Despite global progress in fighting poverty there are problems of inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, biodiversity loss, conflict, migration and refugee flows. The need has never been greater to develop to balance prosperity with social well-being and environmental protection. Several international conferences in 2015 set out new global agendas to deal with these challenges. There is global recognition that local governments have a significant role in implementing the agreed agendas with other state and non-state organisations.
The programme objective is to improve the quality of life of the residents given the inequality and urban poverty we identified in the cities targeted.

The overall expected outcome is that performance of the urban government in the field of inclusiveness, safety, resilience and sustainability has improved which matches with the two following Sustainable Development Goals : “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” (SDG 11) and “promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels” (SDG 16).

The expected results of the project are
1) Urban government capacity to govern sustainable development trajectories is characterised by an integrated, multi-level, multi-stakeholder and inclusive governance approach.
2) The programme has contributed to learning and innovation to support the transition to sustainability at city level

The design of the DEALS programme is modelled on the concept of City Deals. These are agreements between Dutch cities, national government agencies and other stakeholders under the Dutch Urban Agenda that aim to strengthen the growth, innovation, and quality of life in Dutch cities. These all unite cities, central governments, businesses and civil society organisations in innovative arrangements to tackle new urban challenges, such as the energy transition, mitigating and adapting to climate change, and healthy urban living. Ideally the DEALS programme can contribute to the urban governance capacity to participate in similar multi-stakeholder partnerships.

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