UN-HABITAT runs two major worldwide campaigns – the Global Campaign on Urban Governance, and the Global Campaign for Secure Tenure. Through these campaigns and by other means, the agency focuses on a range of issues and special projects which it helps implement.
These include a joint UN-HABITAT/World Bank slum upgrading initiative called the Cities Alliance, promoting effective housing development policies and strategies, helping develop and campaigning for housing rights, promoting sustainable cities and urban environmental planning and management, post-conflict land-management and reconstruction in countries devastated by war or natural disasters. Others take in water and sanitation and solid waste management for towns and cities, training and capacity building for local leaders, ensuring that women’s rights and gender issues are brought into urban development and management policies, helping fight crime through UN-HABITAT’s Safer Cities Programme, research and monitoring of urban economic development, employment, poverty reduction, municipal and housing finance systems, and urban investment. It also helps strengthen rural-urban linkages, and infrastructure development and public service delivery.
UN-HABITAT also has some 154 technical programmes and projects in 61 countries around the world, most of them in the least developed countries. These include major projects in post-war societies such as Afghanistan, Kosovo, Somalia, Iraq, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, to name a few. The agency’s operational activities help governments create policies and strategies aimed at strengthening a self-reliant management capacity at both national and local levels. They focus on promoting shelter for all, improving urban governance, reducing urban poverty, improving the living environment and managing disaster mitigation and post-conflict rehabilitation.