Urban Development in India and Ghana

The Slum Communities Achieving Livable Environments with Urban Partners (SCALE-UP) Program, which is being funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is enabling the urban poor in India and Ghana to have a meaningful voice in the planning and implementation of slum improvement programs.

In many developing countries around the world, insufficient access to basic municipal services has resulted in low quality and inadequate housing, water, sanitation and transportation for the urban poor living in slums, who account for nearly one-third of the world’s total urban population.

SCALE-UP was designed with the understanding that close coordination of local intermediaries – such as nongovernmental organizations, local governments, academic institutions and microfinance institutions – is critical to bridging the gap between the growing needs of urban slum dwellers and the services provided by municipal governments.

For more information, please read the SCALE-UP Annual Progress Report.

In Ghana, Global Communities and the People's Dialogue of Ghana (PDG) are working to improve access to credit and improve housing conditions for residents of nine targeted slums in Accra and Sekondi-Takoradi. In addition to providing access to affordable credit from Boafo and construction assistance to improve their existing shelters, micro- and small-entrepreneurs will receive demand-driven vocational training so that they can tailor their businesses to the growing Ghanaian economy.

Take a look at Global Communities' slum map publication for our assessment of urban poverty in the Sekondi-Takoradi slum. Also, take a look at the Sekondi-Takoradi Citizens' Report Card, in which citizens of the slum were able provide the governing assembly with feedback on public and private services.

Watch videos of our SCALE-UP program in Ghana:

In India, SCALE-UP is being implemented in Pune, Nagpur, and Bangalore. In addition to improving housing, water and sanitation, and waste management systems, youth and women's groups will be employed in designing and implementing programs in partnership with local non-governmental organizations.

SCALE-UP builds upon the four-year Sahbhagi Yojana 2 Support Program (SY2SP) that improved the lives of over 29,000 families in three cities in the state of Gujarat, India.

SY2SP worked in partnership with the Self Employed Women's Association (SEWA) Network to revitalize the physical infrastructure and increase the social services of slums in these cities, thereby improving the living conditions of residents. Accomplishments of the program included both physical and social outcomes.

Physical infrastructure:

  • Underground sewerage and storm drainage

  • Paving of internal roads, lanes, and by-lanes

  • Street lights

  • Solid waste management

  • Landscaping

  • Safe and legal electric connections

Social infrastructure:

  • Community mobilization through the formation of community based organizations comprised mostly of women

  • Provision of health-related education and services such as community health centers, day care centers, and provision of low-cost generic medicine

  • Easy access to banking and microfinance services as well as financial literacy training

Such services improved not only the health, sanitation, and safety of the communities, but also increased residents' confidence and ability to voice their needs and manage their community's development.