About the Authors


Marco Kamiya is head of the Urban Economy and Finance Branch of UN-Habitat, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. In addition to working on field projects with UN-Habitat, Kamiya conducts research on municipal finance, the economics of urban expansion, and local infrastructure investment policy. Prior to joining UN-Habitat, he worked at the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) and the Inter-American Development Bank, and was director of international development projects with PADECO Co., Ltd., a consulting firm based in Tokyo. He studied international development at Harvard University.
Le-Yin Zhang is a senior lecturer and course director of M.Sc. Urban Economic Development at the Bartlett Development Planning Unit of University College London. Specialized in the management of city economies, she has a wide range of research interests including low-carbon transitions, green finance, and China’s fiscal regime. Her publications include Managing the City Economy: Challenges and Strategies in Developing Countries (Routledge, 2015) and numerous journal articles, book chapters, and reports. She has a B.Sc. from Beijing Normal University and a Ph.D. from the University of London.

Senior Advisor

Dr. Gulelat Kebede
Dr. Gulelat Kebede has over 25 years of professional experience at local, national and global levels. His recent experience includes coordinating UN-Habitat’s global activities in urban economy and municipal finance, and prior to that in training and capacity building. He has authored or contributed to many urban development publications and tools. Since 2016 he has been contributing to UNECA’s work of integrating urbanization into national development planning. . He is currently part time faculty at The New School, New York, and visiting lecturer at University of British Columbia.

External leading contributors

Lars M. Andersson
Lars M. Andersson is a local government finance expert. In 1986 he started the Swedish Local Government Funding Agence (Kommuninvest). He currently sits on the board of the Agence France Locale (LGFA) and the Global Fund for Cities Development (FMDV) and is global advisor for several governments and institutions.
Dominic Burbidge
Dominic Burbidge is departmental lecturer in the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies at Oxford University and a researcher in the Department of Politics & International Relations. He is author of The Shadow of Kenyan Democracy: Widespread Expectations of Widespread Corruption (Routledge, 2016), and has published numerous journal articles relating to social trust, local government, and constitutional design. In addition, he lectures in law at Strathmore University in Kenya.
Doug Carr
Doug Carr is a New York–based vice president for Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) in the Public Institutions Group, focused on providing real estate planning and development advisory services on behalf of government, educational, and nonprofit organizations, with a particular expertise in public–private partnerships and transit-oriented development projects.
Nic Cheeseman is associate professor of African Politics at Oxford University, the founding editor of the Oxford Encyclopedia of African Politics, and a former editor of the journal African Affairs. He is also the coeditor of the collections Our Turn to Eat (2010) and The Handbook of African Politics (2013). More recently, he published his first monograph, Democracy in Africa, with Cambridge University Press (2015). He runs the popular website www.democracyinafrica.org, is a columnist for Kenya’s Sunday Nation newspaper and is an advisor to, and writer for, Ko Annan’s African Progress Panel.
Greg Clark
Greg Clark is honorary professor and co-chairman of the advisory board at the City Leadership Initiative, University College London. His other current roles include senior fellow at the Urban Land Institute (ULI), Europe; global fellow at the Metropolitan Policy Program, Brookings Institution; chairman of the JLL Cities Research Centre; strategic advisor to the OECD LEED Programme; and global fellow at LSE Cities. He has led 20 reviews of city and regional development for the OECD, and has advised on national urban policies in 13 countries.
Skye d'Almedia
Skye d'Almedia manages the Financing Sustainable Cities Initiative at C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, a joint initiative of C40, the Citi Foundation and WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities. In this role, she manages a network of cities working together to scale-up nance for sustainable urban infrastructure and services. Her experience includes designing and implementing climate nance mechanisms; advising on energy, economic, and regulatory policy; and working with the U.S. Department of Energy to develop an international network of clean energy policymakers. She holds degrees in business and science from the University of Queensland.
Lourdes Germán
Lourdes Germán is an expert in municipal finance and director of international and institute-wide initiatives at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, where she advances the institute’s global municipal fiscal health campaign. Prior to joining the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, she worked for a number of public and private institutions on issues related to municipal nance and also taught at Northeastern University. She is the founder and director of the Civic Innovation Project, serves as chair of the Massachusetts Governor’s State Finance and Governance Board, and is an appointee to a City of Boston committee focused on the city’s audit and nance matters.
Pavel Kochanov
Pavel Kochanov is a senior subnational specialist at the International Finance Corporation (IFC). His primary area of expertise is credit and governance risks of sub-sovereign government entities globally. Prior to his current position at IFC, he worked at Standard & Poor’s, focusing on development of credit risk criteria and governance assessment products. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Moscow State University.
Yasuo Konishi
Yasuo Konishi is the managing director of Global Development Solutions LLC (GDS). He has over 30 years of experience working in the private sector and advising major international organizations like the World Bank/IFC, United Nations, EBRD, and the Inter-American Development Bank. At GDS, he works on value/supply chain analysis and local economic development across the world. Konishi holds a master’s degree from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
Leonardo Letelier
Leonardo Letelier is an associate professor and the director of graduate studies at the Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Chile. He specializes in fiscal decentralization and is the author of Fiscal Decentralization in Theory and Practice (2012). He has worked as a consultant for the United Nations, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the World Bank. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Sussex.
Tim Moonen
Tim Moonen is the director of intelligence at The Business of Cities Ltd, an advisory firm based in London. Tim specializes in the governance, leadership, and comparative performance of cities. Project clients and content partners include the Brookings Institution, Future Cities Catapult, OECD LEED, the Oslo Region, and the Greater Sydney Commission. He also manages the biannual review of over 200 city benchmarks and indexes, in partnership with Jones Lang LaSalle. Tim has a Ph.D. in politics and international studies from the University of Bristol.
Armando Morales
Armando Morales is the International Monetary Fund Resident Representative in Kenya, where he has served as coordinator of the African Department Monetary Policy Network and team leader for a project on the harmonization of monetary policy frameworks across East Africa. Prior to serving as the IMF Resident Representative in Kenya, he was the IMF Resident Representative in Indonesia. He has also served as senior economist for the Emerging Europe Research Group at the Deutsche Bank, Central Bank of Peru, as well as several other organizations.
Miquel Morell
Miquel Morell is an economist with expertise in spatial planning, urban planning, and housing. He is a member of the Technical Report of the Commission of Territorial Planning of the Central Regions, representing the Association of Economists of Cata- lonia. He also works on financial feasibility and sustainability analysis of public and private investment projects related with urban development. He holds an M.B.A. from ESADE Business School.
Daniel Platz
Daniel Platz is an inter-regional advisor on Financing for Development at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, where he is part of a team that monitors and promotes the implementation of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the Doha Declaration on Financing for Development, and the Monterrey Consensus. He has over 15 years of experience supporting UN intergovernmental processes and extensive experience in the area of municipal nance and financial inclusion. He holds a Ph.D. in economics and an M.A. in global political economy and nance from The New School.
Dmitry Pozhidaev
Dmitry Pozhidaev is the regional technical advisor for the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF). He is responsible for UNCDF programming in Southern and East Africa. He holds a master’s degree in finance from the London School of Business and a Ph.D. in quantitative research and statistics from Moscow University.
Devashree Saha
Devashree Saha is an associate fellow at the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program. She has nearly 10 years of policy research and analysis experience, specializing in sources of state and regional economic growth and prosperity with a focus on the intersection of clean energy and economic development policy. She has authored a number of publications on issues related to clean energy financing that have informed state and metropolitan policymaking in the United States. She holds a Ph.D. in public policy from the University of Texas at Austin.
Yoel Siegel
Yoel Siegel is a senior consultant in the Urban Economy and Finance Branch of UN-Habitat. In addition to his work with UN-Habitat, he consults local governments on sustainable local economic development projects. He has several years of experience setting up community-based employment centers, developing industrial parks, facilitating training workshop
Lawrence Walters
Lawrence Walters is the Stewart Grow Professor of Public Management at the Romney Institute of Public Management at Brigham Young University. He recently completed a co-edited volume on property tax policy and administration, a property tax policy guide for developing countries, and a book on managing environmental problems. His most recent work is focused on developing land-based financing tools and training materials for developing countries. He has a Ph.D. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Joshua Gallo
Joshua Gallo , Senior Municipal Finance Specialist, leads the World Bank’s City Creditworthiness Initiative and related technical assistance programs (currently in Uganda, Turkey, India, and Malaysia). He’s also Program Manager for the World Bank’s Multi-Donor City Creditworthiness Partnership. Previously he was Program Leader for the Sub-National Technical Assistance (SNTA) Program under the Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF), as well as Program Manager for the Norwegian Trust Fund for Private Sector and Infrastructure (NTF-PSI). He was posted in long-term assignments in Peru and Tanzania. He holds a Master’s Degree in International Economics and Law from the Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).
John Probyn
John Probyn is a Program Specialist with the World Bank City Creditworthiness Initiative. He recently led the development of the City Creditworthiness Self-Assessment& Planning Toolkit, and has experience working with local governments across Africa and Latin America. Prior to his work with the initiative, he was with the Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility, where he focused on enabling infrastructure investment for local authorities in developing countries. He holds a master’s degree in international economics and development from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
Huascar Eguino
Huascar Eguino works as a Lead Specialist in Fiscal and Municipal Management at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in Washington, D.C. Economist with specialization in municipal nance and management, fiscal decentralization, and urban development. He holds a Master’s degree in Local and Regional Development from the Institute for Social Studies (ISS, 1994-5) and postgraduate studies in Urban Development Financing, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, 1997-8); Infrastructure Finance, Harvard University (2000); and Housing Finance, University of Pennsylvania (2007). He has more than 20 years of experience in Latin American and the Caribbean and has provided technical advice to 18 national governments and more than 100 sub-national entities. Twice, he received the IDB’s Outstanding Team Award for his work in Brazil (Line of Credit for Municipalities - PROCIDADES) and Mexico (Program for Strengthening of States and Municipalities).
M. Siraj Sait
M. Siraj Sait is Professor of Law and Development at the University of East London, UK and Director of the Centre for Islamic Finance, Law and Communities (CIFLAC). A graduate of the Universities of Madras, Harvard and London, he worked as a public prosecutor in the State of Tamil Nadu, India. Sait is a founding member of the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) while on sabbatical at UN-Habitat. He has extensive country experience and published various journals related to human rights, gender equality, youth strategies, migration and conflict, land governance, Islamic law, land based financing and development finance.
Rami Abdelkafi
Rami Abdelkafi , PhD, is a senior research economist and training specialist at the Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI). He joined the Islamic Development Bank in August 2008 and has accumulated extensive experience in the field of economic development. Prior to this, Rami worked as Assistant Professor at the University of Sfax in Tunisia. He earned a doctorate in economics from the University of Nice, France, in 2002. His areas of expertise are economic growth and development, Islamic economics and finance and macroeconomic policies.
Michael Lindfield
Michael Lindfield is an economist/financial analyst focusing on cities and climate financing for ADB, GIZ/ C40 Cities’ Finance Facility, and RMIT APEC Centre on Sustainable Urban Development. Until 2013 he was Chair of the Urban Community of Practice at ADB and the program manager for the Cities Development Initiative for Asia, an infrastructure project development facility which he founded. He studied Architecture at Sydney University, Commerce at New South Wales in Australia, and obtained a PhD in Economics from Erasmus University in the Netherlands.

UN-Habitat contributors

Katja Dietrich
Katja Dietrich is a regional program manager for the Housing and Slum Upgrading Branch of UN-Habitat. She is currently involved in the development of the participatory slum upgrading program. Prior to joining UN-Habitat, she worked with the German Development Cooperation. She holds a master’s degree in economic geography and urban planning from RWTH Aachen University.
Muhammad Farid
Muhammad Farid is an urban researcher in the Knowledge Management Unit of UN-Habitat in Afghanistan. Prior to joining the United Nations, he was an urban advisor to the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing in Afghanistan. He also teaches part time at Kardan University Kabul. He holds an M.Sc. in Economics from City University London.
Liz Paterson Gauntner
Liz Paterson Gauntner is a consultant for the Urban Economy and Finance Branch at UN-Habitat. She has worked on urban projects in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and North America in partnership with UN-Habitat and other international agencies. Formerly, she worked for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission in the San Francisco Bay Area. She holds a master’s degree in urban and regional planning and an M.P.H. from Portland State University.
Elizabeth Glass
Elizabeth Glass is a consultant for the Urban Economy and Finance Branch at UN-Habitat. Prior to joining UN-Habitat, she worked at the Washington, D.C.–based Economic Policy Institute. She has also worked with a number of international development organizations on education decentralization in developing countries and economic development research. She holds an M.A. in international economic development from The New School.
Younghoon Moon
Younghoon Moon is a consultant in the Urban Economy and Finance Branch at UN-Habitat support- ing subnational governments in promoting local economic development and urban prosperity. His work focuses on integrating productive sector efficiency and spatial analysis. Prior to joining UN-Habitat, Younghoon worked at the World Bank on sector competitiveness in Kenya and the Korean Exchange Banks as a foreign direct investment analyst. He holds an M.P.A. from Columbia University.
Melissa Permezel
Melissa Permezel is a policy and development tool advisor in the Housing and Slum Upgrading Branch of UN-Habitat. She specializes in urbanization and development specifically in slums. Prior to joining UN-Habitat, she worked with municipal governments, other UN entities, and also in the private sector. She holds a Ph.D. in urban planning from the University of Melbourne.
Douglas Ragan
Douglas Ragan is the unit leader for Youth and Livelihoods at UN-Habitat. He manages UN-Habitat’s global portfolio on youth development in developing countries. He also manages three flagship youth programs for UN-Habitat: the Urban Youth Fund, the Youth 21 initiative, and the One Stop Youth Resource Centers. He holds a master’s degree in management from McGill University and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in architecture and design, with a focus on youth-led organizations in slums, at the University of Colorado.
Kerstin Sommer
Kerstin Sommer is the unit leader of the Slum Upgrading Unit at UN-Habitat, where she is responsible for coordinating the agency’s slum upgrading flagship program in 35 African, Caribbean, and Pacific countries. Previously, she supported UN-Habitat’s Regional Office for Africa and Arab States with urban profiling, slum upgrading, housing, and capacity building. She holds a master’s degree in applied geography from the University of Trier.
Moges Beyene
Moges Beyene is a consultant for the Urban Economy and Finance Branch at UN-Habitat. At UN-Habitat he assists in disseminating best financing techniques for the provision of public infrastructure. Prior to joining UN-Habitat, he worked as a Business Development Officer for Forcier Consulting, a development consultancy based in Cairo. He holds M.Sc in Local Economic Development from London School of Economics and Political Science.
Hazel Kuria
Hazel Kuria is a consultant for the Urban Economy Finance Branch of the United Nations Human Settlements Program. Prior to joining UN-Habitat, Hazel worked as an investment research analyst for Genghis Capital Investment Bank, with a key focus on macro-economics. She has a background in quantitative/qualitative financial and economic research, financial analysis, data analysis, and database management. She holds an MSc. in Investment Management from Coventry University, UK.
Gabriela Aguinaga
Gabriela Aguinaga is a consultant at the Urban Economy and Finance Branch at UN-Habitat. Prior to joining UN-Habitat, Gabriela worked at UN SDSN (Sustainable Development Solutions Network), where she worked on the implementation and monitoring of SDGs in cities. She worked for GIZ in South Africa within the "Violence and Crime Prevention" program and gathered consultancy work experience in the private sector. She holds an MSc. in Regional and Urban Planning from the London School of Economics.