Urban Poverty Working Group


Today, approximately 25 % of the world’s poor live in urban areas. This part is expected to increase to 50 % by 2040. In view of such trends, SDC’s South Cooperation (SC) initiated a reflection process in 2016 on the future positioning of SDC in urban contexts: Should SDC engage in a more substantive way in urban settings and if so, how? This process resulted in an Issue Paper which was presented to the SDC Board of Directors in June 2017. The paper shall inform ongoing strategic reflections, such as the SDC Reflection on Future Prospects

In 2017, a learning journey on urban-rural dynamics started and builds on work initiated in 2016. A core working group of ten members representing different SDC domains and a broader reflection group is involved in this learning journey. A focus of the first year of the learning journey is put on five case studies in Bangladesh, Bolivia, Ethiopia, Haiti and the Mekong region. These case studies shall provide inputs and reflections for the elaboration of new cooperation strategies and for a possible adaptation of project portfolios. At the same time, they shall contribute to an "urban" learning process at SDC and serve to verify the recommendations made by the Issue Paper.

Results so far:


Issue Paper 

Final version of 24 July 2017
SDC’s future engagement in urban contexts


Case Studies on Urbanization

Already available: Bolivia, Haiti and Ethiopia on the Shareweb of the  Learning Journey Urban-Rural Dynamics


Briefing Note “Cities, Urbanization and Poverty Reduction”

With key facts about incidence and characteristics of urban (and rural) poverty, main opportunities, challenges, possible approaches to best tackle the challenges


Briefing Note “Urban Development Assistance”

With position of several key development partners in terms of their activities and approaches in urban settings


Selection of Documents Referenced in the Two Briefing Notes



Preliminary Results of Internal Lightmapping of Urban SDC and SECO Activities







Working Group Members

Markus Eggenberger, Bettina Etter, Felix Fellmann, Sophie Hirsig, Mirjam Macchi Howell, Anne Moulin, Serge Oumow, Thomas Piras, Bahar Sadreghazi, Jacqueline Schmid

Working Group Sections


 More Information

Please contact Thomas Piras or another working group member at SDC.

Related Resources

Urban Poverty: What Consequences for SDC’s South Cooperation?