UN-Habitat is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities and communities. As such, it helps countries access reliable data and information on urban conditions and trends as well as efficiently monitor and report on global agendas such as the 2030 Agenda and the New Urban Agenda.
UN-Habitat develops tools and approaches such as the urban observatory model, the City Prosperity Initiative, and the national sample of cities approach. It also builds the capacities of national and local governments, establishes local, regional, and global urban monitoring mechanisms, and supports urban data collection, analysis, and dissemination.
Monitoring and reporting of SDGs and NUA
As the UN focal point for sustainable urbanization and human settlements, UN-Habitat is the custodian agency for 9 of the 15 indicators under SDG 11 and supports the monitoring and reporting of 4 indicators in other goals. UN-Habitat leads the methodological development of guides and tools for the urban-related SDG indicators and targets. It also works with other UN agencies and urban stakeholders to strengthen the capacity of countries and cities to efficiently monitor and report on these indicators.
Voluntary Local Reviews
The global movement of Voluntary Local Reviews (VLRs) is growing exponentially. Cities, local and regional governments worldwide are using VLRs to track and report on SDG progress. UN-Habitat views VLRs as powerful accelerators of the process of localizing the Sustainable Development Goals.
To do so, UN-Habitat provides partners worldwide with direct technical support to develop VLRs. It also leads the development of cutting-edge research and guidance on VLRs and provides opportunities for peer learning, capacity building, and international engagement.
Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Cities
The SDG Cities flagship programme builds on the data, narratives, and priorities identified via the Urban Monitoring Framework and Voluntary Local Reviews to improve SDG implementation in cities. It does so through evidence-based planning; capacity-building in planning, governance, revenue, and service delivery; and securing the financing for local SDG impact initiatives.
The programme aims to positively impact a million lives in about 1,000 cities through a systematic approach that combines evidence-based policymaking, digitized tools, technical backstopping, and matchmaking finances with catalytic, impactful projects that advance the SDGs.