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Approach

Urban-A combines systems-thinking and urban expertise with knowledge and experience from various fields to trigger disruptive thinking and innovative solutions. This is founded on a multidisciplinary approach, where the composition of our team equips us to deliver on a wide range of assignments.

Urban-A undertakes analysis on different scales and geographies, ranging from overarching regional, national and city to neighbourhood and individual levels, to identify and strengthen linkages, connections, and synergies between and within these. Through a variety of methods we analyse contexts, trends, and challenges, and provide granularity in the understanding of specific needs, dynamics, and opportunities. 

​The data and knowledge accumulated through our investigations contribute to a growing evidence-base for how we think about and work in cities and complex environments. Urban-A seeks to provide a critical voice in the field and draw attention to important issues and potential solutions that surface through our work. We are driven by an ambition to collectively push the boundaries of how things are done; challenging and improving the ways in which we understand and operate in complex environments. 

Urban-A carries out a wide spectre of research and assignments. These include:

Contextual analysis and strategy work. Urban-A delivers contextual analysis and strategies. A context understanding allows for identification of root-causes of the issues which the interventions are seeking to address. For assessments pertaining to the wider context and the workings of places and systems, such as context analysis, research and policy, our practical experience working in the field will guide the approach and aid in operationalising the knowledge and data. Contextual analysis and strategic work can include identifying key challenges and opportunities in a given place or places, and strategically collect, apply and operationalise information to provide robust, useful, relevant and impactful analyses and strategies based on client needs.

Urban programming frameworks and strategies. Urban-A supports organisations, public, and private sector with urban programming. An increasing share of activities and projects carried out in urban contexts respond to rapid urbanisation around the world. Operating in urban areas, including responding to urban needs in an effective and efficient manner, identifying and facilitating synergies and multiplying effects of interventions, while mitigating possible negative or unintended effects, requires a keen understanding of inter-linked and inter-dependents factors at different scales. Urban-A’s urban programming work is informed by the experience the team holds from programme planning, including developing relevant programme strategies, implementations plans, follow-up on implementation and quality control.

To read further and see an example of Urban Programming Framework developed by Urban-A, click here.

Policy and advocacy work. Urban-A provides support for policy development and advocacy for a variety of fields and clients. The work can include analysis of key trends, comparative advantages, capacities, stakeholders, spatial dimensions. These can be linked to relevant international tools, guides and goals, such as the SDGs, international conventions, human rights instruments and international conferences and summits. Key to any policy and advocacy work is the participatory nature of the processes, where relevant actors are involved in information collection and strategy formulation, for which we use a range of methods and tools.

Organisational strategies and institutional development. Urban-A advise organisations and networks on strategy and governance. We facilitate processes to develop, tailor, and anchor strategies within organisations, to strengthen external impact, work streams, as well as internal sensitisation and ownership. The work includes development of overarching visions, Theory of Change, logframes, and resource mobilisation, operational plans, as well as communication.

For an example on work on with organisational strategies, click here.

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Results-based programming. Urban-A supports results-based programming in different phases of programme development and implementation. Building on extensive experience from managing large projects in different countries and contexts, the team has expertise in innovative data collection methods and analysis, programme management, and monitoring and evaluation. This also involves the ability to read and address particular interventions as part of a larger system; pivotal to securing the impact and sustainability of programme activities and intervention.

Academic research. Urban-A carry out critical, academic research on a number of topics, cooperating with large and small institutions world-wide in order to secure contextual knowledge and dissemination. Thematics in our research include: socio-economic issues, urban displacement and refugees, environmental and climate impacts, agency and resilience, spatial forms and practices, historical research, identities, root causes, and research on methodology and approaches.

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© 2018 by Urban-A