Governance of Inclusive Green Growth in Cities (DEALS) is a five-year programme (2017-2022) to support six fast-growing cities in the transition to inclusive and sustainable development. For this transition new forms of cooperation are needed between local government, companies, social organizations, knowledge institutions and funding partners.



About the programme

An increasing proportion of the world's population lives in cities. In 2030 this is expected to be sixty percent. Urban governments and governmental organisations face unprecedented challenges in terms of quality of life, employment, safety and the environment. Their vision and performance in the coming decades will be determinative for the future of cities.

Our drive is to improve the performance of the local government in this cooperation. This is necessary because local and urban government is becoming increasingly important and complex. There is a growing need for a collaborative, responsive and flexible municipality. Our ultimate goal is to keep the cities of the future alive and sustainable. Our main focus is on the interests of people earning less than 1.25 US dollars a day.

As part of VNG (Association of Netherlands Municipalities) we have over a hundred years of experience in the field of local governance. The cities in the DEALS programme are Kumasi (Ghana), Sèmè-Podji (Benin), Pathein (Myanmar), Pereira (Colombia), Beira (Mozambique) and Manila (Philippines). For each city, a program is tailor-made based on local priorities.

This programme is financed by the Netherlands ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Inclusive Green Growth Department.

Watch our ‘City Deals to deal with cities’ animation video: 

 Take a look at the fact sheets per city:

Listen to the Voice of DEALS:

  • Podcast #1: interview Peter van Tongeren, associated expert of VNG International, working in cooperation with the city of Beira in Mozambique.
  • Podcast #2: interview Ap Reinders, Vice Mayor of the City of Haarlemmermeer and member of the VNG Commission Europe and International on the portfolio of regional economic development.
  • Podcast #3: interview Carolina Cardona, Secretary of Rural Development and Environment of the City of Pereira, Colombia. Together with VNG International, the DEALS programme, she works on an inclusive governance approach for the formalization of informal waste recyclers.
  • Podcast #4: we interview Bert Keesman, councilor of the municipality of Weesp in The Netherlands and owner of the company Metasus. For VNG International, the DEALS programme, he visited the city of Pereira, Colombia, to co-facilitate a debate on integrated waste management amongst candidate Mayors to the city of Pereira. He facilitated the debate together with Fernando Umaña, journalist for El Tiempo. Mayors elections are held at the end of October 2019. It was a first time such a debate took place.
  • In this podcast (#5) we interview Jeroen Diepenmaat, Vice-Mayor of the city of Enschede in The Netherlands and member of the VNG committee Europe and International, portfolio holder Sustainable Urban Development and therewith also chair of the DEALS programme advisory committee. For VNG International, the DEALS programme, he visited the cities of Kumasi in Ghana and Sèmè-Podji in Benin, to advise on key urban development issues and our DEALS approach. In this podcast he reflects on how traders play a key role in the success of satellite markets in Kumasi and how the fishery communities are key in a successful waste chain in Sèmè-Podji.

  • In this podcast (#6) we interview Francis García, Mayor of Balanga City, Bataan, The Philippines. For VNG International, the DEALS programme, he visited The Netherlands twice this year to accompany intergovernmental delegations from the Philippines involved in the development of the Master Plan for the Sustainable Development of Manila Bay. In the catchment area of Manila Bay, over a 100 Local Government Units are daily providing public services like waste collection and access to safe water to millions of people. The population in the area is rapidly growing. In this podcast he reflects on how it is decisive that people know each other to manage the whole cycle of water and how all these LGUs rely on each other for social, economic and environmental development.

Dare to experiment with an integrated governance approach
In today’s world, the biggest challenges that we face are interconnected. If the elements affect one another, treating the parts as separate will not bring you closer to a solution. Or, you may find that the solution for one part of the problem creates a negative effect elsewhere.
At VNG International, we believe that governing today’s societies and managing a transition to sustainable development asks for an integrated governance approach. Dare to experiment and change plans as you go. Learn from one another.

So get out there, watch our animation video on the integrated governance approach and make it yours.


The DEALS programme aims to support integrated and inclusive multi-stakeholder governance processes in partner municipalities.

The measurement tool offered is intended to make these abstract notions tangible and set targets for output level ‘integrated, multi-level, multi-stakeholder’ capacity in DEALS partner cities, which also allow some comparison across countries.

The complete tool consists of:
1) a questionnaire relating to the set of 6 key elements of an integrated approach in the DEALS programmes, including a guide to using the questionnaire.
2) above posted factsheets per partner city
3) a background paper

Interested in the programmes progress? Follow our outcome monitoring at IATI.

Interested in updates? Check the latest news here.