Nairobi, 24 September 2018 – A Global Municipal Database (GMD) launched by UN-Habitat provides standard indicators for municipal budgets and includes data on per capita expenditures, revenues and debt in cities worldwide. The GMD is the first database to provide standardized local level per-capita budget data and covers more than 100 cities, highlighting the importance of focusing on financial data at municipal level.

The data which is based on core mandates with a standard set of budget responsibilities identified and noted for each government in the database was compiled with cooperation from city-based researchers and technical staff of municipalities in developed and developing countries. Selection of cities and original points of contact for city-based researchers was derived from the Atlas of Urban Expansion project which contains data on spatial layout of cities but none on municipal finance. The Atlas of Urban Expansion was developed by New York University with support from the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and UN-Habitat, which plans to continue expanding this database in collaboration with major partners including United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) through its headquarters in Barcelona and its regional chapters.  The data will also be made available to academia and key global think tanks.

City level data collected from municipalities and metropolises provided the basis for policy formulation and creation of a tool to enhance city leaders’ understanding of municipal finances and help them engage in productive dialogue with residents, central governments, donors and the private sector.

Among potential applications for the data collected are their use by municipalities to monitor progress in comparison to peers and research linking GMD data on local finance to geographic and spatial in the Atlas of Urban Expansion, which is made possible by the shared sample of cities in the two databases. More importantly, GMD can be used by academic researchers and international development entities to highlight policy issues and trends. Strengthening municipal finance is a component of the New Urban Agenda and the SDG11. Design and monitoring of its implementation can draw upon the GMD to fill data gaps.

Further information on GMD is available on the link below: