What We Do

USAID’s urban programming focuses on systems-based, holistic approaches to development that integrate food security, economic growth, health, education, environment, and resilience programming in a context of urbanization. Partnerships, private sector engagement, and local capacity building are central to our efforts. Together, we can help the cities of today become vibrant centers of the future with opportunity for all.

What's New on UrbanLinks

July 3, 2019

Opinion: How marine debris impedes coastal tourism and economic development

This opinion was originally published on devex. By Gina Green, Bryan Stirrat The tableau of turquoise waters and white sandy beaches has been driving tourist dollars […]
June 25, 2019

Partnering to Reduce Ocean Plastics

The news and video were originally published on Voice of America. An estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic pour into the oceans every year, amounting […]
June 18, 2019

Catalyzing capital to prevent plastic waste: A conversation with Circulate Capital’s Rob Kaplan and USAID’s J.P. Gibbons

This dialogue was originally published on ImpactAlpha. ImpactAlpha, June 17 – Plastic waste is a global crisis. Investing to prevent plastic waste is an investment opportunity. Circulate Capital, […]
June 12, 2019

Water Currents: Peri-Urban Sanitation

A central goal of the U.S. Government Global Water Strategy is to facilitate sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation services, and promote the adoption […]

Highlights

Our Approach

Urban Gender Analysis and Strategy

As cities have expanded, urban services have often not satisfied the basic needs of urban residents, especially the urban poor. Services are plagued by poor planning and operating capacity, corruption, inadequate maintenance, unresponsiveness to user demand, and negative environmental impacts. These gaps do not affect populations uniformly: women, youth, the disabled, and growing numbers of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) are most affected. Compared with men, women in cities face unequal access to work, housing, health, education and representation in urban governance.

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USAID's Urban Policy

On October 31, 2013, USAID released its "Sustainable Service Delivery in an Increasingly Urbanized World" policy. The policy seeks to harness the opportunity of urbanization to better enable USAID to achieve its key objectives, including addressing climate change, improving global health, and achieving food security.

From USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah: “I am pleased to announce the release of USAID’s new Policy on Sustainable Service Delivery in an Increasingly Urbanized World. Building on decades of experience delivering results for urban communities, this policy offers principles for strengthening the effectiveness and sustainability of service delivery where the majority of the global population lives today. Indeed, more people live in urban areas today than in rural areas.

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