IHS Tools and Toolkits

Street in Asia

Urban Management and Development is a dynamic process where competencies and responsibilities are continuously transformed, updated or added to the tasks of local authorities and their partners. As the world continues to experience rapid urbanization, cities and metropolitan regions are faced with the challenge of how to best plan and organize these areas. In addition, there are increasing demands on urban professionals to provide more efficient and effective responses to the far-ranging needs of their cities and citizens.

To assist with these processes, IHS has created several tools for urban professionals within their fields of expertise. These tools help with decision-making complexities, allowing for measurement, monitoring, and support for sustainable urban development. Our tools are presented within our learning environments so that our participants can use these techniques within their careers.

IHS Green City Index and Global Green City Performance Index

There are many concepts and methods which try to accommodate the growth of cities without impairing sustainability. However, many are complex, with many unable to measure green performance over time, failing to deliver actionable advice to decision-makers. The green city concept is one of the latest and aims to address some of these issues.

In his recent paper written with RSM alumnus Jannes Klaas, Dr Ogenis Brilhante has introduced two tools to measure green performance, explain possible factors that have influenced green performances over time, set targets and track achievements.

The IHS Green City Index (IHS-GCI) allows measurements and comparisons of the city’s Environmental Performance over time using a few quantitative indicators representing key elements of the thematic areas of a developed green city concept. The IHS Global Green City Performance Index (IHS-GGCPI) advances with the experience gained from the IHS-GCI by measuring the green city performance over time globally.

It is intended that these tools can be used by local authorities to analyse their own city’s Green City Performance. To learn more about the tools, read the entire article here or contact Dr Ogenis Brilhante


The Climate Actions Prioritisation Tool (CLIMACT Prio) is a system to support urban policymakers and local stakeholders to make climate action decisions. The tool provides process support to decision-makers on identifying and prioritising between different climate change actions for mitigation and adaptation via qualitative assessments and multi-criteria analysis methods.

The objectives of CLIMACT Prio are to:

  1. Prioritize Climate Actions
  2. Inform and Guide Decision Making
  3. Integrate Multiple Objectives (MCA)
  4. Enhance Stakeholders’ Engagement
  5. Facilitate Learning
  6. Stimulate Knowledge Generation

In terms of application, CLIMACT Prio can be used in capacity building and training professionals from local governments and has been used in education environments, including workshops, short courses, and tailor-made trainings.

Using the tool allows professionals to consider the most important steps in decision making for climate adaptation planning whilst also focusing on the possible challenges and trade-offs throughout the process, such as limited financial resources and different development priorities of stakeholders.

For further information on CLIMACT Prio, please contact Elena Marie Ensenado.

CDS Toolkit

A City Development Strategy (CDS) is a tool that helps a city harness the potential of urbanization through strategic planning. It seeks to promote equitable growth in cities and their surrounding regions to improve the quality of life for all citizens using democratic processes. CDS can also be described as a new planning form, taking on board more non-spatial considerations and involving more participants, including residents, private sectors, civil society and academia, for dynamic urban development. It also provides a platform for leveraging resources, providing investors and donors with a product to finance.

A CDS consists of four phases within a cycle positioned as questions to a participating city: Where are we now? Where are we going? How are we going to get there? And How to implement and know we are on track? In addition to these four phases, the CDS also includes cross-cutting themes relevant to all phases, such as gender and poverty.

This innovative toolkit was developed by IHS and Labor für Politik und Kommunikation (FLMH) for Cities Alliance and UNOPs, with the assistance of local governments in Uganda and Mozambique.

To learn more about CDS, please find the full version of the toolkit here or contact Paul Rabé.

CAST 2.0

CAST (Capacity ASsessment Tool) assesses city administrations’ project planning, financing, and management capacities, developed for the C40 Cities Finance Facility (CFF). It focuses on three levels of capacity development that have been identified by research from CFF and GIZ: individual, organizational and inter-organizational.

The tool intends to identify capacity development gaps from the viewpoint of project stakeholders, raising questions on assessing the core capacities of participants to perform the activities efficiently and objectives involved in preparing bankable projects related to climate change. The questions are grouped thematically in three main areas (management, climate change and collaborations). At the same time, a fourth section explores the overall context in which the project is being developed (project context and external conditions).

The results are then collated into radar graphs, presenting the skills and knowledge of the participants, which can be analyzed using the “CAST Guideline” with its methodology and rubrics. The survey results can also be used to conduct focus group discussions and additional future re-assessments.

In its updated version, CAST 2.0 will be embedded within the CFF Capacity Development Strategy to assess their ability to make well-informed decisions, ensure leadership and ownership during the preparation of climate mitigation and adaptation projects, and link these projects to finance. The application of CAST is one of the first steps of the Capacity Assessment Process. It provides input for the Capacity Development methods that follow the Capacity Development Strategy process, such as the technical assessment by consultants, focus group discussions, and a workshop using SWOT analysis and interviews. The tool will provide criteria to prioritize the most urgent capacity needs by ranking them as low, basic, moderate and strong capacities on a specific topic.

For further information on CAST, please contact Dr Alexander Jachnow.

Co-Create Your City Toolkit

The initial inspiring idea of developing the co-create your city toolkit was developed by trainers who work with and train urban development professionals & other change-makers from various disciplines. The trainers realised that many people find it hard to get started with urban planning processes. Therefore, they designed this toolkit together with people working on urban issues in the field.

From there, the toolkit was further enriched by the co-creation toolkit developed for the SCORE project. SCORE is a four-year EU-funded project aimed at increasing climate resilience in European coastal cities. It is based upon the Coastal City Living Lab framework, ensuring enhanced stakeholder and citizen ownership of solutions through systematic and effective involvement in a living lab integrative process. For SCORE, co-creation is the outcome of a process where different knowledge, values and expertise evolve to build a sustainable Coastal City Living Lab.

Our vision for this toolkit is to offer open-source tools for facilitating co-creation activities with stakeholders from diverse backgrounds. It is important to us that this resource is open source because we believe in the values of equality, equity, social justice, and the right to shape the cities we live in.



Photo credit: Tran Phu

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