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The Value Add by the Swiss Development Corporation (SDC) in Urbanising Contexts

A consultancy report evaluating the value add of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation’s activities in urbanising contexts

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) commissioned the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Lausanne, working with support from LSE Cities at the London School of Economics and Political Science, to evaluate the current and potential future value-add of SDC’s activities in urbanising contexts. This report reviews the SDC’s existing work in this area, identifies areas of specific Swiss expertise and interest, offers recommendations as to where to expand Switzerland’s urban development capacity, and identifies SDC's potential future priorities in an increasingly urbanised world.

Global urbanisation has changed the world. While the majority of the world’s poor still live in rural areas the proportion of people living in urban poverty is rising. Urbanisation is not just about cities. It contributes to poverty reduction overall, for example, through reducing demand on rural economies and employment, and through remittances. Yet the majority of the world’s urban population live in settlements of one million or less, with the small and medium-sized cities of Africa and Asia absorbing the majority of the world’s population growth in the years ahead. It is, therefore, imperative to address urbanisation as part of delivering SDC’s mandate of reducing poverty everywhere.


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Publication date
June 2023
Project Co-leads
Jo Beall, Emeritus Professor and Distinguished Policy Fellow, LSE Cities; Philipp Rode, Executive Director, LSE Cities
Project Manager
Catalina Duarte, Policy Officer, LSE Cities

Research Team
Alexandra Gomez, Research Fellow, LSE Cities; Xavier San Millan, Researcher, LSE Cities; Sebastian Malkun, Researcher, LSE Cities
Project Partner
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), Lausanne

Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation (SDC), Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs