Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme

A UN-HABITAT programme in cooperation with the European Commission and the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Secretariat. Read more

PSUP methodology

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The Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme has adopted a three-phased approach. Each phase has a distinct focus with a distinct series of outputs. This structure promotes targeted participation with stakeholders appropriate for each phase. The country team is also modified in each phase to reflect the required skills and experience.


During the first phase, country teams work with cities to conduct rapid, participatory, cross-cutting, multi-sectoral, and action-oriented assessments of needs, with the aim of identifying challenges and response mechanisms. Some of the methods applied during the profiling include desk reviews, interviews with key actors, and countrywide consultations. Each participating city also sets measurable goals in key areas of slum upgrading. The goals provide targets for interventions and a way to make decisions and measure progress. The first phase process focuses on both the national level and the city level. The interaction between national and city levels is important to enhance communication and cooperation between the city and national government and other stakeholders at the beginning of PSUP.


During the second phase, the focus of the process shifts to the city and the neighbourhood level, although national level stakeholders remain important. At the beginning of the second phase, the country teams and cities have an in-depth understanding of local and national slum upgrading issues along with clear goals. Building on this foundation, they are guided in selecting priority interventions and targeting investments at the neighbourhood level through consultation. They also analyse planning and development frameworks for slum upgrading & prevention. In addition, networks for slum-upgrading work are established, capacity-building activities implemented, and authorities supported to identify funding sources.

During the third phase, municipal authorities, regional authorities, and central governments are supported to implement some of the tangible projects identified. These are implemented in partnership with the target communities. The experience gained in implementation and evaluation of success provides important feedback for future interventions and scaling up of successful projects. Experience are also brought to a wider audience for mutual learning within PSUP countries and between countries.


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