TheCityFix Labs México Workshop Prepares Sustainable Infrastructure Projects to Access Funding and Finance
On December 11, TheCityFix Labs México held its fifth workshop of the technical assistance program in the city of Mérida, Yucatán. TheCityFix Labs is an initiative of WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, with support from the Citi Foundation. TheCityFix Labs México is currently supporting the preparation, technical design and financial feasibility of seven sustainable infrastructure projects across the country.
The goal of the workshop was to better link project concepts to the pitches that the teams will develop and present to potential lenders at the end of the program in April 2020. Representatives from all seven project teams participated in the workshop either in person or remotely, along with representatives from Citi Banamex, Peninsular Regional Director Sami Klimos Bisteni and Government and Institutions Banking Specialist Rogerio Romero May.
During the workshop, the project teams worked on refining their respective theory of change,” defining actions necessary to achieve these goals, and identifying how the projects can be scaled or expanded. “This exercise made it possible for each project sponsor to better define the problem to be solved, differentiate the main drivers and risks for each project, and determine which actions will achieve the anticipated impact. We tend to design projects only thinking about the solutions, which overlook the underlying causes, meaning that we run the risk of focusing efforts on the wrong technical or financial challenges,” said Gabriela Morales, Water and Urban Resilience Manager at WRI México.
The workshops have complemented the continuous advances of the project teams by providing guidelines for strengthening and pitching their projects. Project sponsors will practice and develop their pitches during the remaining workshop session in early 2020.
“In this final stretch of the program, we are working closely with the project teams between the workshops to make sure they are refining their financial models. The efforts of the technical and financial mentors have allowed us to provide detailed follow-ups that support innovation, both in the project concepts and in the financial models,” said Morales.