By Ava Rose Hoffman and Yolande Hendler (on behalf of CORC)
A variety of methodologies exist for gathering data on informal settlements. The SA SDI Alliance follows the practice of community administered enumerations and community-led settlement mapping using GIS technology. An enumeration refers to a detailed household level surveys that engages community members on socio-economic and demographic data. For the Alliance, the community-led process during enumerations is critical: when a mobilised community collects its own data, the data obtained reflects far higher degrees of accuracy than any census or survey run by ‘outsiders’ would.
In early 2016, the SA SDI Alliance partnered with the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements to conduct community-led enumerations of select informal settlements located along or near the N2 Highway. The settlements included in the ongoing enumeration project are: Kanana, Barcelona, Europe, Vukuzenzele, Lusaka, GxaGxa and Kosovo. The socio-economic information gathered through the enumeration includes demographic data, employment status, education, access to government grants, access to basic services and access to government, social and community infrastructure, among others. The mapping of GIS coordinates includes logging GPS coordinates for every household, for existing basic services, communal facilities, economic points of interest and transport routes.
The enumerations therefore provide an updated settlement profile that can form the basis for any future upgrading plans. The data collection exercise serves as a means of mobilising communities, equipping members with accurate information that can be used to advocate for development priorities. When enumerations are conducted in partnership with organised poor communities, governments gain accurate and more comprehensive data that can be used as a basis for future upgrading plans.
This photo story depicts the enumeration process, from shack numbering and service mapping to training sessions of community enumerators and household-level surveying.