Nairobi 12 November 2020 -- UN-Habitat has launched a practical tool to assess the performance of urban governance. 

The Governance Assessment Framework for Metropolitan, Territorial and Regional Management (GAF-MTR) publication defines key governance factors for enabling and advancing territorial management from supra-municipal scales.

“We at UN-Habitat believe that governance is catalytic for integrated territorial development and due to that we recently adopted it as one of the drivers of change for sustainable urbanization,” UN-Habitat Executive Director, Maimunah Mohd Sharif says in her foreword to the publication.

“According to our most recent analysis, almost 60 per cent of the urban population –a third of humanity– live in metropolitan spaces, meaning that the way in which they are governed will have a direct impact on the lives of much of the global population for many decades to come”.

The Executive Director also emphasized that the Covid-19 pandemic has shown that cities are in the front line of twenty-first century challenges and that overcoming those challenges requires new governance approaches based on cooperation, collective action and solidarity. This tool identifies areas of governance that may need to be addressed to respond to current and emerging urban challenges, particularly in complex metropolitan areas.

The GAF-MTR draws from multiple inspiring practices on the establishment of institutional and decision-making arrangements for metropolitan and territorial management at supra-municipal scales. Case studies include Valle de Aburrá in Colombia; San Salvador; Montreal in Canada; London; Barcelona in Spain; Bratislava; Johannesburg in South Africa; and Singapore. These examples show how to provide integrative territorial governance frameworks involving fit-for-purpose institutional solutions, representative decision-making processes and collective actions.

The tool presents three dimensions and six factors to assess the governance effectiveness. So far, the application of the GAF-MTR reveals that cities and metropolises are innovating on their governance approaches. You will learn how decisions taken by the governing bodies guide the work of the institutional formal arrangements, how administrative acts give binding force of law to decisions and agreements, or even how knowledge management and common development visions are fundamental for implementing decisions and territorial instruments, among others.

The GAF-MTR can be used by local, sub-national and national governments, metropolitan and regional authorities and actors interested in analysing, assessing and improving governance for sustainable and integrated territorial development. The GAF-MTR includes a Governance Assessment Tool and a Scorecard. The two-step qualitative tool contains a set of criteria and guiding questions for assessing institutional, political and instrumental dimensions of territorial governance in metropolises and regions.

The publication is available for free download here: Governance Assessment Framework for Metropolitan Territorial and Regional Management (GAF-MTR).