UN-HABITAT recognizes that good urban governance is characterized by the interdependent principles of sustainability, equity, efficiency, transparency and accountability, security, civic engagement and citizenship. The agency's Global Campaign on Urban Governance aims to increase the capacity of local governments and other stakeholders to practice good urban governance, promote transparency, and fight crime and corruption. It also raises awareness and advocates good urban governance around the world and focuses attention on the needs of the excluded urban poor. It also promotes the involvement of women in decision-making at all levels, recognizing that women are crucial for positive change in society.
UN-HABITAT also develops indicators of good urban governance to help cities identify urban governance priorities and assess their progress towards the quality of city-life. Cities will be given tools to help them assess the state of urban governance in their city and then set targets for measuring performance. The agency aims to develop a global Good Urban Governance Index drawing on available urban indicators to assess the state of urban governance in the world. The results of the index are published in the UN-HABITAT State of the World's Cities report and the Global Report on Human Settlements.