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Title: Exploring the mechanics of city-to-city learning in urban strategic planning: insights from southern Africa
Authors: Moodley, Sogen 
Keywords: City-to-city learning;Organizational learning;Peer learning;Urban planning
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Source: Moodley, S. 2020. Exploring the mechanics of city-to-city learning in urban strategic planning : insights from southern Africa. Social Sciences & Humanities Open. 2(1): 100027-100027. doi:10.1016/j.ssaho.2020.100027
Journal: Social Sciences & Humanities Open. Vol. 2, Issue 1 
The importance of city-to-city learning processes in urban development has been gaining traction over the last two decades, particularly in the global North. Little empirical work has been done however, to critically analyse exactly how knowledge is transferred and the conditions under which these happen in order to facilitate better policy transfer between southern cities and regions. This paper focuses on the experiences of urban planning practitioners and key stakeholders from cities in South Africa, Malawi and Namibia that participated in a mentorship program coordinated by the international United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG). Using this case study, it develops a staged learning model that unpacks in detail, the mechanics of how the learning occurs during the program. In order to inform good practice, key ingredients that contribute to knowledge transfer – in this instance around urban strategic planning – is distilled. The study employed a qualitative approach combining observation, focus group and in-depth interviews with 18 practitioners directly involved in the program. The study shows that effective knowledge transfer requires inter-alia an expertly-facilitated and highly structured program of mutual learning. Most importantly however, the paper argues that the building of trust between the practitioners involved in city-to-city learning is critical for transformative action in cities of the global South.
ISSN: 2590-2911
DOI: 10.1016/j.ssaho.2020.100027
Appears in Collections:Research Publications (Engineering and Built Environment)

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