Fostering secondary city cooperation along the Berbera Corridor to leverage migration dynamics for improved access to work and basic services (Dire Dawa – Jigjiga – Somaliland) Grant support-call for proposal

Reference: ETH/SDC/11934-022/003
Beneficiary countries: Ethiopia
Registration level: Basic
Published on: 11-Jan-2023
Deadline on: 10-Feb-2023 14:00 (GMT 1.00) Brussels, Copenhagen, Madrid, Paris



The mission of the Cities Alliance is to improve the lives of urban populations by delivering integrated, citywide and innovative solutions to urban poverty in cities where it matters the most. Cities Alliance’s vision is to provide technical support and grants to local and national actors to deliver policies and programmes that directly address urban poverty and gender inequality in cities. Cities Alliance is an agent for urban change with a clear focus on secondary cities, which are increasingly instrumental to economic and social progress in rapidly urbanising economies.

Cities Alliance is the global partnership supporting cities to deliver sustainable development. For over 20 years, the Secretariat has convened partners from civil society, local and national authorities, and development actors with an urban focus to combine complementary strengths and expertise. With its programmatic approach and diverse membership, Cities Alliance has the capacity to coordinate the efforts and core competencies among partners to leverage this collective expertise to advance urban thinking and solutions.

The Cities Alliance initiated a Global Programme Cities and Migration as part of its 2018–21 Strategic Plan, with support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and extends this strategic priority for the new 2022-2025 Strategic Plan.

At its core, the Programme seeks to advance global thinking on the role and potential of cities in managing and seizing the opportunities and contributions arising from migration to and from secondary cities. 

Background and Objectives of the Grant/funding

In Phase I (2018-2022), nine secondary cities across five countries in the Horn of Africa, Tunisia, and Guatemala partnered to design and test local migration management approaches. Phase II (2022-2026) will consolidate the cooperation with these partner cities within their respective systems of cities and migration corridors.

Over the past decade, migration and forced displacement have become one of the most contentious but poorly understood political issues across the globe. The objective of the Cities and Migration Programme is to enable partner cities, local governments, private sector, host communities and migrants to manage challenges and leverage opportunities arising from migration to cities for sustainable and inclusive development. 

Migration and forced displacement to cities is complex and spans various disciplines, sectors, levels of intervention and geographic spaces. Cities Alliance will build new partnerships and dialogues among urban migration stakeholders at the local, national, regional and global levels. 

Objective of the Call for Proposal

The specific objective of this Call for Proposals is to enable partner cities, local governments, the private sector, host communities, migrants and forcibly displaced to design and implement approaches to provide equal access to quality public services, labour market integration and economic opportunities to migrants, forcibly displaced and vulnerable host communities in secondary cities of low-income countries.

The programme focuses on secondary cities in developing countries. The concept of secondary city systems allows for a better understanding of migration corridors and the benefits of cooperation between cities. This perspective allows to conceive local development beyond boundaries and focuses on connections with neighbouring towns and villages as well as with more distant communities in order to take better advantage of mobility patterns. The programme is based on a corridor and catchment area or city systems approach; a continued focus on flexibility and the promotion of collective projects; strategic peer learning and technical training; and partnerships with respected institutions at the local level. 

Local partnerships between various stakeholders in the city are essential as the lives of vulnerable migrants and host communities are largely characterised by informality, which no single actor can effectively and durably address on its own to improve well-being, socio-economic integration and social cohesion. The programme facilitates endorsement and support at national level and serves as a platform for dialogue between different stakeholders at national, local and international level.

Through this Call for Proposal, the Cities Alliance seeks for project proposals which will support city stakeholders in three intervention areas:

  • Objective 1: Secondary city stakeholders utilize provided financial and technical assistance to improve labour market integration for migrants, displaced persons, and host communities.

  • Objective 2: Secondary city stakeholders utilize provided financial and technical assistance to improve the gender-responsive, climate-resilient and sustainable provision of basic services for migrants, displaced persons, and host communities.

  • Objective 3: Secondary city stakeholders utilize provided financial and technical assistance to address persistent gender inequalities with contextually relevant responses by including a local organisation with a gender equality mandate for the design, implementation and evaluation of the project.

The programme strives for gender equality and women's empowerment to improve the physical, social and economic well-being of girls and women at city-level, who are often excluded from economic opportunities, social and political participation and equitable access to public services. As gender norms are highly contextualised, each proposal shall propose a local organisations with a gender equality mandate as sub-partner. These organisations are best placed to address persistent gender inequalities by progressively removing formal and informal structural barriers and underlying power imbalances. They will lead the development of gender analyses and theories of change for locally appropriate gender transformative action. The programme will support emerging and established local organizations through technical assistance and peer-to-peer exchanges with like-minded professionals in the region and beyond. 

With an overwhelmingly young population, cities also need to focus more strongly on the needs and opportunities of their youth. To this end, proposals shall have a specific focus on how youth will be integrated and empowered through the project.  

Migration and forced displacement are highly engendered phenomena. Each proposal needs to address gendered differences of urban migration patterns and characteristics such as age, destinations, length and reason, living conditions, wages, working conditions, security, safety, and amount and transfer channels for remittances. Proposals need to observe gender dynamics in migrant households, how financial and social decisions regarding remittances are made, and how the socio-cultural and intergenerational transition is affected. The aim is to identify urban migration vulnerabilities differently attributed to women and men, girls and boys, and how urban migration practice and policy shall respectively be oriented towards greater gender equality and empowerment of women. 

The CfP is a continuation of Phase I (2018-2022) of the Cities Alliance Cities and Migration Programme. Phase II (2022-2026), will consolidate the cooperation with these partner cities within their respective systems of cities and migration corridors. 

The operational context of many cities requires conflict sensitive project design and management. Proposals are reviewed following the UNOPS Conflict Sensitivity Guidelines, which each applicant may consult to minimize the negative impacts and maximize the positive impacts of any proposed activity. This can be done by integrating conflict sensitivity considerations in project management activities, including gender mainstreaming, health and safety, social and environmental activities.

Content of Proposal Submissions 

Please read carefully the following documents before completing all required submission forms document:

  1. ‘Call for Proposals’ document . This document contains information related to:

 (1) Particulars; (2) Requirements; and (3) Evaluation method and criteria.

  1. Instructions to Applicants.

  2. Guidelines on Eligible expenditures for grants.

Applicants must submit the following documents:

  1. Proposal Application Form . Please read Instructions to Applicants before completing the Proposal Application Form.

  2. Financial Proposal Form. Please read Guidelines on Eligible expenditures for grants before completing the Financial Proposal Form .

  3. Gender Marker Self-Assessment Form 

  4. Protection from sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA) capacity assessment Form

  5. Proposal Submission Declaration Form.

Deadline for Submission: 14:00, Central European Time on 10 February 2023.

Language: The proposal should be submitted in English.

Estimated Start: 1 April 2023

Duration: 3 Years

Questions can be submitted to [] between 16 to 31 January 2023. Answers will be replied with 2 batches as follows:

1.Questions received from 16 to 25 January, answers will be posted on 26 January 2023.

2.Questions received from 26 to 31 January, answers will be posted on 1 February 2023.

Cities Alliance will organize an information session on the Call for Proposals on Wednesday, January 18, 2023, at 13:00. (Eastern African Time (EAT) UTC +3):

The names and contact information for the applicant’s representative who will attend the information session shall be submitted in writing by the applicant to []. This information should include the full name and position of each identified representative and should be sent at least one (1) working day before 18 January 2023.

Here is the link to access the session:


Meeting ID: 977 8307 5198

Passcode: 801853