The Cities Alliance has approved $250,000 in funding for an initiative to document, analyze and share knowledge on successful approaches to national slum upgrading and prevention.
The project seeks to fill a critical knowledge and capacity gap in the field of slum upgrading and prevention policies and programs at the national and sub-national levels.
It aims to help Cities Alliance members as well as national and local urban policymakers develop a better understanding of a range of issues related to slum upgrading.

It will examine amongst other things, how upgrading programs were conceived and undertaken, the costs involved, institutional reforms that may have been needed, as well as what worked, what did not, and why.

Among the particular policy issues that will be examined are land access and tenure, housing finance, basic services to the poor, pro-poor taxation and budgeting, subsidies, safety nets and the urban poverty alleviation issues, and pro-poor local economic development.
The initiative, which will be implemented by the World Bank Institute (WBI), UN-HABITAT and GTZ, in collaboration with other Cities Alliance members and member countries, will include activities designed to generate and synthesize knowledge and facilitate learning.  They include:
  • Development of a typology of national policy reform and a case study template that identifies the areas against which the slum upgrading programs will be evaluated;
  • Data collection to be carried out by local experts in 15 countries and the development of case studies;
  • Two meetings of international experts;
  • An e-learning course;
  • Five regional and in-country workshops held in Cities Alliance member countries;
  • A publication  on good practices; and
  • An online knowledge portal to facilitate learning for policymakers.
In addition to the Cities Alliance grant of $250,000, partners have agreed to co-finance an additional $170,000. Project implementation will be led by the WBI and is expected to take 21 months, beginning in April 2009.
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