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Urban Partnerships for Poverty Reduction

Background and Objectives


UPPR builds on the approach of the Local Partnerships for Poverty Alleviation Project (LPUPAP, 2000-2007), which gained wide acceptance from communities and local government partners. This approach has as its foundation community action planning, from which prioritised community contracts were developed for settlement improvements and socio-economic activities. Communities themselves executed the contracts and managed project funds.

The project supports local capacity for the development and implementation of poverty reduction strategies at town level. It also supported linkages between the community organisations to financial institutions, such as local banks and micro-finance bodies, to provide access to a wide range of financial services by community groups, including housing improvements and business development support. It ensured that the implementation of pro-poor urban development and poverty reduction strategies at town level influenced policy development at the national level.

The Urban Partnerships for Poverty Reduction project (UPPR) supports the implementation of strategies that respond to the challenges of urban poverty reduction in the context of Bangladesh's rapid urbanisation. Bangladesh's urban population is growing at an estimated 3.6 per cent per annum and its predicted urban population will be 50 million by 2015. In the City Corporation areas it was estimated that 35 per cent of the population lived in slums, 43 percent of urban households lived in poverty, while 23 percent were considered extremely poor.

The objective was "to improve the livelihoods and living conditions of 3 million urban poor and extremely poor people, especially women and children". UPPR contributes to urban poverty reduction by directly improving the living environment and social and economic conditions of urban poor families in 30 towns and by influencing national and local urban poverty reduction and economic development policies.


The main activities include:

1. Urban poor communities mobilized and supported to form representative, inclusive and well- managed groups.
- Identify all urban poor settlements and slum and non-slum extremely poor groups in project towns and provide support for formation of community organizations and cross-community associations.
- Provide capacity building and technical support for establishment of community savings groups and preparation of community action plans, databases and community proposals for physical, economic and social development.

2. Poor urban communities supported to create healthy and secure living environments.
- Support communities to meet demands for water supply, sanitation, drainage, electricity and public lighting, waste management, road access and community facilities through participatory processes including community contracting.
- Support communities to have access to town level service networks and facilities.
- Support communities to obtain improved security of tenure.
- Support improvements in housing conditions.
- Facilitate to improve access to affordable and approved health service providers.

3. Urban poor and extremely poor people supported to acquire the resources, knowledge and skills needed to increase their incomes and assets.
- Facilitate to improve access to wage employment opportunities through skills development and links to private sector.
- Promote development of enterprises through access to finance, markets and technology
- Promote peri- and urban food production through improvements in technical, processing and marketing.
- Support CDCs to overcome social/economic problems, meet extremely poor needs through forming support groups and links with civil society and LGIs.
- Support access to financial services for productive and non-productive purposes including reducing unsecured indebtedness.

4. Development and implementation of pro-poor policies and practices supported in partnership with others.
- Support formation of town-level community, local government, private sector and civil society partnerships.
- Develop capacity of elected representatives, LG officials, UPPR staff to respond to needs of urban poor.
- Establish local/national funding mechanism to support urban poor communities including provision for housing finance.
- Facilitate urban-poor policy dialogue through networking of towns, association of elected representatives, LG officials and community leaders.
- Development and implementation of communications strategy for programme information sharing, advocacy and policy dialogue.

Results (2010)

The achievements so far are:
- During 2010 the project coverage was expanded to 23 cities and towns (from 16).
- As of October 2010, 16,913 primary groups and 1,614 Community Development Committees (CDCs) have been formed involving 493,046 households (a population of 2.137 million).
- In addition, nearly 700 community contracts are being processed with a budget of US$ 5.6 million to provide support for additional small-scale infrastructure works. This will involve construction of about 10,000 latrines, 1,300 tube wells, 95 km footpath, 45 km drain, etc.

Development Partners / Partners

Development Partners: UNDP, DFID
Partners: Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Co-operatives, Local Government Engineering Department (LGED), 30 Cities and Towns

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