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Urbanisation Monitoring 

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Measuring Progress Towards SDG 2030 and Other Development Agendas


Simply put urbanisation means an increase in the proportion of people living in urban areas compared to rural areas. An urban area is a built-up area such as a town or city. A rural area is an area of countryside. As a country industrializes, the number of people living in urban areas tends to increase. In Africa the major reason is lack of employment opportunities in the countryside and in search of better standard of living in the cities leading to migration from rural to urban areas. In the Arab countries it is about people flowing into the cities from other countries in search of employment and business. Cities must remain sustainable and prosperous all the same.


The result is that high population growth will put huge pressures on infrastructure, basic services, the environment and the social fabric of the city. Urbanization in Africa and many other places has largely been translated into rising slum establishments, increasing poverty and inequality and degradation of the environment. However, there are large variations in the patterns of urbanization across African regions. North Africa has a higher proportion of urban population (47.8%) relative to Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) (32.8%). The relatively fewer slums in North African countries is mainly attributed to better urban development strategies, including investment in infrastructure and in upgrading urban settlements. In contrast, SSA has the lowest proportion of urban population (32.8%), but the highest proportion of slum dwellers (65%). Most SSA cities are characterized by insufficient basic infrastructure, particularly in low-income areas. Only 20% of SSA’s population has access to electricity, and in 2010, 3% and 53% of Africans had access to fixed or mobile phones, respectively; 84% of the continent’s urban dwellers have access to potable water while 54% to sanitation. More broadly, 60% of African citizens live in places where water supplies and sanitation are inadequate.


Regardless of the level of development or economic status, countries and cities must take certain steps im­mediately to guarantee sustainable cities.  One such step is putting in place sensitive monitoring systems adaptable to the national, urban/rural and local levels to allow countries and cities to measure true progress and identify possible constraints thus  pre-empting unintended development and ensuring that priorities for investments are set based on demonstrated need and evidence of what works within their jurisdictions. This is what makes observatories as a monitoring system a critical part of urban sustainability.


Redpact Africa - INITIATIVE has taken the initiative to develop monitoring tools to assist countries and cities to monitor their progress towards sustainable and inclusive urban development in the post 2015 SDG era. Sustainable Urbanization  related Indexes measures the achievements the countries and cities have made across several thematic areas. Adequate Housing Index measures the achievements in provision of adequate and affordable housing, since this is both a basic need and a human right. We also have several score cards for monitoring specific indicators aligned to the SDGs and can be customized or adapted to national/local development agenda or vision.


WCCD ISO 37120 SERIES on Indicators for Smart Cities and Indicators for Resilient Cities is one of the most standardized city data and we help cities/urban observatories to achieve certifications for the same and use them in daily monitoring activities.

There are different Urban Sustainability related Indexes that measures the cities' achievements in readiness to host the increasing population ensuring their well-being, quality of life and provide them with better living standards, provide basic services and ensure that the cities ecosystem remains balanced and healthy for the future generations.

Composite Indices

  • Cities Prosperity Index - Reports

  • Malaria Containment Index

  • Gender Equality and Women Empowerment Index

  • Adequate & Affordable Housing Index

  • Sustainable Universal Health Coverage Index

Sustainability and Development Profiles/Status Reports

  • Country-Urban Sustainability and Development Profile/Status

  • Cities - Sustainability and Development Profile/Status

Score Cards for Monitoring Progress Towards SDGs.

  • Human Dignity – Score Card

  • Food Security – Score Card

  • Poverty – Score Card

  • Livelihoods – Score Card

  • Human rights – Score Card

  • Marginalization Score card

  • Environment – Score Card

  • Access to Clean Water­ Score Card

  • Governance – Score Card

  • Public Health

  • HIV/AIDS Control – Score Card

  • City Globalization – Score Card

  • Trade and Development – Score Card

  • Women Health & Well-being – Score Card

  • Children Health & Well-being – Score Card

  • Media Freedom – Score Card

  • Education

  • Private Sector Cooperation – Score Card

  • Disaster Preparedness­ – Score Card

  • Technology & Innovation – Score Card

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