UN-Habitat is inviting Member States, national and local governments, academia and other entities to express their interest in hosting one of the three Expert Group Meetings and two Regional Consultation Meetings taking place between 2023 and early 2025. 

As requested by Member States in the Resolution HSP/HA.2/L.4 on international guidelines on people-centered smart cities1, adopted at the Second Session of the United Nations Habitat Assembly in 2023, UN-Habitat has initiated the development of international guidelines on people-centered smart cities. The guidelines will be a non-binding framework to inform the development of national and local smart city regulations, plans, and strategies, which would ensure that digital urban infrastructure and data contribute to making cities and human settlements sustainable, inclusive and prosperous, and respectful of human rights. Once completed, the international guidelines will be presented for approval by Member States in 2025. 

To respond to the Member States’ request to UN-Habitat to ensure that the guidelines are developed through an inclusive consultation, UN-Habitat will hold a series of consultations including through its existing regional and country offices of UN-Habitat, with Member States and members of United Nations specialized agencies, national and international associations and organizations of local authorities recognized by the United Nations, relevant United Nations organizations, international finance institutions, development agencies, non-governmental organizations, academia, civil society organizations, the private sector, and other relevant stakeholders.  

  1. Objective 

A series of three Expert Group Meetings and two Regional Meetings will be held, as per the table below, to ensure relevant interaction and exchange between key stakeholders as part of the consultation process.  


Date (tentative) 

Virtual kick-off of EWG 

15-16 November ‘23 

EGM 1  

February 2024  

EGM 2  

October 2024  

Regional Consultation Meeting 1  

Between January and May 2024  

Regional Consultation Meeting 2  

Between June and December 2024  

EGM 3 

March 2025 


Each EGM will have a dedicated agenda, goals and specific objectives, as further detailed herein. Regional consultations will serve to provide input to the global consultation process. 


Meeting  Goal  Deliverables 
EGM 1 

- define the scope of the guidelines 

- review the draft findings of the global smart cities assessment 

- refine the workplan and roadmap for the work 

- Defined scope of the EWG  

- Reviewed global assessment (preliminary results) 

- Roadmap and work plan 

- review of consultation plan 

- skeleton and outline of the guidelines 

EGM 2 

- Share knowledge, studies and materials in the key domains 

- Consider the results of ongoing consultations 

- Present the first draft guidelines 

- Reviewed first draft of the guidelines 

- inputs on further consultations as needed 

- Reviewed global assessment results 

EGM 3  - Present the final draft of the guidelines  

- Reviewed final draft of the guidelines 

- Designed implementation and monitoring plan 

  1. Participants 

UN-Habitat takes the lead in inviting and mobilizing participants across the United Nations system, international organizations, civil society and other relevant stakeholders to attend the EGM and regional consultations. Participants can include, but are not limited to representatives of national, regional and local governments, non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations, professionals, research institutions and academics, private sector, development finance institutions, foundations, media, United Nations organizations and other international agencies.  

A dedicated Expert Working Group, made of 30 experts, appointed by the Executive Director to support the drafting of the international guidelines will be participating in the three EGMs. 

The host entity of the EGM and of the Regional Consultation Meeting works with UN-Habitat to organize the programme and mobilize participants. The host provides an in-kind or financial contribution to UN-Habitat for the mobilization of the international community and other stakeholders to ensure that the event receives global visibility. 

Details on commitments, roles and responsibilities of UN-Habitat and the host will be outlined in a contribution agreement which will be signed by all parties involved. 

  1. Selection Process and Criteria 

The selection of the host for each of the three Expert Working Groups and two regional consultation meetings will be made by a UN-Habitat internal committee. The selection criteria will be guided by the following: 

  • Demonstration of good practice within the host entity relating to the themes related to Smart Cities, Digitalization and Urban Development 
  • Geographical balance among the meetings 
  • Demonstration of ability and financial commitment to meet the conditions outlined above and provided in more detail in the attached hosting guide 
  • Experience in hosting international events, including events relevant to cities 
  • Accessibility and connectivity of the city for international participation 

The selection process consists of the steps listed below with the related deadlines 

Milestone  Date (tentative) 
Opening of the Call for Expression of Interest   1/09/2023 
Closing of the Expression of Interest  30/09/2023 
UN-Habitat provides potential hosts with bidding package and guidelines  6/10/2023 
Deadline to receive bidding proposals  5/11/2023 
Bid evaluation  20/11/2023 
UN-Habitat informs candidates of the results  23/11/2023 
Announcement of selected hosts   27/11/2023 
Signing of Contribution Agreement  29/11/2023 


  1. Financial contribution 

The host entity is required to provide either in-kind or financial contribution which covers the following costs: 

  • the venue with its conference facilities; 
  • Travel costs and daily subsistence allowance (DSA) for, at least, the 30 experts of the Expert Working Group, 5 additional experts and 4 members of the UN-Habitat Secretariat; 
  • services and requirements for registration and accreditation;  
  • IT and other services; 
  • security services and equipment according to United Nations security regulations within the city, around and within the venue;  
  • interpretation services for the main sessions;  
  • operational and logistical needs with respective human resources in the country, city and at the venue 
  1. Activities 

Activities related to each EGM and Regional Consultation Meeting will be developed in line with available human and financial resources from the voluntary contribution by the host. A programme will be jointly developed with the host. UN-Habitat will provide branded online advocacy tools and kits to support mobilization of partners and maximize outreach. Details of planned activities will be uploaded by UN-Habitat on its website and social media sites and the host and partners will be encouraged to publicize their activities widely. 

  1. Expression of interest 

A country, city or institution wishing to express its interest to host one of the three EGMs and/or one of the two Regional Consultation Meeting is required to send an official communication (on letterhead and with signature) to the UN-Habitat Innovation Unit, addressed to the UN-Habitat Executive Director, Maimunah Mohd Sharif, within the above-mentioned deadline to the following e-mail address: and fill in the required information on the form available here

  1. Contacts

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Related documents
Expression of Interest in hosting Expert Group Meetings and regional consultation for international guidelines on People Centered Smart Cities