A new compendium from HFHI features two joint projects with Cities Alliance.

This compendium from Cities Alliance's member, Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI), documents positive stories of change in the areas of adequate and affordable housing, including basic services, land tenure and slum upgrading in Africa.

Two of our projects are featured in the publication, a joint project with HFHI in Liberia and the strong cooperation between Cities Alliance and the National Department of Human Settlements in South Africa on slum upgrading.



In the informal settlement of Peace Island, in the Liberian capital Monrovia, a five-year programme delivered a comprehensive analysis of the housing ecosystem, improving the lives of 36,000 slum dwellers. Undertaken in partnership with local stakeholders, SDI, HFHI, UN-Habitat, WIEGO and the World Bank, the project realized critical infrastructures such as WASH facilities and solid waste management and empowered both residents and decision-makers.

Community organizing was enhanced through the Participatory Approach for Safe Shelter Awareness (PASSA) tool, leading to a successful alignment of residents' needs with prospects for the local economy and the production of alternative construction material. 

In addition, Cities Alliance cooperation with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the National Housing Authority resulted in the inclusion of slum upgrading measures in the National Housing Policy and the institutionalization of a slum upgrading unit at the national level.


South Africa

In South Africa, Cities Alliance partnered with the National Department of Human Settlements and the World Bank to develop a toolkit for slum upgrading and secure land tenure. As a result, a research-based approach informed a comprehensive Upgrading Informal Settlements Program (UISP) that became a national mandate and offered technical assistance and capacity building in many provinces.

In the province of Durban, Cities Alliance in partnership with the Project Preparation Trust fostered the delivery of basic services and combined access to formal housing with incremental slum upgrading processes to the neighbourhoods of eThekwini. 


Upgrading requires sustained engagement, planning and follow-through over periods of many years. Most municipal departments are stretched to the limit addressing service backlogs.

Mark Misselhorn, CEO at Project Preparation Trust



The compendium also features another outstanding example of slum upgrading in Mukuru, Nairobi. In this informal settlement, home to at least 300 000 people, Cities Alliance member, SDI, led advocacy and research efforts, resulting in the designation of Mukuru, by  Nairobi’s county government as a Special Planning Area. The ongoing innovative and collaborative process stands out as a flagship upgrading programme in Africa.

The cases of this compendium show that housing is much more than houses, it includes a whole value chain of supply and demand, basic services, land tenure security, and attention to urbanisation and informal settlements.  Read the full report here