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“To prevent informal settlements and to

secure rights and services for informal settlers

are the greatest challenges of the Housing
Sector for the next 10 years!’

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List Of Contents
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INFORMAL HOUSING AND SETTLEMENTS IN AFRICA – AN OVERVIEW ........................................2
General Description .................................................................................................................4
Comprehensive Inventory.........................................................................................................5
Clarification, Classification and Prioritization.......................................................................6
Initiation of Community Participation/Collaboration ............................................................7
Election of a Development Committee ....................................................................................8
Empowerment ...........................................................................................................................8
Poverty Reflection, Surveying and Mapping of the Area........................................................9
Improvements Prioritization and Proposed Form of Registered Land Rights/Degree of
Land Tenure Security ............................................................................................................ 10
Implementation of Projects and Registered Land Rights .................................................... 11
Inventory of users of the different parcels ............................................................................ 11
Acquisition of the land........................................................................................................... 12
Preparation of legal document for security of tenure.......................................................... 12
Registration of legal owner in the Land Registration System ............................................. 12
Communication with the land owner.................................................................................... 12
UPGRADING ................................................................................................................................. 12
Introduction............................................................................................................................ 12
GIS.......................................................................................................................................... 12
Key Issues Underpinning the Methodology.......................................................................... 13
The Use of Generic Data....................................................................................................... 13
Supporting the Local Authority – Shared Decision-Making ............................................... 16
Physical Risk.......................................................................................................................... 17
REFERENCES.............................................................................................................................. 17

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The National Land Use and Development Master Plan is referred to as the Plan in the text. STUDA is an abbreviation for the Plan being
used in some cases. IDDP stands for Integrated District Development Plan – the proposed modern concept for District planning
coordinated with the Plan..

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purchase it. Access to land, therefore, is restricted mainly to middle

Proposed Methodology for Informal Definition?
Settlement Upgrading Informal settlement can be defined as residential areas which have developed
without legal claims to the land and/or permission from the concerned
More elaborations of these guidelines will be made during fall 2010.onwards.
authorities to build; as a result of their illegal or semi-legal status, infrastructure
It is proposed that a a working group with members from responsible
and services are usually inadequate.
authorities (MININFRA; NLC, etc.) jointly will be working with the task.

Informal Housing and Settlements in Africa – an Informal settlements are dense settlements comprising communities housed in
self constructed shelters under conditions of informal or traditional land tenure.
Overview As such they are characterized by a dense proliferation of small, make-shift
Between 50 and 70 percent of land for housing in African cities is supplied informally. shelters built from diverse materials, degradation of the local ecosystem and
For Kigali city the figure is assessed to be even higher. The social institutions that by severe social problems.
regulate transactions in land and relations between the actors involved are a mix of
formal, customary and informal rules. Attempts to improve urban land administration Informal settlements occur when the current land administration and planning
often fail, partly because the social rules governing how people act in land markets are fails to address the needs of the whole community. These areas are
poorly understood. characterized by rapid, unstructutured and unplanned development.

In large and medium cities the following characteristics can be identified: and upper income households;

Formal public or private land delivery systems provide only a limited Most women members of indigenous groups only obtain access to
supply of plots which are rarely accessible to poor people; land through men, but women with means can buy informally
subdivided land;
Informal land delivery systems are partly a continuation of earlier
‘customary’ land administration practices and partly a response to the Informal land delivery systems do and should play a significant and
failures of the formal tenure and administration systems; effective role in urban residential land delivery but their
shortcomings should also be identified and addressed;
Informal systems are the main channels of supplying housing land. In
the past they enabled all but the poorest people to access land for self- To encourage investment in both owner-occupied and rental
managed house construction; housing, the tenure security available to those who access land
through informal delivery channels should be enhanced;
Today, non-commercial channels for obtaining land are restricted and
the vast majority of those who obtain land through informal channels

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Governments should provide at least short-term security to residents in alleviated rather than solved, both social and spatial information are critical in
informal settlements and, in the vast majority of cases, cease to evict assessing a situation and initiating appropriate strategies for improvement.
settlers and demolish houses;
The legal integrity of a system of enforceable agreements requires that official land
Security and formal land administration can be enhanced by public tenure records be held to be legitimate by all parties concerned. Otherwise, the
sector agencies accepting innovations in procedures and record, and indeed the system, has little value as a land administration resource.
documentation that have emerged in informal systems; One way of cultivating such legitimacy is to make the processes of data acquisition
and information management participatory and transparent. To further enhance the
The poor layouts and services that often characterize informal legitimacy of the information, it is also important that community members are able
settlements can be addressed by acknowledging the existence of such to understand it.
areas, permitting work with subdividers to improve layouts and enable
the early provision of basic services;

Registering occupiers enables governments to generate tax revenues

and charge users for services;
Figure 1: Conceptual Idea
Formal land administration should be decentralized, in particular to
provide for local registration of land rights and transactions.

To deter informal subdivision revised compensation provisions are needed, requiring

government to pay adequate compensation when it expropriates land from private or
customary rights holders.

Informal settlements are complex, dynamic social systems that, in many cases,
experience continual change. In occupying land informally, residents are often
prepared to flout the law in the hope of improving their lives. Accordingly, there are a
few general characteristics that an external agent should be aware of prior to
intervening in a particular settlement. In general, in an informal settlement, the internal
social and political dynamics tend to be characterized by both solidarity and schism.
While solidarity may prevail in dealings with the external agents, schisms occur within
community groupings in the implementation of deals made with the authorities and in
the day-to-day operation of a settlement. The quality of leadership and the power
wielded by community leaders is an important factor in upgrading projects. In many
cases, it is naïve to think that a project can be set up that will “solve the problem” on
time and within a defined budget. While recognizing that such situations can at best be

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In upgrading projects, the question of registration of land rights ought to be tackled

first before water, road or any other infrastructure is being upgraded. The
improvements will increase the value of the area as a whole and of each specific
property in the area. With increased estate values there is a great risk that disputes
Tentative Methodology for Informal Settlement concerning ownership of buildings and boundaries will arise. If the inhabitants of the
Upgrading settlement get security of tenure, it is more likely that they will participate fully in the
General Description upgrading, as they feel safe that they can stay on their plots. The sense of security
Models for the development of registered land rights in urban areas will differ will also increase the desire to improve their own buildings and the environment.
according to the actual situation in the area. In principle the following alternative
situations can be identified: Properly registered tenure in a settlement makes it possible to charge rates from
the owners, which can be used to cover the cost of maintenance of the water
system and other investments in infrastructure. Without such registration it is
Iimprovement of the registered land rights in areas where formal rights
difficult to control the growth of the settlement. Improvements will attract more
to land already exist;
people to settle which might make problems worse if the informal tenure is not
Introduction of a registered land rights for new development areas;
Supporting Civil Society – Community-based Decision-making
3. Introduction of a registered land rights in areas with informal rights to
land ;
The active and ongoing involvement of civil society is crucial to the long-term
sustainability of an upgrading programme. The community, though its committee
3.1. Informal rights recognized by legislation;
structures, is a full partner in this component of the decision-making process.
However, it would be naïve to think that local authorities (both politicians and
3.2. Informal rights based on traditional tenure;
officials) accept this situation easily, in spite of the rhetoric. Hence it is crucial to
3.3. Informal rights are illegal. have strong NGO support in this area. Community Organizations need full access
to all information and the technical support needed to understand the implications
The differences between the areas mainly concern the legal situation regarding land of different decisions. GIS plays a valuable positive role in this respect. There is no
tenure. These differences will not be further analyzed here. Instead a model is doubt that the visual medium aids the process of assimilating and processing data
proposed, which focuses on the more technical parts of cadastral activities. Before (and information) to a great deal.
application of the model, the legal situation regarding land tenure must be clarified and
the model adapted to the legal situation. Another area of involvement is social sustainability and economic empowerment of
the community, wherein the local area physical development comprises a
Upgrading of an informal area will include an element of resettlement of individual supporting element. The experience is that the community has to take responsibility
families living in the area. If resettlement is necessary, new areas for housing need to for its own social and economic development. It can (and should) work with the
be identified and people need to be motivated to move. These processes, which form local authority but, as mentioned earlier, the local authority is so delivery driven that
part of many upgrading projects, are not further analyzed here. it struggles to understand that delivery of physical assets alone is not sustainable
unless it is underpinned by sustainable livelihoods.

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An attempt is made below to show a step-by-step cross-sector methodology with self-

help overtones for the introduction of a registered land rights in areas with informal

Figure 2: Conceptual Idea 2

Comprehensive Inventory
It would be an advantage if a comprehensive inventory should be performed. It is
obvious that such compilation is not found today, neither in Jakarta and
surroundings, nor in the other major cities in Java. The end result should be a
presentation of existing urban areas (kelurahans) within the cities with a high
proportion of informal settlements with a low degree of tenure security. To be able
to make priorities, a special matrix for notational topology of urban categories,
degree of security and associated property rights (or other relevant systematic
classification) should be conducted the municipal planning offices and the units for
Figure 1: Result in GIS Settlement(People, Housing and Human Rights?). Further, other stakeholders such
as NGOs involved in community development should be invited to provide
information. At this initial stage it will be a desktop exercise using secondary source
information and without involving the dwellers in the areas.

At the same time it is recommended to map ‘vacant’ land which tentatively might
suitable (and available) for new residential areas for low-income groups.

The inventory should be comprehensive and the collected information relating to

the land should be complete and uniform. There should also be a system for
keeping the inventory up to date and a custodian of the data should be recognized.
It is recommended that Geographic Information Technology (GIT)/Geographic
Information Systems (GIS) is used for capturing, storing and processing of the
geographically related information. The technology/system can systematize data
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collection, improve quality and security of the data, opens up possibilities of integration What is the attitude/policies of the respective district regarding informal settlements
and cross-referencing information with other data sources and, most of all, improve especially dwellers those who reside in area not required for a strategic public
and facilitate access to and processing of information for different purposes. purpose?

Simultaneously undertake a regulatory audit of planning and building regulations, The district with its delegated responsibilities for service provision will be a most
standards and administrative procedures to identify options for reducing costs and time important ‘formal’ stakeholder in the process. Without a positive and open attitude
required for developing legal shelter options. Options may include reducing the among the municipal officials to find ‘on-the-spot-solutions’ for the transformation of
proportion of land allocated to roads and public open space, relaxing restrictions on informal settlements, it is not feasible to initiate projects.
plot use and development and simplifying administrative procedures. Such audits
should be undertaken and changes implemented on a regular rather than a once and What is the attitude/policies of the landowner to ‘illegal’ occupants of ‘vacant’ land
for all basis. not required for strategic public or private purpose?

Clarification, Classification and Prioritization For example, sometimes planning standards and land allocation for government
institutions are very generous, leaving land vacant for a long time after the
institution has been established. Sooner or later the vacant land might be occupied
by settlers and besides from zoning no other criteria is found not to formalize the

Are there actions planned/in the pipeline/ongoing/implemented by local


As a stand-alone action is not to recommend, transformation measures should

preferably be undertaken as one component in an integrated project. Corporative
efforts are therefore to be recommended.

When the inventory, which will includes a number of gatherings with stakeholders
to find out policies and attitudes as well as capture as much information as
The next step will be to classify and prioritize under which the following indicators possible, has been completed, the land and the settlements should be classified in
especially should be analyzed: the following tentative categories in the GIS:
Are there any natural environmental hazards (floods, landslides, etc.) that discourage
from transforming the informal settlements? Settlements situated in a district with a positive attitude to
transformation of informal settlements;
Are there man-made environmental hazards that persuade against the
transformation? Settlements with implemented/ongoing/in the
pipeline(budgeted)/planned improvement activities;

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Settlements where land tenure can be formalized based on That for practical reasons, a development committee should be
environmental considerations; elected by the dwellers with the mandate to represent the dwellers
in the process;
Settlements not suitable for transfer to formal tenure due to
environmental considerations; That the settlers’ own priorities will be the platform for improvement
Land suitable for new settlements.
That the ‘formal’ stakeholders (such as staff from the district and the
In the following, a tentative process for transformation of informal tenure into
NLC) will be passive/sleeping partners in the process and will only
formalized tenure in an integrated manner (Categories 1, 2 and 3 combined) is
intervene when being called upon;
described.. Category 3 has little implication for NLC mandatory tasks; rather other
actors have to take the lead in finding better living conditions for these dwellers.
That the outcome will be a grant to finance proposed and agreed
Category 4 is more of a ‘traditional’ spatial planning task and the municipal planning
improvement activities in the area as well as a higher degree of
office will be the main actor here, however with the assistance from NLC as regard to
secured tenure/registered land rights based on the specific
subdivision and titling.
condition in the area will be guaranteed;
Initiation of Community Participation/Collaboration That no other reimbursements will be given to the elected
The next step will be to find out if there is an interest/willingness/commitment among representatives, volunteers and other dwellers that will engage
the dwellers to be custodian of an integrated improvement program based on self- themselves in the process;
help. An experienced community developer can be engaged from a trusted NGO who
invites the dwellers to a kick-off meeting held at a convenient venue in the area, e. g. a To be meaningful, a slum-upgrading programme has to ensure that
mosque, school or in a common out-door area. To gain confidence among the land tenure is secured for the majority of residents; this will have to
dwellers it is also recommended that a few representatives from an area that already be done through a consultative process that engages structure
have undergone an upgrading with a bottom up approach. They are in a position to owners, tenants and ‘illegal’ settlers.
verify their impressions from such a process and describe the positive effect of the
involvement by individual dwellers. It seems that the area to focus on in the beginning For low income urban services to be more effective, it is necessary to streamline
with would be at the kelurahan level with a population of starting from 6000 people, and remove bottlenecks in the administrative practices in municipal and other urban
however can be reduced or divided in a later stage. administrative units. This requires efficient urban governance, which is able to react
rapidly and flexibly to growing settlement problems.
The following issues seem to be important to highlight during the initial information
session: Community collaboration is a prerequisite for the establishment of a registered land
rights in an informal settlement and for many other purposes. No transformation
project should take place without the genuine participation of the community. In the
That it will be a process based on self help where the dwellers take initial stage of the project enough time must be allowed for meetings to raise
ownership of the activities from the start; awareness and to organize community representation.

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In order to show good will it could be feasible to announce a stop to forced evictions Empowerment
and relocations if these are presently part of government policy in the area. Such
approaches waste scarce public resources and increase poverty due to increased
costs and times of travel to places of employment. A simple statement by the relevant
Minister/high official is often sufficient to reduce uncertainty and stabilize situations.

Election of a Development Committee

The next step is the consolidation of a representative body that has the have
confidence (faith) of the settlers. A model has been developed starting with nomination
of candidates from each cell followed by a closed ballot ending up in a Development
Committee with about 15 members for the settlement area. As the transformation
issues will be one component of an integrated improvement program it is
recommended to follow that protocol. Furthermore it is recommended that the Project
finds means to promote a gender-balanced composition of the Committee if possible.

In order to get a full understanding of the objectives of the project and the need for a Besides from the Development Committee, so called ‘volunteers’ will report for duty
committee among the dwellers, it might take quite a long time before the dwellers to undertake certain activities to support the process to define what improvements
finally have cast their votes and a committee is in place. It might be needed with more are valid to undertake and finance by the grant. A training program is therefore
meetings than one to boost the process and again the advocacy should be done by imparted on those who will be selected by the committee, empower the with skills in
the community developer. However, by practical reason, a time limit (half year?) must facile techniques for holding meeting with results at the end, fact finding,
be defined and agreed on with the dwellers. If the people have not responded in the documentation, etc. Here, NLC at local level will play an important role to teach
given time the advocacy and motivation efforts have failed it is most likely that a project simple field survey techniques (such as how to use steel tapes) and supply paper
will not be a sustained effort and should be terminated. copies of with available maps, aerial photos, etc. It will be a new responsibility for
NLC and much effort must be paid to train the staff to interact with the dwellers with
A well functioning committee will facilitate the implementation of the project and is a a ‘partnership’ attitude.
prerequisite that real ownership of the project can be achieved. The committee is an
important link between the ‘informal’ stakeholders - the inhabitants of the settlement- Figure 3: Conceptual Idea 3
and the ‘formal’ stakeholders – the local authorities- and will also take over certain
functions from the local authorities.

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Figure 4: GIS Version Poverty Reflection, Surveying and Mapping of the Area
Once the Committee members have been appointed and resource persons have
been empowered with skills, it is time to analyze the needs of the area. This should
be done in a number of open workshops where the dwellers under the assistance
by the Committee have the opportunity to express views in what way there is
‘poverty’ in the area, a Poverty Reflection: is there poor access to drinking water;
are there poor health facilities; is there accessibility to and in the area poor; etc?
The underlying notational concept here is to prepare a problem tree, to get a
common understanding of the shortfalls and to try to come up with solutions and
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answers to the problem. To facilitate the work, a checklist is prepared to start from and
the result is presented on a map.

Simultaneously with the analysis there will be need for field surveying in the area to
record or plot information. The surveying of the settlement for the transformation
component can be an integrated procedure with other fact-finding activities of physical
objects and a trained volunteer can carry out the interpretation on the ground..
Boundaries between adjacent plots should be identified and agreed upon by the
neighbors and recorded by the resource persons on the detailed spatial information
provided by NLC such as detailed maps or aerial photos. The plan should hopefully
accommodate homesteads all the inhabitants in the area and also provide for streets,
open spaces as well as schools, etc. Existing structures of a permanent nature on the
site must be taken into consideration and respected as much as possible.

The result of such a ‘line mapping’ exercise will be a tentative outline of the existing
parcels in the area, which will be presented to and discussed by the Committee. The
boundaries where disputes between the neighbors occur should be discussed and if
possible, the Committee should urge the contending parties to reach to an agreement.
Once the Committee feel confident with the result showing all parcels in the area on
one or several maps, it should request NLC to make a (digital) compilation by a
professional cartographer. And if there are uncertainties, NLC can assist to plot
locations using the Global Positioning System (GPS). This method requires Improvements Prioritization and Proposed Form of Registered Land
sophisticated equipment and software for calculations and needs to be supervised by Rights/Degree of Land Tenure Security
a professional surveyor. Once the inventory has been completed and properly mapped it is time to discuss
what priorities should be made in order to reduce the poverty situation in the area.
Again a meeting/workshop forum is needed to come up with a list. A form is used
for documentation and cost estimates are made. It is likely that assistance from
professionals from the local government is needed to present the costs but it might
also be possible that people in the area have competence for such calculation. It
should be observed that in accordance with the self-help tradition, it is only the cost
for materials and hardware, which is defined as it, is expected that the labor part will
be carried out by the settlers.

Regarding the land right component it is expected that NLC on the basis of the
parcel sketch map and the socio-economic profile about the area in general will
propose what form of registered land rights is applicable, its positive (and negative)
characteristics and what the next steps would be if the form were agreed on. Extra-
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legal settlements not subjected to environmental hazards might be entitled to forms of

secure/intermediate tenure with increased rights, but not full titles. Where possible, the
precise form of such tenure and rights should be based on tenure systems already
known to local communities. This will allow such areas to receive services and
environmental improvements through a participatory process of physical and socio-
economic development. It will also increase security without stimulating rapid
increases in land prices which could attract downward raiding by higher income groups
and the displacement or very poor tenants. Finally, it provides urban development
agencies, communities and the private sector with time to develop a range of viable
and acceptable alternatives.

Implementation of Projects and Registered Land Rights

Once priorities have been made, preparations for the listed objects will be undertaken,
scheduled, (tendered for if applicable) and carried out. However, as pointed out
previously, prior to major improvements are carried out, it is recommended to finalize
the transformation component. The following shows examples of steps that might be
Inventory of users of the different parcels
needed if you go all the way to a registration of the legal owner in the Land
Registration System.

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Information for identification of the users needs to be collected via an inventory on the Data Collection Techniques and the Use of GIS in
ground. This can be exercised by community volunteers if they properly training. A
form should be established and filled in for each plot, together with supporting Informal Settlement Upgrading
documents. The information for identification of the plots is compiled from the survey to Introduction
a cadastral map for each plot and/or on a cadastral index map. Each parcel is given a Informal settlements pose a major challenge for managers and planners of
unique identification code, a property number on the map. Information about area, developing world cities. Failure to intervene in a manner that improves residents’
boundaries, co-ordinates, and map and survey data should be registered for each plot. quality of life may lead to social and political unrest. Due to continually changing
internal social and political environments in these settlements and to frequent
Acquisition of the land changes in the arrangements of shacks, spatial and social data need to be
Acquisition of the land can be needed in different ways depending on whether it is collected more frequently than for conventional development tasks. What are
private or public land and on the legal framework of the country. It can be done needed are simple, low-cost techniques that preferably involve community
through negotiations with the owner and the land purchased or, if necessary, members in collecting the data.
expropriation. Public land needs to be assigned for the purpose through an
administrative decision. Managing informal settlements involves, amongst other things, planning and
controlling where they are located and how and where they grow; improving the
Preparation of legal document for security of tenure social, economic, and basic health conditions in them; and ensuring that residents
A legal document is prepared in conformity with the existing legislation. The legal in these settlements and neighboring communities enjoy social justice. Addressing
document must contain the unique identification code of the plot as recorded in the all these objectives requires current, accurate, social, and spatial information, and
cadastral survey. The document must also have information that identifies the legal informal settlements hold certain unique challenges in this respect due to their
owner e.g. name, address, date of birth, parents and witness. A unique identifier of the complexity and frequently changing social conditions. Land tenure security is
owner such as social security number or national registration card number should important in many improvement strategies because it provides the much needed
preferably also be included in the document. stability for these strategies to succeed. Thus, much of the data collection and
information management effort should be directed toward security and equity in the
Registration of legal owner in the Land Registration System land tenure system.
The legal owners of plots can now be registered in the Land Registration System. All
essential information of the legal document should be registered in the system. This GIS
makes the information easily accessible, as a search in the system will give the
required information immediately; only exceptional cases should require a search in The ability to represent informal settlements spatially, through the medium of a GIS,
the written documents.. is being seen increasingly as an important, if not essential, component of the
upgrading process. The GIS itself provides the underpinning technology for
Communication with the land owner informal settlement upgrading, while geospatial information management provides
After registration, a document certifying the land use right and the content of the the framework for the upgrading methodology. Seen in this light, geospatial
Register is sent to the landowner. information management has the potential to transform the way in which informal
settlements are developed.

Informal settlement upgrading is, first and foremost, about the improvement in the
conditions of an identifiable community leading, in the long-term, to the
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development of a sustainable settlement. Spatial data management, operated in the category is termed consensus decision-making and, as the term implies, covers
context of a people-centred approach, is the key to achieving this. It must define, and those issues where more than one party has a stake in the outcome of the
then bring together, all the different elements of the upgrading process, and then decision, and where all parties should share the same opinion on the outcome. The
sought to relate these to each other within the framework of an integrated spatial data second category, which operates within what is termed the arena of inclusion,
management system. This is an ongoing process, and dependent for its long-term covers those decisions that really affect only the community, and hence where it is
success on the community being able to play a full and meaningful role. the community that constitutes the primary decision-making body.

The objective is to develop a model-based approach to informal settlement upgrading

through the use of a spatial data management system operated through a GIS system The second determinant is that of scale, and the underlying hypothesis is that the
that is both structured and replicable by working in partnership with the communities different types of decision-making will be appropriate at different scales Graph:
involved, and with the local authority.
The first, or ‘highest’, level deals with the integration of the settlement into the
A key objective of this upgrading methodology is to empower the community, both surrounding area, and seeks to address the critical issue of the integration of the
through the provision of detailed information on the community and then by the use of informal city into the formal city. The second level is that of the settlement as a
that information to support their negotiations with the local authority. the extent to whole. The third level is that of the small neighborhood within the settlement, and
which the community can take control of the data management process (as opposed derives from the recognition, deriving from this project, that informal settlements
to taking ownership of the data itself) might be limited, due to lack of knowledge and cannot be treated as homogeneous entities. Finally the fourth level is that of the
resources to take over the technology. individual family.

Key Issues Underpinning the Methodology This is a process whereby an attempt is made to create a long-term vision for the
settlement, whilst ensuring that the upgrading is not turned into a physical planning
The starting point for the discussion is the recognition that large scale, replicable exercise.
upgrading of informal settlements is only possible through the use of spatial
information technologies. At the same time, there is the need to recognize that the The Use of Generic Data
primary objective of upgrading has to be the social and economic development of the In constructing the spatial data management system around this relationship, the
community. Therefore, if GIS is to be used effectively, it has to support this process. It first point to recognize is that there are two, distinct, core datasets. The first of these
is not simply a technical tool to underpin physical development. In fact, were this to be relates to the dwelling, and essentially represents the physical and spatial data. The
its sole function, it would have failed. Rather, it should be seen as a tool that liberates second relates to the people living in the dwelling, and provides the social and
local authorities, communities and professionals from the constraints of paper-based economic data. Interestingly, the cadastre, or land boundary system, is not
space, and allows for the interaction between the spatial and physical elements on the considered to be an independent dataset, but rather to be simply one element of
one hand, and the social and economic opportunities on the other. the physical and spatial data.

In an upgrading project there are two major groups of actors, the local authority and
the community to be upgraded. There are then other actors who may have an interest
(surrounding communities, utility companies, professionals, NGOs). In looking at
decision-making in this broad context, there are two sets of determinants that guide
the choice. The first determinant is the nature of the decision-making process. The first
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As mentioned previously, the basic structuring elements for the spatial data
management system are the dwelling and the people living in the dwelling, with the
specific identifier for the latter group being the head of household. In database
terms, these two will be given a unique identifier, and all other data will be linked to
one or the other. These two database-structuring elements will then be linked,
where necessary, through the dwelling identifier. Within this contextual framework,
the primary data can then be grouped or structured in a number of different ways.
The system described here is based upon a detailed ‘data flow diagram’ which is
shown in the figure below:

Figure 1: Data flow diagram

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Supporting the Local Authority – Shared Decision-Making

In this system, the primary generic data is differentiated according to its nature, with
three major data types being defined as base data, physical-spatial data and socio- The ‘modus operandi’ of the upgrading project is one of partnership between the
economic data respectively. Of these, the first two will be linked to the dwelling and the local authority and the community. The approach has to be able to deal with this
last one to the head of household. The first data type (the base data) is constructed reality if it is to achieve success through a clearly defined differentiation of
around raster images (most often in the form of aerial photographs) of varying responsibilities, using the participation framework linked to scale particularly given
resolution, which provide a visual backdrop. These raster images provide the basis for that the stated primary goal of the project is social and economic development. The
the shack vectors map of the site, to which shack numbers can be added to provide idea is to bring the local authority into those aspects of the project where it can be
dwelling identification. The base data also covers the tenure, all eventual cadastral most effective. At the same time, the approach seeks to limit local government’s
boundaries as well as servitudes. This could include zoning boundaries or spatial involvement in those aspects of the project where it lacks an understanding of the
structuring elements already proposed for the area. underlying issues (or a capacity to deal with them), and where the community can
manage the process more effectively. The approach also recognizes a reality of
‘developing municipalities’, which is that informal areas are growing at a rate that is
The second data type (the physical-spatial data) relates the site itself. Thus it faster than local authority’s ability to deal with them. Under these circumstances, it
comprises all data relating to the site on which the dwellings are situated and cadastral becomes crucial to identify clearly the division of responsibility between local
data, as well as the spatial planning framework elements that impinge on that site. The government and civil society/community.
term ‘physical’ is used here to describe those attributes of the site that can be seen or,
if below the ground, given geo-spatial definition. Thus the term covers the topography The upgrading methodology is linked to an understanding of scale, as indicated
and the natural features above the ground, as well as any additional features such as earlier. At the macro scale, for the entire study area/community which is where the
water standpipes, latrine structure or telecommunication poles. Below ground it will physical and spatial issues tend to dominate, there are four key areas that have to
show the engineering services and, through the use of geotechnical surveys, the be addressed if informal settlements are to be set on a road towards long-term
nature of the underlying ground formation and the water table. sustainability. These are physical risk, physical/spatial integration with/into the
surrounding areas, movement and access and environmental health. In all of these
The third data type relates to the people living in the settlement. Here the generic data the LGU plays a major role, and the nature of the decision-making process is one
comprises essentially demographic data and a typical demographic data output would of consensus between the parties.
be the number of people per dwelling. The initial or minimum database structure
comprises a database that contains all the data relating to the head of household. Now
there is a great deal of additional data that can be gathered about communities. It can
be linked to separate databases covering dependents and tenants. Within the main
database additional fields can be provided for head of household gender, marital
status, employment, etc. The underlying objective on what the upgrading should result
in determine how elaborated the data should be to provide the flexibility to deal with for
example gender analysis and single parent families, both of which of crucial to the
long-term success of the upgrading project.

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Physical Risk
Physical risk derives from three sources. The first of these is the ground, the second Rwanda Vision 2020, Pillar number four, Infrastructure Development
water and the third fire.
MINICIFIN, 2007, Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy for
Risks deriving from ground conditions. There are macro scale risks, Rwanda (EDPRS)
such as earthquakes, but the majority of ground related risks are more
localized. These include the dangers associated with living on steep MININFRA, 2009, Updated National Human Settlement Policy
slopes, unstable ground (e.g. sinkholes) and marginal land (i.e. land
that is poorly suited to human habitation, such as contaminated land or MININFRA, 2008, National Housing Policy
low-bearing capacity soils, whether natural or infill material);
MININFRA, 2008, National Urban Housing Policy
Risks deriving from water. The risks here can arise from flooding
MININFRA, 2009, Rwanda Building Code and Regulations
(whether from river or sea), or low-lying land subject to a fluctuating
water table;
MINALOC, 2008, Integrated Development Program (Imidugudu)
Risks deriving from fire. The major risk here is associated with the use
National Land Policy, 2003
of poor quality, fire-prone building materials. The most effective way of
controlling fires is to prevent them starting. (This can be addressed
Social Security Fund of Rwanda (SSFR), 2009 , Business Plan
through education programs without necessarily requiring people to be
moved.). Rwanda General Population and Housing Census 2002
Physical risk can be quantified and mapped in a GIS.A major characteristic of all
informal settlements is the (physical and social) discontinuity that exists between the Rwanda Demographic and Health Survey 2005
settlement and the surrounding areas. This isolation of the informal settlement is often
social, as well as physical and spatial. The GIS system can be used to provide spatial NISR, 2008, Rwanda Dévelopment Indicators, 2006,
linkages to the surrounding areas and to integrate the settlement into the formal city. In
this way, the whole process of formalization, when communicated to those outside UN- HABITAT, 2009,
(supported by graphic output), plays a major role in creating a framework for
integration. Kigali City Conceptual Master Plan, 2009,

Kigali City Council , February 2007,

Rwanda Development Board, doing business statistics, 2008

Housing Bank of Rwanda, Annual Report, 2008

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