The Urban Institute’s Center on International Development and Governance implements international projects that generate new knowledge about the systems and institutions that enable long-term sustainable development. Over recent years IDG has managed average annual portfolios of over $20 million with ongoing support from Urban’s administrative and financial management teams.

Through our projects and multi-years programs, IDG provides technical assistance, organizational capacity building, project management services and operational insights to both urban and rural communities, civil society organizations, national and local governments, and international development organizations around the world.

Explore our current projects below and find out how your organization can work with IDG. You can also search our project database for recent and closed projects by country, region, and practice area, or browse the full listing of IDG projects.

Economic Impact of Refugees on Host Communities: Social Networks, Economic Vulnerability, and Resilience Among Urban Refugees in Kenya, Turkey, and Pakistan

With support from the US Department of State Bureau of Population, Migration and Refugees, the Urban Institute is carrying out research exploring the varying roles of social capital and social networks in refugees’ efforts to become self-reliant and reduce dependence on humanitarian aid.

Fiscal Reform and Public Financial Management in Jordan

The Urban Institute works with Deloitte Consulting LLP in implementing USAID's Jordan Fiscal Reform and Public Financial Management project (FRPFM) which aims to advance prosperity, accountability, and equality in Jordan through improved public financial management.

Harnessing the Power of Businesses in Responding to the Global Refugee Crisis

More than 65 million people have been forcibly displaced worldwide by war, violence, and environmental disasters. Nonprofits and the public sector have been partnering with businesses to support relief efforts in response to this humanitarian crisis. This project aims to track these cross-sector partnerships; identify the barriers and challenges to forming, managing, and maintaining them; and recommend ways to foster a more positive environment for collaboration.

Improving Capacity and Community Resiliency in Ghana

The Urban Institute is working with Global Communities to provide ongoing support for local governments and communities to increase their capacities for collaboration, and to improve financial and food security for households.

Making Growth Work for Women in Low-Income Countries

The Urban Institute is leading this effort together with its partners  the Centre for Public Policy Alternatives in Nigeria, the Institute of Women, Gender and Development Studies  in Kenya, and the Leadership for Environment and Development  in Pakistan to to conduct rigorous research on economic development and women’s empowerment to inform local and national public policy and to influence the policies and practices of donors and multilateral organizations.

Public Sector Systems Strengthening in Tanzania

Public Sector Systems Strengthening (PS3)  is  a five year USAID funded project in Tanzania. The overall objective of PS3 is to strengthen the government systems at both national and local levels to improve the access,  use and quality of service delivery across health, education and agriculture sectors, with a focus on the underserved populations. 

Supporting Devolved Institutions in Kenya

Urban has partnered with the State University of New York (SUNY) to assist Kenyan authorities and the public in understanding and carrying out their new roles in this complex environment.

Sustainable Water Policy

With support from the German foreign development agency (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, known as GIZ), the Urban Institute is exploring potential sustainable financing models for expanding access to water services in developing countries.


Past Projects

Comparing Urban Public Service Delivery

With support from the International Growth Center, the Urban Institute launched a comparative study of local governments and public service delivery systems to better understand how institutional arrangements constrain or enables local service outcomes.

Localizing Service Spending in Developing Countries

In January 2015, the Urban Institute completed a first-of-its-kind comparative study of health and education services in 29 developing countries, targeting the structure of spending among levels of government.

Strengthening Decentralization for Sustainability in Uganda

Strengthening Decentralization for Sustainability (SDS) was a five year USAID funded program in support of the Government of Uganda. The program worked with NGO's and local governments to develop high-performing organizations, and to improve local governance and the delivery of social services.

Strengthening Local Government Responses to Displacement in Africa

The Urban Institute implemented a one-year research project under the US Department of State to better understand the incentives and constraints in providing and coordinating services for urban refugees.

Triggering Finance for Pro-Poor Sanitation Improvements

The Urban Institute partnered with Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) and Johns Hopkins University to better understand who makes decisions around local sanitation financing, what influences those decisions, and how to advocate for more financing to the urban poor.

Women in Pakistan's Urban Informal Economy: Vulnerabilities, Opportunities and Policy Solutions

With support from Oxfam GB’s Asia Urbanization Program, the Urban Institute conducted fieldwork in four Pakistani cities (Karachi, Lahore, Sialkot and Hyderabad) to explore how women in the urban informal economy are unable to take advantage of the opportunities from economic growth.