Forthcoming review: UK aid for sustainable cities

22 Jan 2024

The Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) will assess how well the UK is using its aid for sustainable cities and urban development in a forthcoming review. 

Cities generate more than 80% of global GDP and by 2050, the United Nations projects that more than two-thirds of the global population will live in urban areas. Although cities are recognised as important drivers of economic growth and prosperity, rapid urbanisation in particular presents challenges to inclusive, resilient and sustainable development.  

Our review will examine how the UK is balancing its three stated priorities in support of sustainable urban development around the world: economic (growth and prosperity), social (inequality and poverty) and environmental (climate change, sustainability and resilience). 

After spending £861.3 million in aid promoting sustainable urban development between 2015 and 2022, the UK reaffirmed its commitment to this key area in the 2023 International Climate Finance Strategy. 

 The review will ask the following questions:  

  1. Relevance: Does the UK have a clear and credible approach to promoting sustainable cities that aligns with its broader objectives? 
  2. Effectiveness: How effectively is the UK’s support for urban programmes achieving its intended results on sustainable cities? 
  3. Coherence: How coherent is the UK’s approach to promoting sustainable cities? 

 The publication is expected in June 2024. 

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