UN-Habitat improves the living conditions for millions of slum dwellers worldwide. We are experts in addressing the diverse challenges in slums and informal settlements and bring all stakeholders together to make slums a better place to live.

The Challenge

UN-Habitat focuses on the biggest deprivations for slum communities: the lack of adequate and safe housing conditions, clean water supply, sanitation and secure land tenure. We concentrate on waste management, gender equality and human rights, climate resilience and participation of the local communities in the slum upgrading process.


The Global Action Plan on Informal Settlement and slum transformation is a collaborative initiative aimed at accelerating the implementation of the new Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, leaving no one and place behind. It focuses on addressing the need of the most vulnerable urban populations in slum conditions, lacking access to basic human rights such as secure tenure, water, water, sanitation, and adequate housing. It is a multiple partnership initiative driven by the belief that only joint efforts can meet the scale needed to change the lives of more than 1 billion people living in slums today.

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slum dwellers worldwide benefit from UN-Habitat's Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme
slum dwellers have been helped with improved tenure security through UN-Habitat's Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme
190 cities
in 40 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific regions are now investing in strategic, participatory slum upgrading activities and sustainable urbanization

News and Stories

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Donors and partners

UN-Habitat's Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme was founded in 2008 as a tripartite initiative of the Secretariat of the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), the European Commission and UN-Habitat. It is fundamental to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 11 for Cities and Communities, and particularly Target 11.1:  “By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums”.

In a participatory approach, UN-Habitat engages a wide range of stakeholders in the process of slum upgrading: local communities, national and local governments, financial partners and key stakeholders from non-governmental organisations (NGOs), community based organizations, foundations and institutions, as well as private sector and academia.

Our Experts

Kerstin Sommer
Programme Manager, Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme
Global Land, Housing and Shelter Section, Urban Practices Branch, Global Solutions Division