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.


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

Highlighted publications

Technical Report
Slum Almanac 2015-2016
Policy and Strategy
Caribbean Strategy for Informal Settlements Upgrading
Tools and Guidelines
Bridging the Affordability Gap: Towards a Financing Mechanism for Slum Upgrading at Scale in Nairobi
Tools and Guidelines
A Practical Guide to Designing, Planning, and Executing Citywide Slum Upgrading Programmes
Global Report
The Challenge of Slums - Global Report on Human Settlements 2003
Technical Report
Prosperity for all enhancing the informal economy through participatory slum upgrading

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