Policy Advocacy Toolkit

The South African Cities Network (SACN) is an established network of cities and partners that encourages the exchange of information, experience, and best practices on urban development and city governance. The mandate of SACN is to promote good governance and management of cities, to analyse strategic challenges facing South African cities through research, and to promote shared learning between spheres of government. The SACN’s mission is to build better cities by transforming policy and practice through knowledge co-creation, learning, partnerships, and convening voices. As a result, SACN develops research products that capture the issues, challenges, and status of cities, and proposes data-driven solutions to assist cities in navigating their challenges. The volume of research products, knowledge-sharing events, and peer-to-peer learning platforms have provided valuable insights into city development but have had little impact on shifting the policy and institutional arrangements that often minimise the impact of urban developmental outcomes.


As the Secretariat of the Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF), it is the SACN’s role to promote better governance and collaboration between All-of-Society to maximise the urban development vision of cities. As a network of cities, SACN has intentionally positioned itself through its 10-year business strategy to move closer to cities’ voices through its advocacy initiatives. In line with this strategic objective, the SACN is therefore committed to the ideal of amplifying the voices of cities in the urban development discourse while bringing all-of-society stakeholders of cities (i.e. state and non-state actors) on board to ensure inclusive development takes place in a manner that also empowers citizens. This commitment to amplifying the voices of cities to be instrumental in shaping an enabling institutional and policy environment for local government forms the basis of the SACN’s envisaged policy advocacy programme.

This Advocacy Toolkit, therefore, serves to unpack and outline to the reader how the SACN envisages undertaking its advocacy programme. The SACN Advocacy Toolkit also maps out the process of how SACN policy advocacy projects are to be conceptualised and implemented through a number of resources and tools which have been designed to provide a logical framework to develop feasible and sound policy advocacy projects that are city-centric and centered on All-of-Society partnership principles.