Multilevel governance is a decisive element for achieving the commitments set by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and one of the core principles of the New Urban Agenda. Robust multi-level governance mechanisms are required to ensure that all government spheres work in a strategic and collaborative manner. Only by doing so, coherence among policies and effectiveness of delivery is possible. National, regional and local governments need to be supported to enhance their cooperation to design enabling frameworks to advance sustainable development and implement the SDGs by 2030.

Responding to this, UN-Habitat and its partners launched a global initiative toward the enhancement of multilevel governance for effective local action. The initiative wants to provide access to cutting-edge knowledge, capacity building, advocacy and partnership opportunities for national and local governments to strengthen their cooperation, in view of implementing the SDGs, the New Urban Agenda as well as other global commitments.

The initiative is partnership-driven, bringing together key knowledge partners from around the globe. The partners' coalition is led by UN-Habitat and counts on the close support of Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany (BMZ), German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), ARCO – Action Research for Co-Development, Brookings Institution, LSE Cities, and United Cities Local Governments (UCLG).


Coordinated by:

UN-Habitat is the United Nations programme working towards a better urban future. Its mission is to promote socially and environmentally sustainable human settlements development and the achievement of adequate shelter for all. UN-Habitat’s vision of “a better quality of life for all in an urbanizing world” is bold and ambitious. UN-Habitat works with partners to build inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities and communities. UN-Habitat promotes urbanization as a positive transformative force for people and communities, reducing inequality, discrimination and poverty.

With the support of:

Within the German Government, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is responsible for German development policy. To this end, the BMZ coordinates bilateral cooperation with partner countries worldwide and promote strong multilateralism based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The BMZ sees itself as a transformative ministry working to support the worldwide transformation to a sustainable, climate-friendly and nature-friendly way of doing business whilst at the same time strengthening peace, freedom and human rights.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is a global service provider in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development and international education work. As a public-benefit federal enterprise, GIZ supports the German Government and many public and private sector clients in achieving their objectives in international cooperation. Together with its partners, GIZ develops effective solutions that offer people better prospects and sustainably improve their living conditions.

Knowledge partners:

“The mission of the Nelson Mandela school of Public Governance, University of Cape Town  is to build inclusive, developmental, entrepreneurial and effective democratic  African public institutions and strengthen ethical leadership for social change and sustainable development, in partnership with government, private sector and civil society.  The Nelson Mandela School is cognizant that pan-African perspectives of the governance challenges facing the continent are needed and recognizes the significant role of civil society in building resilient democratic institutions.  The School has partnered with several policy and research institutes as well as thought leaders across the continent to debate and explore the challenges and opportunities confronting governance and transformative development on the continent. The myriad of governance challenges (inclusive of global crises) require emerging leaders in civil society, government and the private sector to develop a more cross-disciplinary understanding of their country contexts, and to assist in modelling more multi-layered policy solutions to these challenges. The Nelson Mandela School provides opportunities – strategic dialogues, evidence-based research, academic and executive education programmes – for emerging leaders to debate, explore solutions and share real-time practical experiences

ARCO is a university centre offering research, consulting, and training services. With more than 10 years of experience in Local Development, Social Economy, Inclusive Development, M&E and Impact Evaluation, and Circular Innovation & Sustainable Commodities. ARCO combines scientific rigour and practical solutions.

ARCO relies on the expertise of economists, statisticians, political scientists, sociologists, and commodity scientists, and embrace a multi-sector/multi-disciplinary approach. It operates at both the national and international level.

ARCO was founded in 2008 at PIN S.c.r.l. (Polo Universitario “Città di Prato”). It maintains strong connections with the Department of Economics and Management and the Department of Statistics, Informatics and Applications of the University of Florence. ARCO employs several highly respected experts and Professors in its Scientific Committee.

Additionally, ARCO supports the Yunus Social Business Centre University of Florence, the first centre credited by the Yunus Centrein Dhaka, a prominent organization founded by Nobel Peace Prize laureate ProfessorMuhammad Yunus.

LSE Cities is an international centre that investigates the complexities of the contemporary city. It carries out research, graduate and executive education, outreach and advisory activities in London and abroad. Extending LSE’s century-old commitment to the understanding of urban society, LSE Cities investigates how complex urban systems are responding to the pressures of growth, change and globalisation with new infrastructures of design and governance that both complement and threaten social equity and environmental sustainability. LSE Cities was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for 2016-2018 in recognition of its work on training, research and policy formulation for cities of the future and a new generation of urban leaders around the world.

LSE Cities hosts a wide range of international conferences, public lecture series, seminars and awards that span the core of our research goals, and works to consolidate a growing network of urban experts.

LSE Cities is affiliated with the School of Public Policy and the Department of Sociology.

United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) UCLG is the world organization of local and regional governments and their associations, representing and defending their interests on the world stage. UCLG’s membership serves 70% of the world’s population and is present in all world regions. UCLG’s key areas of political interest are: local democracy, the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, local finance, urban development and city diplomacy in peace building. Visit www.uclg.org and follow @uclg_org for more.