City Partnership Program

story from Tokyo Development Learning Center

TDLC City Partnership Program: Call for Expressions of Interest (EOI)


Spring 2016
City Partnership Program image

The World Bank and the Government of Japan have been collaborating since 2004 in execution of the Japan/World Bank Distance Learning Partnership Program which has supported the establishment and operation of the Tokyo Development Learning Center (TDLC).  Program funds have been used to set up a state-of-the-art learning center in Tokyo which serves as a platform for exchange of knowledge and experience on development through partnerships with various public and private organizations in Japan and the region.

The TDLC program helps to support the World Bank’s knowledge strategy which focuses on becoming a “Solutions Bank” to more effectively support its clients in applying evidence-based solutions to development challenges.  With its unique mix of information and communications technology (ICT) facilities, connectivity, and expertise, coupled with a strong partner network, TDLC is very well placed to deliver knowledge and to support dialogue and consultation on development challenges and solutions with a broad range of stakeholders all across the globe. 

Japan is home to a number of cities that offer world-class and often unique “best-practice” experiences on various development challenge and solution areas. As a significant and important new element of the TDLC Program, a new City Partnerships Program is being introduced. This program will involve engagement with selected cities in Japan for purposes of joint research and knowledge and experience sharing, with a downstream view towards identifying opportunities to link Japanese expertise with specific project-level engagements in developing countries. 

The World Bank will select (in consultation with the Japanese Ministry of Finance) approximately 3-5 cities with which it will collaborate to document experience and lessons through joint research and to deliver a series of knowledge and learning activities designed to share experience around specific development solutions. 
Cities will be selected through an open and transparent competitive process.  The World Bank will work with relevant agencies and/or knowledge institutions in the cities selected to capture and document practical, “how-to” experiences, producing outputs such as knowledge notes, toolkits, good practice guides, videos, etc.  These materials will then be used as the basis for learning and knowledge sharing activities that bring officials from developing countries (sometimes together with World Bank staff) to Japan to learn from the selected cities and to share knowledge through peer-to-peer learning and benchmarking mechanisms such as deep dives, master classes, etc.  Learning activities will be both face-to-face and virtual, and will include site visits to maximize the learning experience.

The World Bank will also explore linkages with its other city partnership initiatives, most notably the Global Lab on Strategic Metropolitan Planning and Management (Metro Lab) program, which serves as a platform for peer-to-peer knowledge sharing, learning and benchmarking among participating cities.  A growing network of cities in World Bank client countries are already part of the Metro Lab program, including Mexico City, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro (Latin America); Accra, Addis Ababa, Dar es Salaam, and Nairobi (Africa), Ho Chi Minh City, Kathmandu, Karachi, and Mumbai (Asia), together with resource cities from industrialized countries, including Barcelona, New York, Paris, and Seoul.  Each Metro Lab activity addresses issues defined and selected by the host city, with the invited cities offering experience and advice while learning together.  Japanese cities selected for the City Partnership program will be invited to join Metro Lab activities, where appropriate.

The city partnerships will be integrated into the overall TDLC work program in a systematic manner, with TDLC’s technology platform used initially to disseminate knowledge about a given city’s experience, to be followed by study visits and networking to introduce World Bank country clients to individual experts and institutions that can be called upon to support technical assistance and advisory services both for purposes of project identification and eventual implementation. 

Dates of the Campaign: Deadline for submitting EOIs for the first batch of selection will be April 30th, 2016

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