UN-Habitat is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities and communities. As such, UN-Habitat has been at the forefront of supporting countries to have access to reliable data and information on urban conditions and trends, and to efficiently monitor and report on global agendas (e.g. 2030 Agenda, New Urban Agenda). This includes developing tools and approaches such as the urban observatory model, the City Prosperity Initiative and the national sample of cities approach, building capacities of national and local governments, establishing local, regional and global urban monitoring mechanisms and supporting urban data collection, analysis and dissemination.
UN-habitat’s Data and Analytics Unit leads the methodological developments for monitoring and reporting on the urban SDGs and NUA, supports countries to set up the required urban monitoring systems, creating the conditions for producing and using urban data for evidence-based policy-making and actions. This includes development and testing of guides and tools for the computation of SDG 11 and NUA indicators using traditional and emerging techniques (e.g. geospatial techniques), direct assistance and advisory missions, and capacity building activities. DAU also maintains the Global Urban Indicators Database through which reliable and up-to-date urban data is made available to various stakeholders worldwide.