25 July 2020 - UN-Habitat’s Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme (PSUP) along with partner countries and, in cooperation with a research group of the Master Techs4Change at Politecnico di Torino, (PoliTo) in Italy, has compiled best-practice COVID-19 solutions in slums from across the world in an Interactive Project Map.
"The best COVID-19 responses for informal settlements often come from their own residents," said Leila Khaldi, a slum upgrading expert for the PSUP team, who was instrumental in developing the project. "People know their area and community structure best. They know what is needed and what can be quickly put into practice with manageable resources.”
The research team at UN-Habitat and PoliTo brought the solutions together in a world map which currently features 29 projects from 14 countries and which will be continuously expanded. The activities include affordable housing, clean water and sanitation, health, livelihoods, security of tenure and protection of vulnerable groups.
The map provides suggestions on transferring the solutions to other countries and aims to support non-governmental organizations and political decision makers working to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in slums and protect residents.
“This can be an incredible tool that - through crowdsourcing - allows a shared construction of contents and an easy and effective search and use of data,” said project coordinator Francesca De Filippi, professor in Architectural Technology and director of the Master Techs4Change.
Projects include Kibera, the largest slum in Kenya where HIV-positive women produce bottles for hand disinfectants and protective masks under the guidance of the local organization SHOFCO to support local health workers and earn an income. Another project example describes the use of emergency cash transfers, basic medical care and daily food supplies to ease conditions for the residents of Dharavi, India's largest slum.
The Interactive Project Map is also a call for action for solution sharing.
"We want as many partners as possible to share their COVID-19 response projects with us," says Ms Khaldi from the PSUP. "We want to know what has been done in countries, cities or communities around the world to flatten the COVID curve in the slums and what measures have proven effective".
Send the best practice solution from your region to the development team of UN-Habitat and PoliTo at UNHABITAT-PSUP@un.org