Why your city should become part of the struggle against poverty

The mutual benefits brought about through technical exchanges by and between cities and municipal leaders, in both the Global South and North, are magnified when innovative local solutions are brought forward by one city, attract interest and input from partners and donors, and then are adopted and scaled up by other members in the network.

Such connections between municipal officials and local development networks are encouraged and given a platform at the WACAP Forums that have been held in cities in all parts of the world since 1996, and are made as well as through its growing online network. Becoming a member of the Alliance enables local authorities to tap into levels of expertise and resources that far exceed what they could have accessed on their own, and to leverage and learn from the experiences of others that have had to face and overcome similar development challenges. Member cities can also benefit from donor assistance and guidance made available to the Alliance through the triangular cooperation framework and from OECD/DAC countries – to support the design and scaling-up of urban development programs aimed at improving a city’s quality of life and for defeating poverty and social exclusion in all its forms.

By joining WACAP, your city can benefit from the lessons learned and cumulative experience of other municipalities in their efforts to improve their urban environments and provide greater social services, living conditions and dignity to all. At the same time, you will be given the opportunity and asked to contribute to the development aspirations of other cities that may be faced with urgent development challenges not unlike those confronted by your city in the past – in such areas as transportation, youth job creation and the environment – and to which your municipality may be able to offer valuable insights, lessons learned and advice.


At WACAP forums, like this one in Dublin, Ireland, municipalities have the opportunity to share experiences and lessons learned about local efforts to end urban poverty and improve quality of life.

The Commitment

In signing on to become a member of the Alliance, your city signals acceptance of the fundamental principle that poverty constitutes a most basic violation of human rights, a societal aberration that obstructs sound and equitable development, degrades the environment and threatens global health, peace and security, and that a priority goal of the urban development agenda should be its eradication in all its forms – marshaling support for reducing social exclusion and inequity, and for improving basic services, living conditions and opportunities for all citizens.

WACAP members also endorse the principle that shared experience and collective action by and between cities offer the greatest opportunities for identifying, financing and scaling up proven solutions for helping their cities become more livable and equitable urban habitats.

 Appeal of the Cities Against Poverty

“We, cities of all countries, cities of a world in which poverty still kills thousands of human beings every day, endangers natural resources indispensable to life, and compromises the future of all the planet’s children, request:

that our societies make the fight against poverty an absolute priority;

that to do so they mobilise more human resources as well as the additional national and international financial means needed while assuring the transparency of their use; that they give substance to the commitments made by the heads of State and government of every continent during the 1995 World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen and to the programme of action adopted by the international community on that occasion; that they take up this challenge together, in an enduring partnership.

It is a matter of human dignity.”

NEXT: How to Join