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About Participatory
Slum Upgrading


One in eight people live in slums worldwide. This number is rising fast. If no action is taken, 3 billion people will live in slums by 2030.


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PSUP works on the 2030 agenda to ensure access for all people to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services, which is essential for a sustainable urbanisation.

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We bring all stakeholders together. In a strong network, communities, financial partners and governments seek solutions to improve people’s lives in the slums.

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Slum dwellers contribute to the economy of a city. The strengthening of the informal economy is a key source of employment and part of the PSUP mission.

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Countries worldwide involved into our program

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Cities engaged in PSUP

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Supporting partners

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5 million

Slum dwellers benefit

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Men and woman improved their living conditions already

Interactive Map: Our Countries
Our Stories
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Acknowledging slum dwellers potential

Their talents and ideas.
They contribute to a city wide upgrading

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Slums are to be transformed

From randomly grown, densely populated settlements to neighbourhoods that meet planning guidelines and requirements: modest estates in which every inhabitant should have access to clean drinking water, a toilet, with adequate roads and safe living spaces

Sharing knowledge between partners and stakeholders

Creating learning platforms

Which draw on the knowledge of stakeholders and communities are important tools to improve the upgrading process

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National and local governments

Have a leading role in the success of slum upgrading. They can lay the foundations for development such as providing the enabling environment and implementing policies

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It’s time for a change

a billion lives

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One of the most critical aspects of slum life is a job.

Employment and local economic development need to go hand in hand with structural slum upgrading


“When we try to solve a problem in the slums, we tend to view the world from our perspective as technocrats, donors or politicians, our professional technical judgement of what is the priority of the slum dwellers, but sometimes their behaviour, the choices they make, what they concern about or not, is very different from ours. Why? Because poverty is hell! If we don’t understand what is the immediate burden of the slum dwellers, it will be difficult for us to design interventions that succeed. It is really important that we spend more time listening to the poor!”

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Robin Rajack

Lead Specialist - Housing and Urban Development at Inter-American Development Bank

“Most people in our community were not able to change their situation themselves in the beginning: they lacked money and education. We needed the kick-start from outside to see the solutions to our problems. In the meantime, many people in our slum villages have understood this and are taking on more and more responsibility. In the end, our village should manage itself.”

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Albert Njama

PSUP Project Coordinator in Majengo, Mtwapa, Kenya

"We didn't choose to live in the slum! But we live there. It is our home. We have to make the best of it. And this is a challenge. We are often cut off from our governments, which treat us as if we were not citizens of a city. Something must happen at this point! But we cannot rely on governments alone. All those involved must participate so that something can be improved in the lives of us slum dwellers. So that means including us!”

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Sarah Nandudu

Slum Dwellers International, Uganda

"Slum upgrading only works with the government. It has to be involved at both national and county level and at every stage of the project. It should assume responsibility in the interests of its citizens and participate financially and structurally"

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Isaac Mungania

Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development, State Department of Housing and Urban Development in Kenya

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