Cities Development Initiative for Asia

Project description

Title: Cities Development Initiative for Asia (CDIA)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Member states of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), headquarters in the Philippines
Overall term: 2007 to 2018 (extended to 2019 for administrative purposes)


Asia's cities are changing rapidly. Over the next 20 years, they will have to expand their infrastructure and services to cater to another one billion people. In order to be able to meet the growing development needs in the long term and in line with the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, cities will need extensive support with the planning, financing, construction and maintenance of the necessary infrastructure. The aim of the Cities Development Initiative for Asia (CDIA) is to provide support for cities by way of pre-investment feasibility studies and the prioritisation of projects. Potential financing institutions for such urban infrastructure initiatives are often confronted with the fact that the relevant infrastructure projects are not sufficiently ready for financing. The CDIA project precisely bridges this gap between the planning and financing sides of infrastructure projects.


Living conditions in medium-sized Asian cities through sustainable urban development measures have been improved.

GIZ2018_ CDIA Map_Jul 17 (002)


The CDIA will be demand-led in its assistance with the prioritisation and development of investment projects for the expansion of urban infrastructure which meet at least two of the following criteria:

  • Improvement of environmental conditions
  • Reduction of poverty and promotion of inclusive economic growth
  • Measures designed to mitigate and/or adapt to climate change
  • Good governance

CDIA will provide know-how and experience for this purpose. One of the ways in which the project will ensure that the most effective measures are promoted will be to support the prioritisation of investments with the aid of the CDIA toolkit ‘City Infrastructure Investment Programming and Prioritization’ (CIIPP). Another strategy will be to carry out preparation studies in cooperation with consultancy firms for the investment projects which have been prioritised. The plans for the infrastructure measures which have been prioritised and elaborated will be communicated to potential financing partners by the CDIA. In addition, the CDIA will join forces with partner organisations to offer training in planning and project development.
The project is implemented by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Agence Française de Développement (AFD). Further financial backing for the project are sourced from the governments of Austria, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, the European Union and The Rockefeller Foundation. 


From 2007 to November 2018, the Cities Development Initiative for Asia worked with 95 cities in 19 countries in Asia and the Pacific.

The CIIPP analysis tool was used to prioritise 52 projects. This enabled the relevant cities to identify the promising projects from several alternatives and to prioritise them in the budget planning process. The 95 project preparation studies which have been carried out are expected to promote integrated, inclusive and sustainable approaches. Financing has already been found for 73 cities. The CDIA has supported urban development measures with an investment volume of some USD 9.5 billion.

The CDIA has organised 116 courses in recent years, attended by 2,870 representatives from local and regional governments, civil society organisations and other cooperation partners, with a view to improving the inner workings of institutions and more generally, promoting cooperation and knowledge-sharing. Most of these activities were carried out in cooperation with partner organisations. The focus is on the financing of infrastructure projects and climate-change adaptation and resilience measures in cities, the development of models for possible public-private partnerships, and the inclusion of disadvantaged groups of people.

In December 2018, the direct engagement of GIZ as an implementer of the initiative will come to an end. Beginning 2019, CDIA will be fully operating as an ADB-managed Trust Fund to ensure its long-term financial sustainability. Despite this change in governance, and driven by the ‘CDIA Strategy 2018-2022’, CDIA intends to continue getting sustainable infrastructure projects off the ground and improve the effectiveness of the methods adopted in the projects against the backdrop of its many years of experience. The transition to the new trust fund model under the umbrella of the ADB while retaining the previous functions is therefore a result of the successful cooperation between the ABD and GIZ in the 11 years since the foundation of the CDIA. 

GIZ is supporting the CDIA project in 2019 by financing a project preparation study on sustainable waste management and reduction of marine litter in selected coastal cities in Asia and the Pacific. In addition, a development worker is assigned to the Public-Private Partnership-Center of the Philippines to support capacity building on private sector engagement in infrastructure projects at the local level.