Journal Articles

Because space matters: conceptual framework to help distinguish slum from non-slum urban areas

Health and Systems for Health

Despite an estimated one billion people around the world living in slums, most surveys of health and well-being
do not distinguish between slum and non-slum urban residents. Identifying people who live in slums is important
for research purposes and also to enable policymakers, programme managers, donors and non-governmental
organisations to better target investments and services to areas of greatest deprivation. However, there is no
consensus on what a slum is let alone how slums can be distinguished from non-slum urban precincts. Nor has
attention been given to a more fine-grained classification of urban spaces that might go beyond a simple slum/non-
slum dichotomy. The purpose of this paper is to provide a conceptual framework to help tackle the related issues of
slum definition and classification of the urban landscape.

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CONTRIBUTORS

Executive Director, APHRC

Catherine Kyobutungi

Dr. Catherine Kyobutungi is the Executive Director of the African…

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