Older people are often marginalized from the benefits of urban life in terms of improved access to services, with many living informally or homeless. In 2019, HelpAge International conducted research with 1,310 older urban residents and sought to better understand their experiences in Nairobi and Delhi, through the production of detailed and geotagged peer-to-peer collected data on issues like location, mobility, and inequality.
This project addressed the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): SDG 10 - Reduced inequalities, SDG 11 - Sustainable cities & communities, SDG 1 - No poverty. Over 2,300 journeys made by older people were analyzed, and over 300,000 data points were collected in total. Data analysis included disaggregation by a number of intersecting identities and characteristics, including age, gender, and disability. Findings from the research were presented in 9 issue papers covering topics from sanitation and green spaces to public transportation.
Groups of older people were trained in using the project data to develop key advocacy messages and requests. These elderly activists then met with a number of local authorities, political representatives and other stakeholders to discuss their key issues.
As a result of the meetings between groups of older person activists and stakeholders, actions were carried out including drainage unblocking to clear flooded streets and renovation works at local parks in Delhi. In Nairobi, older people participated in UN-Habitat and SDG events and processes around urban issues which will have long term outcomes as global level policies better consider the experiences of older people.
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