The Cities that Work Global Launch took place on 7th September, at the World Bank in Washington DC. The event included a panel discussion on the theme of ‘Research into Policy to Support Well-Managed Urbanisation’, with Jennifer Musisi (Executive Director of Kampala Capital City Authority), Professor Ed Glaeser (Harvard), Francisco Ferreira (Senior Adviser, Development Research Group, World Bank), Craig Kesson (Executive Director for the Directorate of the Mayor at the City of Cape Town), Professor Tony Venables (Oxford) and Sameh Wahba (Director, Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience Global Practice, World Bank).
Executive Director Musisi noted that often urban policymakers need to make crucial decisions that affect the lives of millions, but currently lack enough data and evidence to well-informedly decide between policies. At the same time, researchers are increasingly generating insights that are not only academically interesting, but increasingly policy relevant. Professor Glaeser highlighted the example of his research in Zambia showing not only huge health and economic benefits to clean water, but also that water outages are less likely if providers are paid by the meter rather than by the month, so have more incentive to fix problems quickly. Panelists noted the importance of bringing such research insights to policymakers in a more accessible manner. This is the challenge which Cities that Work aims to step up to.
You can watch the launch event here.