Planning for Informality (P4I) is a tool that shows the summary of progress made by the eight largest municipalities across five areas: the informal settlement upgrading strategy, forward planning and land, progress towards medium-term expenditure framework targets, participation and empowerment, backyarder support plan. This tool is updated yearly to reflect overall progress made.
Finding information on how cities are responding to informal settlements and backyarders is difficult, and requires insight into reporting systems of municipalities. Before the P4I tool, there was nowhere that combines and summarises the developments and changes made across the eight largest municipalities in the country.
The P4I tool gathers information from the core documents of eight cities (Buffalo City, Cape Town, Ekurhuleni, eThekwini, Johannesburg, Mangaung, Nelson Mandela Bay, Tshwane). Forty indicators were identified and grouped together into five categories.
The results are shared on the Planning for Informality website. This is an open data initiative and as such, the website has been customised to allow the public, officials and others to contribute more information and stories (backed by evidence) about what their cities (or other role players in the cities) are doing with regard to addressing informality.
By having a better understanding of the policies, programmes and projects promoted by cities, better decisions and analysis can be made by government officials, community leaders, NGO programme managers, journalists and concerned citizens. Being able to view the developments over the years allows for trend analysis and also gives greater insight into what progress is being made.
Together with our partners we have built a system that is simple and quick to update on a yearly basis and we will continue to play a developmental support role to the Isandla Institute on the Planning for Informality project.