IGH and UN-Habitat Partnership

by | Jul 14, 2022 | News, Vincentian Family at the U.N. | 1 comment

Homelessness impacts nearly every society across the globe, regardless of affluence, geography, or culture. Experts suspect that more than 100 million people are experiencing homelessness worldwide and likely over one billion are inadequately housed. Yet despite the scale and seriousness of the problem, efforts to address global homelessness have been stymied by several obstacles, including insufficient data and technical capacity and a lack of global coordination and advocacy on the issue.

In 2021, the Institute of Global Homelessness (IGH) and UN-Habitat signed a Memorandum of Understanding and entered into a formal partnership. The partnership aims to overcome these obstacles and push for sustained action on global homelessness at international levels. IGH is a joint initiative between DePaul University and Depaul International that focuses on addressing the global phenomenon of homelessness. UN-Habitat is a United Nations agency tasked with addressing challenges associated with sustainable urbanization in cities across the world. Building on their respective expertise in the realms of global homelessness and sustainable urban development, IGH and UN-Habitat hope to achieve three core objectives through their partnership:

  • Improved homelessness data collection efforts. High quality data is the cornerstone of any effective homelessness response and is essential to understanding, monitoring, and driving action on the problem. Addressing the deficiencies in current data practices is thus crucial to ending global homelessness.
  • Provision of technical assistance and capacity building to governments on homelessness strategies. Many communities and countries around the world are eager to better serve people who are homeless. It is critical to ensure that these communities are equipped with suitable tools, resources, and understanding of best practices and potential solutions to homelessness.
  • Raising awareness of homelessness within the UN ecosystem. Through educational events and collaborative efforts within the UN network, IGH and UN-Habitat hope to make addressing homelessness a focal point of communities around the world.

The IGH and UN-Habitat partnership has already begun to bear fruit, resulting in the coproduction of events aimed at educating audiences on topics related to youth global homelessness, homelessness and regional displacement, and the way homelessness intersects with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Additionally, IGH and UN-Habitat are currently collaborating on the Global Homelessness Data Initiative, a project intended to result in better data collection practices and ultimately accurate statistics on global homelessness. This will allow those working on the issue to better understand the nature and scale of the problem and facilitate collective learning and action on global homelessness.

Collaborative initiatives such as those being undertaken by IGH and UN-Habitat underscore that with adequate coordination, resources, and attention, homelessness is a problem on which progress can be made. By advocating for better data practices, technical capacity, and understanding of the issue, IGH and UN-Habitat hope to show that there are tangible steps that can be taken toward ending global homelessness.

1 Comment

  1. MaryAnn Dantuono

    A wonderful initiative to advance the Vincentian Family Advocacy at the UN.

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