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Our Structure


Strong Cities is an independent, global network of cities, driven by the needs and priorities of cities. An International Steering Committee (ISC), comprised of a geographically diverse group of 25 member cities, provides overall strategic direction for the Network. A Management Unit drives programmatic delivery, and supports the ISC, and an Expert Pool provides advisory and other support to the Management Unit and members on an ad hoc basis.

International Steering Committee

The International Steering Committee (ISC) provides overall strategic direction for the Strong Cities Network. Comprised of a geographically diverse group of 25 members, the ISC works with the Management Unit to ensure that Network’s forward trajectory is driven by the need of our member cities.

Management Unit

The Management Unit, under the leadership of an Executive Director, drives the Network’s programmatic delivery and supports the International Steering Committee. Comprised of a Central Team and a series of field-based Regional Hubs, the Management Unit oversees the development and delivery of training and other capacity-building tools, spearheads the development of Strong Cities good practices, ensures lessons learned are being shared across regions and with global network , and coordinates engagement with national and international stakeholders.

Expert Pool

The Expert Pool includes current and former local government leaders, practitioners and external stakeholders with relevant experience and expertise. These individuals provide advisory and other support to the Strong Cities Management Unit and members on an ad hoc basis. For example, they can help inform key activities, facilitate peer-to-peer learnings, and develop and/or deliver training and technical support to the Network’s members. They can also help inform the work of both the Management Unit, including its Regional Hubs, and the ISC.

Forward Strategy

The Strong Cities Network new three-year forward strategy – endorsed by the International Steering Committee in September 2023 – is a roadmap for expanding Strong Cities’ reach and sustainable impact.

Following an intensive two-year consultation process, which included bilateral and multilingual regional consultations with more than 100 Strong Cities member cities, as well as consultations with donors and international partners, the Strategy identifies a key set of city needs shaped across several geographical contexts amid a changing policy landscape and threat profile.

By cities for cities, the Strong Cities Strategy reflects the needs and priorities of members. A roadmap for our global network and collective mission.


Strategy 2023 – 2025

The Strong Cities Strategy is a concrete roadmap developed through extensive consultations with more than 100 cities across our diverse, global membership. It is a forward strategy for unlocking the power of city-led action against
hate, extremism and polarisation.

Hear from Cities

Our project, supported by Strong Cities, has brought together more than 200 women from different counties who are now peace ambassadors. We have also trained them to be community counsellors.

Salma Ebrahimi—Mombasa, Kenya

Conferences and meetings organised by Strong Cities really prepared us in a way that we now really have prevention in mind. Upon our return from the different conferences, we organised our people more than in the past and increased awareness-raising activities.

Mayors of Kolofata, Kousseri, Méri & Mokolo—Cameroon

Saida went through some challenges that pushed us towards a preventative approach. As a result, the mayor considered the Local Prevention Networks to be a priority for youth and for schools especially. Engagement with Strong Cities has had a very positive impact on the city’s practitioners and municipal officials. To be honest, we didn’t expect this result. It has exceeded our expectations.

Focal Point—Saida Municipality, Lebanon

Cities are often on the margins of discussions about security or prevention, but first on the line of response when threats are realised. In 2015, our municipality was the target of groups intent to undermine the coexistence and stability of our municipality and country as a whole. With Strong Cities, we managed to bridge the gap between capacities and needs on the ground, and to engage more actively in preventing violent extremism, hatred and polarisation in our community.

Maksim Dimitrievski—Mayor of Kumanovo, North Macedonia

In 2022, I attended a Strong Cities conference in Nairobi. An extremely informative experience. There is much more South African municipalities can do. Following the event, I wrote to the Head of Disaster and Risk Management … to create an intervention response focused on countering extremism. I realised we needed to step up and do more and anticipate a larger role for local governments in this space.

JP Smith, Alderman, Mayoral Committee Member for Safety & Security, Cape Town—South Africa

The South Asia Regional Hub Inaugural Event was wonderful! Being part of this workshop was a memorable experience and shared a lot of knowledge.

Khajja Ibrahim—Women’s Development Committee, Addu City, Maldives

We are appreciative of Strong Cities convening representatives of national and local authorities from Uganda to discuss these important issues. This is the first time we have been in the same room with representatives of national government ministries to exchange views on preventing extremist violence in our country.

Senior Local Government Representative—Uganda

We are at a pivotal point. Mayors and cities – large and small – must prioritize prevention and be prepared to respond to the types of attack we experienced here in Highland Park just last year. Cities can play key roles in stemming the tide of rising hate and violence, but support is needed. Strong Cities offers that support. 

Nancy Rotering—Mayor of Highland Park, Illinois, USA

The Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) worked with mayors and government partners to launch Strong Cities at a meeting during the opening of the UN General Assembly in 2015. Since then, ISD has expanded and supported Strong Cities membership and has delivered its programming. ISD continues to host the Management Unit and contributes its research and expertise to meet the policy and practice needs of cities and local governments around the world.

Is your city a Strong City?

Learn more about membership and join the global network of cities committed to building strong, resilient communities