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Development Account Projects

Capacity building at the local and national levels for the monitoring of Millennium Development Goal Target on slums


Ongoing, rapid urbanisation processes are often accompanied by the emergence of large slums, especially in cities located in developing countries. Building on its mandate to monitor the implementation of the Habitat Agenda and drawing on its experience in worldwide city level data collection and analysis, UN-HABITAT has been given the main responsibility to monitor this target.

The regular collection and analysis of urban indicator data by local and national level institutions is crucial for the formulation of policies to promote sustainable urban development and the reduction of urban poverty. However, the capacity of cities in developing countries to collect and analyse urban indicator data and use them for the formulation of urban policy is low and when the capacity exists the links between national and local level monitoring activities are weak. In addition, most national level monitoring and analysis is restricted to statistical rural/urban breakdowns, whereas the city level and intra-city differentials are not taken into consideration for analysis even if the data disaggregation allows it.

The project will establish monitoring capacity at the local and national level and strengthen the links between the two levels. UN-HABITAT will build on experiences from previous monitoring activities for the Habitat II and Istanbul+5 Conferences. One of the main shortcomings of previous data collection efforts and surveys was that the sample cities were not statistically representative of the global situation. Thus generalisations and regional breakdowns of results were extremely difficult. This project will therefore link local, national and global level monitoring efforts in the framework of a global representative sample of cities. A network of partner cities within the Global Urban Observatory (GUO), so-called Local and National Urban Observatories, has already been established through previous activities. This network will serve as a base for the establishment of the global sample of cities and facilitate the cities integration into the GUO network.


Strengthen the capacity at the city and national levels to monitor the MDG 7 Target 11, namely to achieve a significant improvement in the lives of 100 million slum dwellers by 2020

Expected accomplishments:

  • Monitoring system based on local and national capacity designed and established, which allows cities and countries to monitor the Habitat Agenda and the millennium development goal 7, target 11
  • Capacity at the local and national level to provide data for the annual and five-year reports on the millennium development goals as well as for the Global Report on Human Settlements and the State of the World Cities Report
  • A sample of 270 cities (global sample of cities) for a global slum assessment established and city-aggregate data from the sample cities collated, compiled and analysed; an intra-city data collection completed that allows in-depth analysis of slum conditions on a household level in a sub-sample of 35 cities

Implementation status:

The project was completed successfully. It contributed to the establishment of more permanent mechanisms of data collection and analysis of the Habitat Agenda and the MDGs, particularly target 11 indicators. At least 40 cities across the world set up monitoring structures using locally-defined indicators. Important knowledge management tools, such as the UrbanInfo software and a guide on how to establish urban observatories were disseminated. UrbanInfo is a data repository with additional functions such as data analysis and presentation. Additional funding was generated from bilateral and multilateral partners.