Platform for Urban Centres (PCU)

The Platform for Urban Centres (Plataforma dos Centros Urbanos – PCU) is a UNICEF initiative dedicated to promoting and protecting the rights of children most affected by intra-urban inequalities in major cities in Brazil.

The initiative was first launched in 2008 in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Since then it has completed two four-year cycles and has grown to include eight more capital cities. The current cycle of the initiative (2017-2020) is being implemented in 10 cities: Belem, Fortaleza, Maceió, Manaus, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, São Luís, São Paulo and Vitória. The population of these cities varies from 300,000 in Vitória to 12 million in São Paulo.

The four objectives – or agendas – of the current cycle include: 1) reducing adolescent homicide; 2) preventing school exclusion; 3) promoting early childhood development; and 4) adolescent sexual and reproductive rights. To meet these objectives, the main strategies include collecting disaggregated data, focussing on public policies for the most vulnerable children, promoting adolescent and community engagement and networking. Strategic partnerships to strengthen inter-sectoral planning and services is an important part of the initiative.

The current PCU cycle includes four steps:

  • Cooperation: the local government signs its commitment and designates an inter-sectoral group to manage the PCU in partnership with UNICEF.
  • Data Collection: baseline indicators are selected and analysed to identify vulnerable territories.
  • Collective Impact: Inter-Sectoral Thematic Dialogues (ITDs) are organized and a Collective Impact Plan is developedThe Impact Plan is implemented by each partner in the initiative. A Policy Brief is prepared summarizing the evidence, strategies, policy options, and case studies discussed during the ITDs.
  • Final evaluation: An evaluation measuring the reduction of intra-urban inequalities in the cities involved in the initiative is prepared.

After the conclusion of each cycle, an external evaluation of the PCU methodology takes place in order to improve efficacy during the next cycle. The evaluation appraises the results attained in each of the four agendas in each city participating in the PCU. The results are appraised against three criteria.

In order for a city to be seen as having improved it must show:

  • Improvement of the main city-wide indicators for each agenda in at least half of the territorial units in the city that fall below the median. These units are considered priorities for PCU implementation.
  • Improvement of the main city-wide indicators for each agenda that reach or surpass the reference value for the assessment year. The reference value indicates the progress the municipality needs to make to be on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal associated with the related indicator by 2030.
  • City-wide improvement in two additional variables selected for each agenda.

The evaluation also looks at two additional variables for each agenda and gauges whether these show city-wide improvement. Click here to see the indicators and additional variables.

© UNICEF/BRZ/Danielle Pereira

Population: 207,653,000
Pop. under 18: 56,235,000


• Belem 
• Fortaleza  
• Maceio 
• Manaus 
• Recife 
• Rio de Janeiro 
• Salvador 
• São Paulo 
• São Luís 
• Vitória

Population up to 19 years of age: 9,100,000



Luciana Phebo
Chief of Urban Centres Territory/Rio de Janeiro Field Office
Av. Rio Branco, 135/6º andar
Rio de Janeiro-RJ
Tel: + (55 21) 3147-5700