Our 2009-2012 strategy has now come to an end. We are currently finalising our new grants strategy which will be launched later this year. We will open for applications in September 2013 so please check nearer the time for more details.
People living in urban slums
During 2008 humankind reached an historic milestone: for the first time ever, half of the world’s population were living in urban areas. The rate of urban population growth is fastest in developing countries, which are least equipped to cope with the need to provide infrastructure and development control. The urban population of Africa is projected to more than double by 2030, and is likely to double yet again by 2050.
UN Habitat estimates that around a third of urban residents live in slums. But in Sub-Saharan Africa the problem of urban poverty is especially acute, with 62% of the region’s urban population living in slum conditions. Comic Relief is the only major grant-maker with an open programme focused on this issue.
Aim of the programme
Our goal is to help slum dwellers in Africa drive programmes that lead to improvements in their communities, including securing the legal right to occupy viable land (as tenants or owners), improved access to basic services, better living conditions, and the opportunity for slum dwellers to improve their economic prospects.
The overall aim of this programme is to support slum dwellers in a holistic way. While each slum has its own unique needs, in general we expect projects to give priority to the needs of women-headed households, young people and informal sector workers.
The People Living in Urban Slums programme will focus on all countries in Sub-Saharan Africa where people face multiple shelter deprivations (lack of water, sanitation and tenure, poor housing and overcrowding). Regrettably, we cannot consider applications from other parts of the world, however needy.
Your work will need to deliver one or more of the following outcomes:
- Slum dweller households make progress towards obtaining secure tenure that they can afford, resulting in a measurable reduction in people living in fear of eviction or intimidation
- Individuals living in the slums gain employment skills, money management skills and become better able to run their own businesses, resulting in measurable improvements to their standard of living
- A higher level of participation by slum dwellers in urban planning/slum upgrading processes, and in the level of engagement by the authorities concerned, leading to measurable improvements to living conditions and personal safety in the slums
- Slum residents’ rights to basic services (e.g. water, sanitation, decent housing, education and healthcare) are realised, resulting in measurably reduced exposure to health risks, improved school attendance, a cleaner environment and more time for productive household and community tasks
- Vulnerable people including women, young people, older people, disabled people and sex workers are helped to live measurably safer lives, aware of HIV issues and free from physical violence and abuse.
Types of grants available
Grants available under the People Living in Urban Slums programme are as follows:
Project grants – these may be up to £1 million over five years. Organisations are strongly advised to submit applications that are proportionate to their size and capacity, the size and capacity of their local partners, and their track record to date.
Research, Consultation and Planning grants – these may be for up to £25,000 and for up to 12 months’ duration. They will enable partners to carry out action research, a needs analysis, a pilot study, and related work that will help applicant organisations to develop a well thought out proposal.
Restrictions: these grants are only available to organisations with an income of less than £1m per year, or Diaspora-led organisations.
Investment grants – these provide long-term, core funding for local organisations, usually over five years. There is no upper limit but Investment grants must be proportionate to the size and capacity of applicant organisations and their partners.
Restrictions: these grants are only available to selected partners with a long history of Comic Relief funding and a track record of success in urban programming.