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Cities, choose your partners

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Does who you work with affect how well you perform or for how well you learn?

The answer is seemingly obvious — yes, of course. Learning on the job depends heavily on the nature of working partnerships, which in turn are shaped by the experiences partners carry and the power relations between them. Yet city governments in parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America do not often choose whom they work with on urban development projects supported by international aid or technical assistance. But they can and they should.

The rise of regional political and economic powers such as China, India, Brazil and South Africa on the world stage is shifting the center of technical expertise, international aid and development work. It is also providing those development stakeholders fighting for human well-being in their local communities with an opportunity to choose whom they wish to work with.

Much ado has been made about the value of this international development work led by countries in the global south, as opposed to traditional development partnerships with countries or organizations such as the World Bank or those based in the global north. Several international organizations such as the United Nations and the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, as well as regional leaders themselves, herald partnerships between........

© Japan Today