This Policy Brief argues that successful initiatives to tackle Cali’s exceptionally high homicide rates also have potential for local economic development, and suggests ways that the significant value-added by informal enterprises can be harnessed to achieve wider economic objectives. It examines innovations in supporting micro- enterprise and crime reduction in Cali and the lessons for local economic development (LED), local government policy and NGO agendas.
The brief draws on research by the Observatory of Public Policy (POLIS), Universidad Icesi, and a recent study by POLIS and Cardiff University. The report also builds on previous work of UN-Habitat’s Urban Economy and Finance Branch, including the 2017 publication, Enhancing Productivity in the Urban Informal Economy (UN-Habitat, 2017) which demonstrates that micro-innovations can transform working lives and contribute to sustainable and inclusive urban development. This policy brief first sets the context, examining the global extent of informal enterprise and challenges of urban violence, and the context and economy of Cali. It then presents case studies from Cali, which illustrate the potential of data sharing, policy inclusion, enhanced municipal revenue, public space, financial inclusion, and open dialogue in urban LED.