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South Asia


This working paper describes water access challenges in cities of the global south that have been hitherto largely invisible in global indicators. In analyzing 15 cities, we found that piped utility water is the most affordable option, yet, on average, almost half of all households lack access, and most of those that do have access receive intermittent service. This paper highlights four key action areas for cities to improve water access: extending the formal piped water network, addressing context-specific causes of intermittent water service, pursuing diverse strategies to make water affordable, and supporting informal settlement upgrading.


This case study in the World Resources Report, Towards a More Equal City, examines transformative urban change in Kampala, Uganda, by following its sanitation reforms. The research follows the political process that created favorable conditions for the implementation of innovative solutions to sanitation service provision. The unfolding change remains vulnerable to shifting fiscal priorities and local political instabilities, however, with continued support from all stakeholders, it seems likely that the urban change in Kampala will be sustained.


This case study in the World Resources Report, Towards a More Equal City, examines transformative urban change in Ahmedabad India, by analyzing the land pooling and readjustment mechanism called Town Planning Scheme (TPS). This paper reviews the evidence on whether the TPS mechanism has enabled transformative change with equitable outcomes in Ahmedabad City—and if so, how.


This case study in the World Resources Report, “Towards a More Equal City,” examines transformative urban change in Porto Alegre, Brazil, through the lens of participatory budgeting. The research focuses on whether and how transformative change has taken place in the city between 1990 and the present, as well examining the recent decline and suspension of participatory budgeting in the city of its birth.


The fourth working paper of WRI’s flagship World Resources Report (WRR), "Towards a More Equal City”, examines different approaches that cities have taken towards the informal self-employed workers and their livelihood activities. After presenting recent data on the size, composition, and contribution of the informal economy, the paper highlights a series of actionable areas for urban change agents to make cities more inclusive and productive.

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Affordable housing is a critical need in the cities of the global south. Innovative approaches can help replace slums with healthier environments.


Raising awareness of threats to coral reefs and providing information and tools to manage coastal habitats more effectively.

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