Items tagged:

Urban poverty

We have 56 items tagged with ‘Urban poverty’.
  • A man wearing a mask is sitting surrounded by vegetables: green beans, tomatoes, spring onions.

    Pandemic lessons from Karachi

    Our guest bloggers reflect on what was learned about COVID-19 in Karachi, about responses and their limitations – responses done badly, not at the scale needed, or not at all – as if the pandemic were no longer an issue

    28 September 2022 | Blog | Policy and planning
  • A group of women gather round the entrance to a building.

    The health, wellbeing and climate benefits of slum upgrading

    Upgrading informal settlements can foster wellbeing while also building resilience to climate change, particularly when equitable, far-sighted strategies seek to partner closely with communities and address multiple health risks

    9 June 2022 | Article | Climate change
  • A woman sits in the courtyard of a building, washing clothes in a small bowl.

    Risks to health in informal settlements

    Informal settlements (‘slums’) are widespread in cities across many low-income and middle-income countries and are now home to more than o

    9 June 2022 | Article | Urban
  • Two women wearing face masks are sitting at a table covered in boxes and bags of vegetables. Together they are preparing food.

    Reframing the pandemic: COVID-19 relief by community networks tackles roots of poverty

    A new study explores how urban community networks in Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines and Thailand responded to the COVID-19 crisis in effective and strategic ways. Experienced networks kept their focus on long-term structural change as they addressed urgent community needs, and so managed to strengthen, enlarge and legitimise an alternative ‘people's system’ that can address many aspects of urban poverty

    30 May 2022 | Blog | Poverty
  • A man lines up six bright water bottles under a series of outside taps

    Definitions matter – part two

    How is it possible to monitor progress, or otherwise, towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for water and sanitation without clear definitions?

    8 December 2021 | Blog | Poverty
  • A small brick building with two steps leading to a corrugated iron door houses a pit latrine.

    The case for sewers

    On World Toilet Day 2021 we take a look at the surprisingly controversial role of sewers in countering poor-quality sanitation in cities in the global South

    19 November 2021 | Blog | Poverty
  • Informal housing and tall buildings behind.

    Definitions matter – part one

    Why is it that many of the key statistics used to measure progress in development have no agreed definition – ‘city population’, ‘water availability’, ‘slum’ and ‘poverty line’ to name but a few

    10 November 2021 | Blog | Poverty
  • Aerial view of Villa 20, Buenos Aires

    Transforming cities, transforming lives

    IIED and partners are developing, testing and disseminating a scalable approach for achieving key shifts in urban development to put cities on a path to achieving climate justice and zero-carbon emissions by 2050

    30 June 2021 | Project | Policy and planning
  • Aerial view of informal settlement

    COVID-19 in cities: pathways towards a transformative urban recovery

    COVID19-is asymmetrical and will impact differently as poorer countries battle to gain access to vaccines. At a time of diminished budgets and resources, their needs are the highest. We can only respond if we do our work more inclusively and strategically

    16 June 2021 | Blog | Poverty
  • Cover of book: Urban poverty in the global South

    Book summary: Urban poverty in the global South − scale and nature

    In this book Diana Mitlin and David Satterthwaite offer a comprehensive analysis on the state of urban poverty in the global South, analysing aspects such as inadequate nutrition, poor health, lack of security, low incomes and bad working conditions

    25 May 2021 | Article | Urban
  • Women selling spices in the street

    Getting attention to a much-neglected health agenda: occupational health and safety

    Guest blogger Rangarirai Machemedze and David Satterthwaite report on the findings of their research on the occupational health and climate change risks facing informal residents and workers in Zimbabwe

    28 April 2021 | Blog | Policy and planning
  • Aerial view of Accra, Ghana.

    African Cities Research Consortium

    The African Cities Research Consortium brings together a range of international partners to explore and tackle the complexity around urban development in some of Africa’s biggest cities

    16 October 2020 | Project | Urban
  • A vegetable seller with a food truck peels a cucumber

    Urban poor community voices take to the stage at the World Urban Forum

    Stories from urban poor communities inspired international audiences at the 10th World Urban Forum

    19 February 2020 | Blog | Food and agriculture
  • A cityscape

    IIED podcast explores opportunities for urban change

    Ahead of the 2020 World Urban Forum, the third episode of IIED's ‘Make Change Happen’ podcast looks at how our local-to-global urban work developed and its current priorities

    4 February 2020 | News | Urban
  • Three people sat around a table speaking into microphones

    Seizing opportunities for urban change: Make Change Happen podcast episode 3

    A quarter of the world’s urban population live in informal settlements, mostly in the global South. Launched before the 2020 World Urban Forum, this episode looks at how IIED’s work with marginalised urban communities developed, and what opportunities exist now for building more inclusive cities

    4 February 2020 | Article | Urban
  • A woman sitting on steps, with colourful handkerchiefs arranged in front of her

    Towards more inclusive urban health systems for refugee wellbeing

    The British Academy’s Cities and Infrastructure programme funded IIED to work with partners in Kampala, Uganda and Nairobi, Kenya to undertake research on access to healthcare and other basic services for urban refugees

    5 December 2019 | Project | Poverty
  • People gather around a table at an outdoor meeting

    Tackling widespread hunger in cities means listening to the urban poor

    As urban food insecurity attracts growing interest in policy debates, Cecilia Tacoli makes the case for ensuring that the views of poor urban residents both inform and shape solutions.

    5 August 2019 | Blog | Food and agriculture
  • Early morning in the Indonesian city of Jakarta reveals heavy air pollution, largely caused by its notorious traffic jams (Photo: Aaron Minnick/World Resources Institute, Creative Commons via Flickr)

    How tackling climate change could tackle inequality

    Sarah Colenbrander and Andrew Sudmant report on research showing that cutting greenhouse gas emissions in urban areas will benefit vulnerable residents most

    26 June 2018 | Blog | Climate change
  • A soup stall in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Many of the urban poor rely on frequent food purchases, often cooked food prepared by street vendors (stefans_box, Creative Commons via Flickr)

    How the urban poor define and measure food insecurity

    There is growing interest in food consumption and its links to urbanisation but the views of the real experts, the urban poor, do not get the attention they deserve. IIED and the Asian Coalition for Housing Rights are asking poor women in cities in Cambodia and Nepal about the challenges of putting food on the table

    14 March 2018 | Project | Food and agriculture
  • A family living in a cemetery in Cebu City, the Philippines. A lack of affordable housing has led some 100 families to set up home among the mausoleums (Photo: Karl Fluch, Creative Commons via Flickr)

    Who can we trust to measure urban poverty?

    International definitions of the poverty line don't take into the account the additional costs of living in cities. Sarah Colenbrander says the urban poor can help institutions such as the United Nations and the World Bank develop accurate, local, definitions of urban poverty

    13 June 2017 | Blog | Poverty
  • About the architecture of aid

    About the architecture of aid

    How can decentralised finance drive sustainable development? A new interactive story produced by IIED's Human Settlements Group highlights successful examples from the global South

    8 July 2015 | Article | Poverty
  • In urban and rural communities across the world, low income families lack the shelter and services they need to live with dignity, security, health and prosperity (Photo: IIED)

    References: how can decentralised finance drive sustainable development?

    The interactive presentation on architecture of aid describes two powerful examples of international funds that have supported community-based organisations at scale – the Urban Poor Fund International and the Asian Coalition for Community Action. Here are the sources used

    8 July 2015 | Article | Poverty
  • A six-minute film recorded in the Mathare settlement, Narobi, in late April 2015 shows some of the main challenges faced by food vendors living and working inside low-income informal settlements (Image: Paolo Cravero/IIED)

    Informal food vendors: urban food security's invisible experts

    One in three urban citizens in Asia and Africa live in informal settlements. It’s time to consider their priorities when shaping urban food security policies.

    24 June 2015 | Blog | Food and agriculture
  • Brazilian favelas, such as this one in Rio De Janeiro, reflect a more passive resistance to urbanisation, involving a heavy legacy of social inequality and conflict (Photo: dany13, Creative Commons, via Flickr)

    Learning about urbanisation from the BRICS

    It is critically important to draw the right lessons from the BRICS, and both the successes and failures of their urbanisation strategies have much to teach the rest of the urbanising world. IIED worked to draw out some of these lessons

    18 June 2015 | Project | Urban
  • A new sanitation block being constructed in Kibera settlement, Nairobi, Kenya. Most of Kibera's residents don't have access to electricity or running water (Photo: Sustainable Sanitation, Creative Commons via Flickr)

    Finance for whom and for what?

    Ahead of the Financing for Development conference, David Satterthwaite highlights the disconnect between commitments made by national governments and finance for (mostly local) institutions ations representing those ill-served or unserved.

    31 March 2015 | Blog | Economics
  • Investments in community infrastructure – like this canalside walkway in Bangkok – can help to build resilience for low-income urban residents. Funding for this type of local improvement should be a priority for climate change financing (Photo: Ruth Mcleod)

    Financing urban resilience

    Cities need to adapt to climate change: but how it be financed? IIED is working to build the case for more direct control of funding for resilience by urban residents and local governments

    30 March 2015 | Project | Climate change
  • Jakarta: migrants from rural villages sleeping in an area that they rent for Rp 1.000,- (10 cents Euro) per night per person. There can be more than 50 people living and sleeping in this area at one time (Photo: Henry Ismail, Creative Commons via Flickr)

    Stopping rural people going to cities only makes poverty less visible, and stripping migrants of rights makes it worse

    There is growing concern that rural migrants transfer poverty to urban areas, but excluding them is not the solution. Ensuring full citizenship rights to all groups and proactive planning for urban growth are more effective ways to reduce disadvantage and poverty

    18 March 2015 | Blog | Poverty
  • The rice fields on outskirts of the city of Bandung, Java, Indonesia: urban areas often have damaging impacts on the areas around them (Photo: Ikhlasul Amal, Creative Commons via Flickr)

    New publication looks at environmental impacts of urban areas

    The UK Department for International Development (DFID) has published a new guide to the environmental impacts of urban areas authored by IIED's David Satterthwaite

    16 March 2015 | News | Climate change
  • Surveying residents in the settlement of Tank Mohalla, Bangalore, India (Photo: CSTEPIN, Creative Commons, via Flickr)

    Local democracy as a substitute for data (and rather a good substitute too)

    Why is there so little data on who faces poverty and where they live? David Satterthwaite examines why 'better' data is better than 'more' data

    16 January 2015 | Blog | Policy and planning
  • A community sanitation facility in Jinja, Uganda (Photo: David Dodman/IIED)

    World Toilet Day: People need equality and dignity when they 'have to go'

    On World Toilet Day on 19 November, our photoblog details the work of IIED and its partners to tackle the fact that 2.5 billion people lack access to basic sanitation

    18 November 2014 | Blog | Urban
  • The capital of Bangladesh, Dhaka, is one of the world's largest cities. It is surrounded by rivers and lies only a few metres above sea level. The urban poor living in flood-prone areas are most threatened by climate change (Photo: David Dodman/IIED)

    The IPCC and an urbanising planet

    The IPCC's Fifth Assessment gets the importance of understanding and acting on urbanisation

    6 November 2014 | Blog | Climate change
  • Informal settlements, Jakarta, Indonesia

    Human Settlements research group ways of working

    IIED's expertise is in working through partnerships to generate high quality evidence, in order to shape debates, build coalitions, and influence policies and practices at multiple scales

    17 September 2014 | Article | Poverty
  • Langrug informal settlement, South Africa, May 2014 (Photo: Diana Mitlin/IIED)

    Introduction to urban poverty

    One in seven of the world's population live in informal settlements in urban areas. More than this are probably in poverty. With our partners, and informed by the work of federations of slum/shack dwellers, we are transforming the understanding of urban poverty, its causes, and how best to address it

    9 September 2014 | Project | Poverty
  • A tanker delivers water to residents in Retiro, a shanty town in Buenos Aires (Photo: Mark Edwards)

    Urban water and sanitation

    With water and sanitation recognised as human rights, IIED has been working with local partners to identify how sanitation can be improved in deprived urban locations

    1 September 2014 | Project | Poverty
  • Shack dwellers from the eThekwini municipality protesting in Durban (Photo: Slum/Shack Dwellers International)

    2008 Barbara Ward Lecture: Lindiwe Sisulu on managing relationships between the state and the urban poor

    Lindiwe Sisulu looked at the often troubled relationship between the state and the urban poor when she delivered the 2008 Barbara Ward Lecture in London

    5 August 2014 | Event | Communication
  • Old Fadama, Ghana: health conditions in many low-income and informal settlements will be worsened further by rising temperatures and changing rainfall patterns (Photo: David Dodman/IIED)

    Climate change and urban health

    As well as increasing loss of life and injury from extreme events, climate change will exacerbate health risks from diseases that are among the main causes of premature death in informal settlements

    29 July 2014 | Project | Climate change
  • Asian Coalition for Community Action

    Critical theme: Introducing the Asian Coalition for Community Action

    Urban poverty reduction was the focus when the latest in a series of seminars at the International Institute for Environment and Development took place on July 2

    30 June 2014 | Event | Urban
  • Paposh Nagar, Karachi. 'Living room' on the street -  © Fareena Chanda 2010

    A tale of two cities: Density regulations vs reality

    Poor residents in South Asian cities live together in high numbers that easily surpass the limits set in planning regulations. What can be done to create more housing for the poor?

    30 June 2014 | Blog | Urban
  • New construction sites for housing have been prepared by the government on the hillside above Nhon Hai, but the compensation isn't enough to let people move (Photo: David Dodman/IIED)

    If you want to go far, go together

    How can urban development that reduces risk and boosts low-income residents' standard of living be supported? And how can community-led processes reduce poverty and build resilience? IIED staff and partners from Vietnam grappled with such questions last week in a workshop in Quy Nhon.

    24 June 2014 | Blog | Climate change
  • The Multidimensional Poverty Index only has one indicator to assess housing quality – whether floors are made of dirt, sand or dung. So these houses in Manila would not be classified as sub-standard (Photo: Mark Edwards/IIED)

    The Multidimensional Poverty Index: Another underestimate of urban poverty

    Yet another global study has understated the scale and depth of urban poverty, by failing to appreciate the differences between rural and urban contexts

    18 June 2014 | Blog | Poverty
  • Community reblocking to improve settlement design and the quality of the neighbourhood in Namibia (Photo: Diana Mitlin/IIED)

    Namibia shows how to support low cost housing

    Around a quarter of Namibians live in informal urban neighbourhoods; they live without secure tenure and without adequate access to services. So how has the country gained its reputation for progressive state action on housing?

    13 June 2014 | Blog | Poverty
  • People need at least US$50 to survive for a month in Hanoi. This is twice the official urban poverty line (Photo via Commons Wikimedia/Google licence)

    If we don't count the poor, the poor don't count

    Research in several countries shows how governments and development agencies undercount the scale and depth of urban poverty

    12 June 2014 | Blog | Poverty
  • Watch the Karachi Rising film

    The houses that Karachi's poor want

    Karachi is building upwards to house its expanding population, but unregulated building leaves poor families at risk. An IIED film outlines solutions that could benefit the city, says Suzanne Fisher

    23 April 2014 | Blog | Poverty
  • Residents of an informal settlement in Pune, India, discuss the results of a survey and how best to upgrade their homes and settlement, guided by Mahila Milan, a grassroots network formed by savings groups of women slum and pavement dwellers (Photo: SPARC)

    Wanted: Urban data revolution for post 2015 sustainable development goals

    Around a billion people live in informal urban settlements that lack essential services and security, so the concerns of these people should be high on the agenda when agreeing a new set of sustainable development goals

    16 April 2014 | Blog | Poverty
  • Flooding in a Manila slum particularly affects street and slum children (Photo: Jörg Dietze/SuSanA Secretariat via Creative Commons

    Poorest urban children failed in disasters, says report

    Disasters in Asia's megacities hit the poorest children hardest, a new report finds.

    3 March 2014 | News | Urban
  • There is no government-provided water connection in the Shivaji Nagar slum area of Raipur. Under UN definitions, a household has "improved provision" for water even if it only has access to a public tap or standpipe. (Photo:, Creative Commons via Flickr)

    Setting the bar too low: is there really progress on UN development goals?

    The UN report on progress towards the Millennium Development Goals seems so at odds with realities on the ground, says David Satterthwaite.

    3 December 2013 | Blog | Policy and planning
  • Members of Indian women's savings groups

    More patience, less protest: the new politics of the urban poor

    A new book shows how poor urban communities across Africa and Asia have developed powerful new approaches that have enabled millions of people to get better housing and services, and —beyond this — social justice and inclusion in political processes.

    19 August 2013 | News | Urban
  • Women sort plastic bottles for recycling in Seema Puri, Delhi.

    Book challenges policymakers with new portrait of urban poverty

    Governments and aid agencies fail to tackle urban poverty because they fail to understand it, according to a new book that paints the most detailed picture to date of how a billion-plus poor people live in towns and cities worldwide.

    11 December 2012 | News | Poverty
  • Women from near Rangoon, Myanmar are seated around a map with paper houses and trees talking and laughing.

    What happens when slum dwellers put themselves on the map

    The new issue of the journal Environment and Urbanization – published today – reveals how organisations of the ‘illegal’ urban poor have made themselves matter to city governments by mapping and documenting their informal settlements and the people and businesses in them.

    1 May 2012 | News | Poverty
  • The Mahila Housing SEWA (Self-Employed Women's Association of India) Trust offers savings, loans and micro credit schemes (Photo: Shack/Slum Dwellers International, Creative Commons via Flickr)

    People power: the urban poor are now a force to be reckoned with

    Speakers at the "View from the streets" event in London showed how the urban poor can group together to bring about change

    17 October 2011 | Blog | Poverty
  • Children at an informal school in the Kibera area of Nairobi. Providing free education is one way to reduce urban poverty (Photo: Christy Gillmore, Creative Commons via Flickr)

    Why are the main means by which urban dwellers avoid hunger ignored?

    The issue of hunger in urban areas has long been neglected, as part of a more general neglect of urban poverty. And when the issue is covered, there are some glaring gaps in the analysis

    5 October 2011 | Blog | Urban
  • 'Focus Cities'- Moreno, Argentina

    To promote in-depth research and allow time to successfully monitor outcomes, the Urban Poverty and Environment team at the International Research Centre for the Development of Canada (IDRC) set up a Focus Cities project. This film shows experiences from one of the Focus Cities, the City of Moreno, Buenos Aires, Argentina by IIED-América Latina.

    24 November 2010 | Article | Poverty
  • local organizations

    Local organizations: introduction

    Profiles: Gatekeeper seriesAbout the Gatekeeper seriesThe role of loca

    1 April 2010 | Article | Poverty
  • New issue of 'Environment and Urbanization' - Vol 21, No 2. 'Secure land for housing and urban development'

    In urban areas, the struggle by low-income groups to get housing and basic services is often a struggle to get land on which to build or to get tenure of land they already occupy.

    15 October 2009 | News | Poverty
  • Addressing the needs of urban children and adolescents

    Not enough is known about practical and effective ways of addressing children's interests within urban development. Their concerns are rarely taken into account in most planning decisions, community development projects or housing and neighbourhood upgrading schemes

    5 January 2009 | Project | Poverty
  • City without limits: keeping pace with the urban poor

    Celine D’Cruz, coordinator of Shack/Slum Dwellers International (SDI), talks about her work with IIED

    18 November 2008 | Article | Urban
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