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Advancing a co-production approach to upgrading informal settlements in South Africa

A guide for municipalities

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Palmira de Almeida, Jens Horber, Martha Hungwe, Tracy Jooste, Rebecca Matsie, Mirjam van Donk, Walter Fieuw

26 June 2019

Isandla Institute


Isandla Institute Librarian

Guide/ Handbook

Isandla Institute

South Africa

This Advancing a co-production approach to upgrading informal settlements in South Africa document addresses the critical need for a comprehensive and community-focused approach to upgrading informal settlements in South Africa. It reflects on the historical context, highlighting the shift in emphasis from housing delivery to informal settlement upgrading. The challenges arising from rapid urbanisation, population growth, and a rigid housing market have necessitated a reevaluation of strategies. The central theme underscores the pivotal role of communities in the upgrading process. While policy frameworks provide guidelines, the document emphasises the importance of participatory approaches and local insights. Drawing from extensive research on co-production, it offers practical insights into effective collaboration with local communities under varying conditions.

Municipalities, as primary agents for informal settlement upgrading, face the task of building capacity and forging partnerships to align with national and provincial policies. This Municipal Guide serves as a valuable resource, offering practical guidance to empower municipalities in their mission to transform informal settlements into vibrant, livable neighbourhoods.


Abstract based directly on source.


Website References

Adequacy of shelter

Built environment

Capacity building




Government programmes


Human settlements

Informal settlements



Local community

Local government




Policy commentaries


Poverty & inequality


Service delivery

South Africa

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