Regional: South Asia Urban Knowledge Hub

Sovereign Project | 46465-001

Summary

The South Asia Urban Knowledge Hub (K-Hub), a regional capacity development technical assistance (TA), was developed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the governments of Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. The TA responds to country partnership strategies with a strong emphasis on knowledge management and solutions, results orientation, and regional cooperation. It also reflects the general recognition that solutions for increasingly complex urban environments require bold action guided by knowledge.

Latest Project Documents

Title Document Date
South Asia Urban Knowledge Hub Dec 2013

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Project Name South Asia Urban Knowledge Hub
Project Number 46465-001
Country Regional
Project Status Approved
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Technical Assistance
Source of Funding / Amount
TA 8568-REG: South Asia Urban Knowledge Hub
Technical Assistance Special Fund US$ 850,000.00
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation US$ 500,000.00
TA 8568-REG: South Asia Urban Knowledge Hub (Supplementary)
Technical Assistance Special Fund US$ 60,000.00
Strategic Agendas Environmentally sustainable growth
Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Governance and capacity development
Knowledge solutions
Partnerships
Sector / Subsector Water and other urban infrastructure and services - Urban policy, institutional and capacity development - Urban sanitation
Gender Equity and Mainstreaming No gender elements
Description

The South Asia Urban Knowledge Hub (K-Hub), a regional capacity development technical assistance (TA), was developed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the governments of Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. The TA responds to country partnership strategies with a strong emphasis on knowledge management and solutions, results orientation, and regional cooperation. It also reflects the general recognition that solutions for increasingly complex urban environments require bold action guided by knowledge.

The TA aligns with ADB''s commitment to foster development knowledge. This commitment aims to enhance the capacity of developing member countries and improve the quality of ADB operations. ADB''s Strategy 2020 recognizes that supporting developing member countries to gain knowledge is an important driver of change. The TA therefore aims to strengthen the capacity of urban research and training institutions in South Asia and develop a regional network for creating and sharing urban sector knowledge.

Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

The TA aims to build the capacity of existing urban research or training institutions in South Asia to provide policy makers and practitioners with innovative and evidence-based solutions. This objective is increasingly relevant since urbanization is on an upward trajectory throughout the region and investments in infrastructure have failed to keep pace with this growth. Many of the region's cities are facing similar challenges of inadequate urban infrastructure, environmental degradation, and lack of (or low-quality) services. South Asia accounts for almost half of the world's urban poor. Maintaining vital economic growth while ensuring access to services and a livable environment, including for the poor, is a major challenge facing cities in South Asia and will be the focus of the K-Hub.

The challenges to enhancing city competitiveness, inclusiveness, and environmental sustainability include poor leadership, weak governance, operating inefficiencies, need for substantial capital investments, and a lack of baseline data for effective analysis. Strategic thinking is needed on how to grapple with these issues and develop more integrated and evidence-based solutions to be implemented at scale. While South Asia has good examples to learn from, national and regional knowledge remains fragmented. The K-Hub will help to consolidate existing and future knowledge and disseminate it widely. It will also be a catalyst to accelerate the analysis of successes and failures, extract lessons from urban interventions, develop evidence-based solutions, and lead the debate on critical urban issues across the region. It will also provide a platform for engaging with organizations outside the South Asia region, including universities, think tanks, and other knowledge hubs.

The TA supports ADB''s Urban Operational Plan, 2012 2020 and its objective of an integrated approach to urban development with systematic benefits and improvements in the quality of life in Asia's cities. ADB will leverage the K-Hub to (i) develop and promote innovative and cross-cutting ideas, (ii) integrate learning into ADB investment projects and advisory work, and (iii) strengthen knowledge partnerships in the region.

Impact Improved urban policy formulation and service delivery in South Asia DMCs
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome Improved capacity for knowledge generation and management in the urban sector in South Asia
Progress Toward Outcome Project is on track to meet the outcome.
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

1. Regional hub established in South Asia

2. Improved capacity for outcome-oriented research and knowledge dissemination

3. Improved urban management and planning education curriculum prepared

4. Improved capacity for managing knowledge hub operations

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)

1. The Regional Hub was established with headquarters in India and member organizations from Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. The Steering Committee has been established. The website will be launched in Q2 2015. Each national center has developed a detailed work plan for the duration of the TA; and this has been endorsed by respective implementing agencies (i.e. government partners).

2. Project is on track for meeting output 2 and is likely to exceed certain targets. The 4 national centers are planning to prepare a total of 12 knowledge products on topics such as sanitation, inclusive growth, slum upgrading, benchmarking, and land pooling. A capacity assessment has been undertaken for each national center. One workshop and training was held in 2014 on strengthening links between researchers and policy makers. A Mayors Forum was held in Q4 2014. The national centers have begun peer reviewing each other's work.

3. Target will be met in 2016 instead of 2015, in line with the work plans of each national center. Consultations regarding curricula are underway.

4. Project is on track for meeting Output 4. A training will be held in Q1 2015 for all national centers on research communications and how to monitor and evaluate policy influencing.

Geographical Location Nepal,Bangladesh,India,Sri Lanka
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design The draft concept paper, including the design and monitoring framework, and financing and implementation arrangements were shared and discussed with the four governments. They expressed interest in participating in the K-Hub; and agreed with the TA impact, outcome, outputs, implementation arrangements, cost, financing arrangements and indicative terms of reference. ADB asked each government to nominate a national center to lead hub activities in their country; the government of India agreed to host the regional center.
During Project Implementation A Working Group will be established with representatives from each member and ADB to establish rules of collaboration (through Charter'); guide the K-Hub's activities and develop a sustainability plan.
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services The TA requires approximately 156.5 person-months of consulting services (4.5 person-months of international inputs and 152 person-months of national inputs). National and international individual consultants and national centers will be selected following ADB's Guidelines on Use of Consultants (2013, as amended from time to time). National centers will be recruited using Single-Source Selection.
Responsible ADB Officer Keiichi Tamaki
Responsible ADB Department South Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Urban Development and Water Division, SARD
Executing Agencies
Asian Development Bank6 ADB Avenue, Mandaluyong
Metro Manila, Philippines
P.O. Box 789, 1099 Manila,
Philippines
Timetable
Concept Clearance 08 Nov 2013
Fact Finding -
MRM -
Approval 13 Dec 2013
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 06 Mar 2015

TA 8568-REG

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
13 Dec 2013 - 13 Dec 2013 31 Mar 2017 05 Jun 2017 -
Financing Plan/TA Utilization Cumulative Disbursements
ADB Cofinancing Counterpart Total Date Amount
Gov Beneficiaries Project Sponsor Others
910,000.00 500,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 1,410,000.00 13 Dec 2013 319,146.80
Title Document Type Document Date
South Asia Urban Knowledge Hub Technical Assistance Reports Dec 2013

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