Evaluation of Green City Strategies (2019)

At a Glance

Publication Date May 2019
Format pdf
Countries Rwanda, Cambodia, Senegal
Thematic Areas Green Cities, Green Buildings and Industry, Sustainable Transport, Waste

GGGI’s Green Cities theme addresses the challenges associated with urbanization, particularly in developing countries. GGGI aims to address urban issues related to resource inefficiencies, negative environmental and social costs, and inequality. The 2017 GGGI Thematic Strategy for Green Cities details five priority areas of focus: (1) Mainstreaming green growth into urban planning and implementation; (2) Creating more resource efficient and low-carbon cities in support of a circular economy; (3) Decentralized solutions for sanitation and wastewater which better meet the needs of the urban poor and minimize the environmental impact of untreated effluent; (4) Urban waste management through waste-to-resource strategies; and (5) Creating more connected accessible cities in dealing with the challenges of transportation and mobility which supports healthier cities with good air quality. Between 2015 and 2018, 12 country programs have been working in the Green City thematic area.

Objective and scope

The objective of the Evaluation was to determine the key outcomes, document lessons from the approach adopted by different country teams and develop a diagnostic framework based on the lessons learned. The Evaluation focused on three projects: (1) Green City Strategic Plan for Phnom Penh in Cambodia; (2) National Roadmap for Green Secondary City Development in Rwanda; and (3) Green Secondary City Guidelines and Implementation Roadmap in Senegal.

Key evaluation questions

  1. How much progress has been made in creating an enabling environment for green growth in the cities where GGGI is working?
  2. What are the key criteria to ensure the successful implementation of a green city strategy?
  3. Is GGGI learning from the adopted green city strategy approaches to replicate and deliver results rapidly and at scale, across multiple countries?

Key findingsCambodia

  • AGreen City Strategic Planning Methodology was developed and endorsed by the Ministry of Environment in 2016. Based on the methodology, the Green City Strategic Plan for Phnom Penh was developed in 2016 and endorsed by the Phnom Penh City Administration (PPCA) in October 2018, more than two years after it was completed. It was noted that the main reason for the delay was the lack of ownership of the plan by PPCA. GGGI has expanded planning work to secondary cities based on lessons learned in Phnom Penh and will initiate implementation support to PPCA in 2019.
  • While no green investment has been mobilized to date, several of the priority projects identified in the strategic plan are progressing, e.g., energy efficiency, waste management, e-bikes.


  • A National Roadmap for Green Secondary City Development was approved by a national, cross-ministerial Steering Committee in 2015. GGGI used the Roadmap to guide the revision of District Development Strategies and annual investment planning processes in six secondary cities. This experience is being shared across the country to revise the remaining 24 Strategies. The Roadmap is also being used by GGGI in a GCF readiness project to prepare a detailed green master plan for one secondary city.

GGGI supported FONERWA (Rwanda Green Fund) to access close to USD 35 million in funding from the GCF. GGGI has also helped mobilize USD 5 million from KfW for a feasibility study for the Cactus Park Green City Pilot in Kigali, with potential for a further USD 11 million in project finance. Other project opportunities are being pursued with an approximate total value of USD 20 Senegal

  • TheGreen Secondary City Guidelines and Implementation Roadmap were adopted by various national level ministries. An inter-ministerial committee to oversee implementation is currently being finalized. Based on this, GGGI developed Green City Strategies and Roadmaps for implementation in the secondary cities of Kolda and Tivaouane. These have been integrated into formal Strategic Development Plans in the two cities. Limited progress was noted in a third location, Diamniadio.
  • GGGI is supporting the development of a faecal sludge management project in Tivaouane valued at about USD 0.2 million. A number of project ideas have been developed in the two cities with good potential for some to reach the financing stage in future.


  • Build capacity of city level stakeholders to ensure green city strategies are adopted and implemented.
  • Develop one or two bankable projects simultaneously while developing green city strategies.
  • Improve clarity of proposed monitoring mechanisms, visibility and communications.
  • Work through existing planning processes rather than standalone processes, if possible.
  • Ensure that related earmarked funding is aligned to green city strategies to ensure maximum impact.
  • Adopt and refine the diagnostic framework presented in the report to guide country teams to develop or assess the quality of green city strategies.
  • Develop a thematic knowledge management strategy and plan and appoint a knowledge manager with defined responsibilities.

Management response

  • Contained in the main evaluation report.

Evaluation summary

  • Five page executive summary

Background documents                        

  • An Approach Paper was published in August 2018 providing an overview of the Green City Strategies program as well as the proposed evaluation design, methodology, and workplan.