Urban development

City-to-City and South-South and Triangular Cooperation

Local economic and social development and city-to-city cooperation are gaining international visibility. What are the challenges related to the world of work that cities and their citizens are currently facing? How can cities, local governments and their partners learn from each other’s good practices within a South-South cooperation framework? How can they address the challenges of the world of work together with government and the social partners? These are the main questions this handbook addresses in order to stimulate further South-South and triangular cooperation between cities for the promotion of Decent Work. It also describes current South-South initiatives already undertaken by the International Labour Organization in partnership with the UCLG.


The answers derive from a wealth of experience in South-South cooperation and local economic and social development, and from encounters between the world of cities and the world of work. In 2012 United Cities and Local Governments and the International Labour Organization agreed to cooperate in the area of local economic and social development. The Memorandum of Understanding envisaged cooperation focused on “the contribution of cities and local governments to the promotion of decent work, in the LED context and in other contexts as may be agreed upon, through: the promotion of employment and sustainable enterprises; the promotion of social protection; the development of social dialogue; and the realization of fundamental principles and rights at work, especially the eradication of the worst forms of child labour”.