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Development Account Projects

Capacity-building and networking for the implementation of the Habitat Agenda in least developed countries


The implementation of the Habitat Agenda is primarily the responsibility of Governments. International cooperation plays a supporting role in this process, particularly through networking, capacity building and information exchange and dissemination. The Habitat Agenda calls for Governments to further strengthen and/or establish broad-based participatory national committees. Many countries have now established institutional mechanisms for the implementation of and follow-up to the Habitat Agenda. For some of these countries, the next step in the process is the designation and/or establishment of national and local urban observatories to collect, analyse and apply data and information on current human settlement policies, strategies, trends and conditions as a basis for the policy and decision-making processes.


To strengthen the capacity of developing countries to implement the Habitat Agenda and the urban-related elements of Agenda 21 and to assess the impact of related policies and practices. In at least 12 countries, urban infrastructure information will be strengthened using urban observatories.

Expected accomplishment:

  • Enhanced skills and knowledge of major groups in recipient developing countries relating to the analysis, exchange and application of data and information on urban indicators

Effects and Impact:

The integration of the MDG monitoring processes into projects and products triggered a high demand for Global Urban Observatory tools, guidelines and information services. UN-HABITAT’s three-tier MDG and Habitat Agenda monitoring strategy resulted in long-term collaboration arrangements for short-term data collection through household surveys, mid-term data collection through the Urban Indicators Programme III, and long-term data collection through inclusion of MDG and Habitat Agenda indicators into national census. All three tiers contain capacity building elements. The new ESRI GIS programme and special IT support to 12 LDCs will provide an additional boost to the project.

Progress is also being made in the promotion and expansion of the GUO network and in generating awareness of the need for better information for urban policy and decision-making. This could be achieved through networking, entering into partnerships, and capacity-building at the local and national level. The project’s objectives were successfully implemented and the outputs were fully accomplished, as outlined below.

The slum population country estimates produced under the project became a standard point of reference for UN-HABITAT and member states to emphasize the need for more slum-upgrading activities, especially in least developed countries. Several countries started to develop their own slum monitoring systems, based on the tools developed by the project. Several cities started using the software to analyse intra-city differentials and monitor their own progress in implementing the Habitat Agenda.