Type of project: Informal settlment upgrade
Location: Alfred Duma (formally Emnambithi) Local Municipality
Dates: November 2016 - February 2017
Client: National Department of Human Settlements, Urban Dynamics
Collaborators: -
Keywords: Participatory planning and design, Sustainable livelihoods
Status: Completed
Project Summary

The NUSP (http://www.upgradingsupport.org/) is a programme from the South African National Department of Human Settlements which has been designed to create capacity for the implementation of informal settlement upgrading. U4E was appointed by Urban Dynamics to undertake the community participatory processes for the second phase of the programme for Alfred Duma Local Municipality (ADLM). Our work started in November 2016 and it included the design of a Sustainable Livelihoods Programme for the 6 targeted settlements and a Community Capacity Building Programme for ADLM as a whole.
Sustainable Livelihoods Programme 

The Sustainable Livelihoods Programme (SLP) is based on the Sustainable Livelihood Framework, a framework that was originally established by the United Kingdom (UK) Department for International Development (DFID) to better understand the concept of ‘livelihoods’ and how to achieve this sustainability for those considered to be poor. The Sustainable Livelihoods Framework is illustrated bellow this lines.

The aim of the programme is to ensure that upgrading of informal settlements occurs in a way that is ‘people-centred, responsive and sustainable’. Therefore upgrading interventions that are selected for each settlement must take into account a range of factors that determine its overall sustainability. These factors are known as ‘livelihoods assets’. The aim of the framework is to assist project implementers understand what key elements (livelihood assets) are required to assist residents of informal settlements to move beyond the survivor struggle and out of the poverty trap. 
Source Department for International Development (DFID)
The settlements studied in ADLM had some particularities quite unique from the local context. In five of the six settlements the vast majority of the structures were built with concrete blocks or mud bricks, being the last one the most common across all the settlements (see images below). Due to the proximity to the Klipriver, most settlements experienced flooding. This had consequences in other aspects of the residents lives such as mud structures suffering structural damages (often collapse), loss of crops, mobility issues that would prevent residents to attend school or work, etc. Basic infrastructure in the settlements was also quite particular: While five of the six settlements were electrified and all of them had some access to water (often very limited), sanitation facilities were only installed in one of the six settlements.
The participatory process was conducted over three weeks after U4E (as a sub-consultant for Urban Dynamics) met with the ward councillors for each settlement. A total of three engagements took place with each community: 

     1. A meeting with the community representatives
     2. A focus group with residents and other relevant stakeholders
     3. A participatory workshop with residents and other relevant stakeholders

The meeting with representatives was an informative meeting. The settlement representatives were informed of the NUSP Phase II and, particularly, about the SLP. The meeting was also a platform to unpack how life in the settlement was. These meetings provided a picture of what was working well and needed to be supported and what was not working and should be addressed as well as what were the relevant stakeholders involved in each of the xxxxxx. These meetings started to provide a picture about the settlement dynamics and current status quo as well as a list of 'themes' for each settlement that the SLP should focus on and relevant people for each of them. These were the starting point of the focus groups. 

Those residents and other stakeholders identified as key people to address the 'themes' identified in the representative meetings attended the focus groups. In these gatherings residents zoomed into each of the themes identifying weaknesses and strengths and, on a later stage, initial ideas to improve the current situation. These ideas where taken to the participatory workshops, where attendees worked on project proposals with the support of U4E facilitators (Thandeka Msebenzi and Langelihle Kunene).

The information from the participatory workshops was compiled in a report which included an analysis of the current status quo and a set of proposals to improve the current situation. The sustainable livelihoods assets status quo report unpacked all the aspects for each of the five livelihood capitals (human, social, natural, financial and physical) and these were in turn split in two: Those things that residents identified as 'working well' and those identified as 'not working well' and 'threats'. As it can be seen below, these are often interrelated and one single aspect can appear in several assets (e.g.: livestock is both natural and financial capital, mud brick houses are a natural and physical asset and they can be both working well - as they accomplish the fundamental function of providing good living spaces - and not working well - as they may collapse when the settlement is flooded, ward committee members living in the settlement are a good start for an organised leadership but that is often problematic in itself and sometimes insufficient, etc). Projects were unpacked during the participatory process to identify relevant stakeholders. The project proposals were compiled in a standard form and settlement specifications were provided in a detailed table for the implementation of the projects in each settlement.
Sample of sustainable livelihoods assets status quo analysis for NUSP Phase II for ADLM (the name of the settlement has been hidden due to work privacy constraints)
Samples of SLP project proposals for NUSP Phase II for ADLM (settlement names have been hidden due to work privacy constraints)
Community Capacity Building Programme

Contrary to what the name seems to suggest, the Community Capacity Building Programme (CCBP) is not a direct capacitation of communities but a programme that sets out a strategy for the municipalities to strengthen the voice of informal settlement communities and improve communication with the municipality. The CCBP for ADLM was drawn from the work conducted during the first and second phase of the NUSP in that municipality focusing on strengthening and empowering existing structures rather than substituting them for new ones.

The CCBP identified different projects that could be group in two main areas of intervention: institutional and at informal settlement level. Projects focused on strengthening or creating leadership structures at a settlement level, improving communications between city departments and informal settlement communities, improving the operational capacity of the municipality in informal settlements by delegating tasks to residents, improving cross-departamental communications and establishing platforms for NGOs and other external organisations involved in informal settlement upgrading and livelihoods programmes to support the process.
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