CAA Knowledge Sharing Partnership

Tackling global challenges together

The initiative

The CAA has developed a Knowledge Sharing Partnership among 16 of its member organisations, the aim of which is to work together in a coordinated and mutually beneficial manner with the goal of increasing the capacity of urban stakeholders in Commonwealth countries, particularly those that are facing the most urgent challenges to cope with rapid urbanisation and climate change, including:

  1. Leverage the power of the Commonwealth and its networks to confront challenges and advance opportunities in the face of climate change and rapid urbanisation.
  2. Help to build capacity and knowledge sharing at scale, especially in the areas of policy and legislation, learning and development, urban planning and design, to enable effective climate action.
  3. Work in a collaborative, interdisciplinary, cross-sectoral manner at all levels and between all CAA countries to share knowledge and best practice more effectively.
  4. Increase the pipeline of risk-managed bankable projects with improved financing prospects for local communities.

Scope of the collaboration

The signatories have agreed to collaborate in the following areas:

  1. Advocacy: Advocating for the importance of supporting and working with Commonwealth countries that are in receipt of Official Development Assistance (ODA) and which are dealing with climate change and rapid urbanisation, especially among national governments and donors.
  2. Capacity Building: Facilitating knowledge sharing, information exchange and partnerships between policy, education and practice.
  3. Climate Action: Helping to build core competencies and climate literacy in all matters relating to sustainable urbanisation and climate action.

Founding signatories

The list of founding signatory organisations is as follows:

  • Antigua & Barbuda Institute of Architects (ABIA)
  • Architectural Association of Kenya (AAK)
  • Australian Institute of Architects (RAIA)
  • Barbados Institute of Architects (BIA)
  • Institute of Architects Bangladesh (IAB)
  • Institute of Architects Pakistan (IAP)
  • Jamaican Institute of Architects (JIA)
  • Kamra Tal-Periti, (Malta) (KTP)
  • Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA)
  • Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC)
  • Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)
  • Rwanda Institute of Architects (RIA)
  • South African Institute of Architects (SAIA)
  • Trinidad & Tobago Institute of Architects (TTIA)
  • Uganda Society of Architects (USA)
  • Zambia Institute of Architects (ZIA)

All CAA Member Organisations have been invited to become signatories.

Background to the initiative

The initiative has been developed in response to the challenges being faced by cities and human settlements across the Commonwealth, including the facts that:

  • Cities already consume more than two thirds of the world’s energy and account for more than 70% of all carbon emissions.
  • Over the next 30 years the populations of cities in Commonwealth countries are expected to double from one billion to two billion people, accounting for nearly 50% of the forecasted growth in the world’s urban population by 2050.
  • With 95% of the city’s most at risk from climate change located in Africa and Asia, much of this increase will be in the Commonwealth countries most vulnerable to climate change impacts.
  • Many of the countries urbanising most rapidly, suffer a critical lack of built environment capacity and expertise. For example, Uganda, only has around 250 architects and 100 planners, despite having a population of 48 million, urbanising at a rate of over 6% per year. By comparison, the UK has 41,500 architects and 22,000 planners and a population of 67 million, urbanising at a rate of 1% a year.
  • This lack of professional capacity is often coupled with a lack of capacity in education and weaknesses in areas such as planning and building codes, especially in the public sector and in secondary cities where most urban dwellers live.

To counter these trends, the CAA-led initiative will use the Commonwealth and its networks, focusing its efforts on those with the greatest need in order to achieve the greatest impact.