Local and regional governments around the world are at the forefront of the current crisis, working together with communities and health authorities to mitigate the current outbreak of COVID-19 while maintaining an orderly functioning of public services in their cities and territories.
UCLG, Metropolis and UN-Habitat have launched a live learning experience with local and regional governments which, through solidarity and political will, are pushing more than ever to fulfill their critical role. They are working to carry out an affordable and fair service delivery, fostering the preservation of the commons, and promoting human rights.
The live learning experience, launched on March 25th, 2020, is built around three blocks:
- To create a virtual and living community, a safe environment, to share experiences of crisis management and protection of the commons through series of virtual exchanges on specific topics related to the role of public service delivery between cities and partners.
- To make available online resourcesfor local governments and allow for the active sharing of materials, strategies, and protocols by members and partners around the world to help others succeed and rapidly scale up the fight against the virus.
- To develop briefings or guides together with UN-Habitat and other partners in response to the needs of local governments and on the basis of new learnings of local authorities when preparing and responding to Covid-19 and in support of the social and economic recovery later.
This collective exercise will involve the participation of a limited group of local and regional governments, across different regions of the world and in different phases of contagion of the current pandemic including Barcelona, Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Durban, Guangzhou, Lampedusa, Madrid, Montevideo, Rome, and Xi’An. Participating governments, and their associations, will share and discuss the challenges they confront and the different actions taken to raise public awareness and implement emergency mechanisms that help maintain an orderly functioning of services.
International partners, including Habitat International Coalition, the International Union of Public Transport, Public Service International, and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing, together with UN Agencies coordinated by UN-Habitat, will provide specific inputs to enhance and collecting of learnings to better prepare for such challenges in the present and future that require fast and comprehensive action by local governments. The initiative is open to more partners of UCLG and UN-Habitat, for participation, cross-dissemination and the further development of specialized resources.