Urban development: Structured learning guide

This booklet provides signposts to quality assured references, grey literature and other useful learning materials


The purpose of this booklet is to support advisers in DFID to strengthen their knowledge of urban development themes by providing signposts to quality assured references, grey literature and other useful learning materials. This structured learning guide will enable DFID advisers from any cadre to improve their understanding of key policy and programming issues, but is particularly aimed at infrastructure, climate change and environment, and livelihoods advisers. The guide covers the thematic areas listed below:

  • Urban Poverty – including resilience.
  • Urban Services – including water and sanitation, health and education issues.
  • Urbanisation and Growth – including evidence on pro-poor growth and issues of inequality.
  • Urban Planning – including participatory approaches to slum improvement such as slum dweller federations, small towns, mega-cities and secondary towns.
  • Urban Governance – including citizen inclusion, urban management and funding.
  • Urban Livelihoods – formal and informal, including social protection mechanisms, opportunities for the urban poor, rural-urban links, migration and urban food security.
  • Cities and Climate Change
  • Cities and Disaster Planning – including flood protection.
  • Housing and Land
  • Women and Urbanisation – including economic opportunities for women.

The first section lists general resources that provide a good overview on urban issues or cover multiple themes. Then, for each theme, a list of resources and information on the type of resource (e.g. book, academic paper, grey literature, blog, online lecture, website) are provided as well as a short description of content and, where possible, a direct link to access the resource.

This report has been produced for Evidence on Demand with the assistance of the UK Department for International Development (DFID) contracted through the Climate, Environment, Infrastructure and Livelihoods Professional Evidence and Applied Knowledge Services (CEIL PEAKS) programme, jointly managed by DAI (which incorporates HTSPE Limited) and IMC Worldwide Limited.


Sturgess, P.; Acker, W.; Satterthwaite, D.; Wright, Y.; Carstensen, J.; Ryan-Collins, L.; Ratcliffe, S.; Young, S. Urban development: Structured learning guide. Evidence on Demand, UK (2014) 50 pp. [DOI: 10.12774/eod_spd.august2014.sturgesspackerw]

Urban development: Structured learning guide

Published 1 January 2014