Management of Urban mobility Infrastructure

Besides fulfilling the mandatory requirements to obtain the course certificate from Coursera, the participants can also write an optional case study to win a prize! The 3 best case studies will win a tuition waiver scholarship to enrol in the IGLUS professional training program in Fall 2016.

Follow the MOOC and IGLUS project on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest updates!

You can find more information about the course and subscribe here.

EcoMobility World Festival 2015

EcoMobility Festival_Joburg banner

EcoMobility World Festival 2015
The EcoMobility World Festival demonstrates urban mobility without dependency on the private automobile in a real city, by real people, in real time. Taking place in South Africa’s economic capital, the EcoMobility World Festival 2015 in Johannesburg shall demonstrate how an ecomobile business district looks like. Walking, cycling, and using buses and trains – for a cleaner air, healthier lifestyle and livable city.
Conveniently commuting through your city in an affordable and environmental friendly way, feeling healthy and enjoying your urban public space – try a greener urban lifestyle at the EcoMobility World Festival 2015 in Sandton, Johannesburg!

EcoMobility Dialogues 2015
A series of dialogue sessions is a key part of the EcoMobility World Festival 2015. They will bring together thought leaders, decision makers and implementers of innovative forms of sustainable urban mobility to shape the future of urban mobility. Solutions will be sought to reduce the dominance of private automobiles in cities and to build an urban transport system that meets the needs of residents while minimizing energy consumption, emissions, material use and space requirements. The EcoMobility Dialogues will be hosted by the City of Johannesburg and organized in partnership with ICLEI from 5 – 9 October 2015. Various pre- and post-events are being planned together with partners of the Dialogues.


For more information: Ecomobility Festival Brochure




Innovative Governance for Large Urban Systems IGLUS, EPFL

IGLUS is a long-term research and education project initiated by the Chair MIR (Management of Network Industries) at EPFL Switzerland. It focuses especially on the governance of the urban infrastructure systems (e.g., transport, energy, telecommunications, water, waste, greens) and brings together practitioners (city managers, city officials, urban services providers, etc.) and academics from many different disciplines (urban planners, architects, geographers, engineers, economists, management experts, and political scientists) in order to help cities better analyze the strength and weaknesses of the governance system, and share such a mutually built knowledge with other cities around the world. The IGLUS project aims to create an Excellency platform concerning all issues related to urban governance. For more information see our IGLUS Yearbook 2015

The IGLUS training modules and Executive Master; APPLY NOW! 

The EPFL IGLUS Executive Master offers a combined practical and theoretical approach, from scholars and city practitioners from private and public sector, to governing and managing the main challenges complex urban systems face today. It is structured in such a way that, in each host city, a two-week training program addresses the most important challenges that the city faces. Participants can choose to attend one of the modules to obtain a certificate of attendance (jointly signed by EPFL and the host university) or 5 modules from the 6 IGLUS modules to get an executive master degree. The proposed modules are each time host by partner university

• Rhine-Ruhr, Germany – The metropolitan challenge – TU Dortmund
• Guadalajara and Mexico City, Mexico – The social challenge – Tecnologico de Monterrey
• Dubai, UAE– The environmental challenge – The American University of Sharjah
• Istanbul, Turkey – The cultural challenge – Kadir Has University
• Detroit/Chicago and NY, USA – The economic challenge – Michigan State University / CUNY
• Seoul, Korea – The technological challenge – Sungkyunkwan University

To apply to this program please contact

Other Information 

The next training module will take place in Mexico from 2nd to 13th of November 2015 and will focus on the social challenges encountered by Metropolitan Regions. If you are interested to participate to this training event, please contact IGLUS at

For information about the 2016 program in Seoul, please see this flyer and this announcement.



Korea Transport Institute and the World Bank jointly host the 4th LUTP


banner_LUTP (1)

A holistic approach to mobility planning is essential for developing cities as they become the engines of economic growth and also major contributors to GHG emissions. They are also faced with severe congestion, deteriorating air quality and increasing incidence of road crashes. This is adversely impacting people’s health and constraining economic growth. Building flyovers and road widening has often led to long run increases in road traffic and congestion. Others have built rail mass transit systems, but high costs have limited their extent and coverage. So what is the best route to take?

This event aims at developing leadership capabilities in urban mobility planning. It seeks to create awareness of what integrated mobility planning involves, what are its different components and how it needs to be undertaken. It will use a “hands on” learning approach, making extensive use of case studies, group exercises and site visits – all aimed at highlighting linkages between the different components of the urban transport system.

Ideal participants would be policy makers and planners from national, state and city level governments who are responsible for “putting the pieces together”. Participants from civil society, consultants and professional staff of consulting companies would also find the program very useful. Potential faculty from local training institutions would also gain from this program.

You can download the application form online by visiting the URL below:
Your completed registration form (scanned copy) can be emailed to
or faxed to: +82-44-211-3222 by August 15, 2015.
A fee of US $3,500 will be charged. This would also cover the cost of boarding and lodgings in Korea.
Participants will be expected to bear their own airfare to reach Korea.

More information: Building Leaders in Urban Transport Planning