This is UN-Habitat’s first annual progress report on the implementation of the strategic plan 2020-2023. The report sets out progress towards planned results against indicator targets for 2020.
The report shows that UN-Habitat is implementing initiatives that contribute to the fulfilment of the mandate of the organization by four domains of change focused on alleviating poverty and inequality, enhancing shared prosperity, strengthening climate action and preventing urban crisis. It also indicates that the Programme has been advancing its catalytic functions, creating more innovative urban solutions and ideas, working increasingly with strategic partners and delivering more tightly focused interventions.
Important deliverables include innovative financial mechanisms, particularly the Sustainable Development Goal Cities flagship initiative, which will accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals at the local level. In addition, the Cities Investment Facility has been designed to serve as a clearing house for urban projects in close collaboration with large-scale investors from the public, private and multilateral sectors.
The annual progress report also provides information on the UN-Habitat flagship programmes, which aim to strengthen the delivery capacity and efficiency of the strategic plan by consolidating initiatives to engage with Governments and UN-Habitat partners.
The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the implementation of certain activities which had been planned in the work programme and budget for 2020, while other activities had to be adapted to address the immediate challenges posed by the pandemic. Implementation was further hindered by a lack of full funding for the approved work programme and the supporting budget.
In its first year, and notwithstanding the challenging context, the strategic plan for the period 2020–2023 proved to be a robust instrument for responding to the global pandemic and preparing human settlements for a sustainable recovery. UN-Habitat produced publications, tools, guidelines and technical materials through its earmarked funding and funds available at the country and regional levels to inform its global normative work, improving both its operational activities and field presence.
As UN-Habitat reviews its achievements and challenges in the first year of the strategic plan, the report offers recommendations to inform further implementation. These include the need to plan and set targets that are commensurate with secured funding; strengthening the catalytic function of the organization; and refining the approach to establishing UN-Habitat as a centre of excellence. Finally, the report demonstrates the need to customize responses at the local, country and regional levels.