UN-Habitat strives to establish and strengthen strategic relationships with a diverse range of partners at national, regional and international level, including political actors, civil society, professional organizations, and the private sector to work towards a better urban future for everyone.

As a partner of choice, UN-Habitat has recognized convening power, including through the World Urban Forum, and global outreach, including through the World Urban Campaign, and as such can act as a catalyst between local / national / regional / international aspirations and global policy-making objectives. 

Having at its disposal a number of unique networks with access to governments, academia, the research community, cities, civil society, including grassroots organizations and being the recognized focal point for local governments in the UN system, UN-Habitat aims to ensure coherence of development efforts as well as innovative, multi-partner mechanisms at global, regional, and country levels.

How UN-Habitat works with partners

World Urban Forum

The world’s premier advocacy and networking platform for those working on or interested in urban issues convened by UN-Habitat for exchanging views and experiences. The World Urban Forum is a non-legislative technical forum and takes place every two years.

Multi-stakeholder thematic partnerships

Multi-stakeholder (including national and local governments, civil society, United Nations agencies, professional organizations, academia and research institutions, etc) issue-based networks operate as vehicles to include partner’s expertise, including civil society partners, in normative and operational activities and programmes.

Multi-stakeholder thematic partnerships include:

World Urban Campaign

[Can we use the WUC Logo here]

An advocacy and partnership platform to raise awareness about positive urban change and to implement the New Urban Agenda and so the Sustainable Development Goals. It is driven by about 200 committed partner organizations from 15 different stakeholder groups.

Advisory Boards

UN-Habitat currently works with three Advisory Boards. Their objectives are to guide the Executive Director on all issues related to their thematic expertise.

Habitat III legacy networks

The preparatory process of the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Development (Habitat III) enabled innovative approaches on the involvement of civil society. Platforms through which civil society strongly contributed to the New Urban Agenda included:

The General Assembly of Partners

          Constituent Groups:

  • Business and industries
  • Children and youth
  • Civil society organizations
  • Farmers
  • Foundations and philanthropies
  • Grass roots organizations
  • Indigenous people
  • Local and sub-national authorities
  • Media
  • Older persons
  • Parliamentarians
  • Persons with disabilities
  • Professionals
  • Trade unions and workers
  • Research and academia
  • Women

The Civil Society Group of New York

Implementing partners

UN-Habitat’s implementing partners are non-profit organizations contracted by UN-Habitat to execute a project, including project management. These may be national or local government partners, civil society, public institutions, universities, foundations, etc.


Government donors provide around 80% of UN-Habitat's income. Other donors including inter-governmental organizations, private sector, civil society contribute to specific programmes and their contributions account for 20% of UN-Habitat's income.