Assessing community participation in the upgrade of informal settlements : a case study of the formalisation of the Democratic Resettlement Community, Swakopmund, Namibia

Ndalifilwa, Rosalia Mwafikange (2019-12)

Thesis (MPA)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : Community participation has become an important aspect in the practice of upgrading informal settlements. Since the commencement of democracy in Namibia, municipalities have increasingly been encouraged to promote and empower the people to participate in municipal affairs. This case study assessed community participation in a formalisation project by evaluating the approach taken by the Swakopmund Municipality (SM) during the formalisation of the Democratic Resettlement Community (DRC) informal settlement. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the effectiveness of the municipality’s approach to community engagement. This was achieved by evaluating the structures and open spaces adopted to allow the participation of project beneficiaries in the upgrading process. Furthermore, the study aimed to evaluate the level of participation by community members, which was achieved by examining the strategies/platforms used to participate during the upgrading of the DRC settlement, using the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) Spectrum model and Arnstein’s (1969) ladder typologies. Lastly, the study made recommendations to improve communication between Swakopmund Municipality and the DRC during the on-going upgrading of the informal settlement. A random sample of thirty participants of the DRC community (both ordinary community members and community leadership committee members) and a purposive sample of three municipal officials and four councillors took part in the study. Due to work obligations, the mayor and general manager of the community development services department were not available for interviews. A questionnaire was used to gather data from DRC participants and interviews were held with municipal officials and councillors. Research observations were made regarding participants’ behaviour under natural conditions (not experimental conditions). A corpus analysis of archived governance documentation was made and a literature study conducted to determine the theoretical grounding of the study and the level of compliance of the Swakopmund Municipality to legislation, regulations and best practice regarding community participation. This study relied on the arguments of the IAP2 (2007) public participation spectrum and Arnstein’s (1969) ladder of participation and its typologies concerning community participation, as conferred by Theron, Ceaser and Davids (2007:8), who argue that the two schools of thought can significantly influence the processes in the upgrading of an informal settlement. In the analysis of the level of participation by both ordinary community members and community leadership committee members, it was revealed that participation is still at a tokenism level and has not yet reached a level where participants are empowered by the process. In this case, participation is applied as a form of information sharing and, although done with the best intensions, it does not serve to empower the affected community. This study adopted a mixed methods approach using both quantitative and qualitative methods and an evaluative research design. The aim of the evaluative design was to measure the level of participation which is indicative of the municipality's perspective on community participation. It was discovered that the SM does not have a principal strategy in place towards achieving meaningful participation, which is the community participation policy. The structures to advance community participation are not properly used and also not enough efforts have been made to promote community participation. This is seen in the absence of ward committees and democratically elected community leaders. SM showed a tendency to use platforms for information-sharing and not one for meaningful community input. This study recommends that a detailed community engagement policy be drafted with the relevant stakeholders, while the existing platforms of participation and exiting strategies to promote community participation in the SM be reviewed.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Gemeenskapsdeelname het ’n belangrike aspek in die opgraderingspraktyk van informele nedersettings geword. Sedert die aanbreek van demokrasie in Namibië is munisipaliteite toenemend verplig om deelname van mense aan munisipale sake te bevorder. Hierdie gevallestudie het gemeenskapsdeelname in ’n formaliseringsprojek beoordeel deur die benadering van die Swakopmundse Munisipaliteit (SM) tydens die formalisering van die Democratic Resettlement Community (DRC) informele nedersetting te evalueer. Die doelwitte van hierdie navorsing was om die doeltreffendheid van die munisipaliteit se benadering tot gemeenskapsbetrokkenheid te evalueer. Dit is bereik deur die strukture en ruimtes wat gebruik is om die deelname van projekbegunstigdes in die opgraderingsproses te evalueer. Voorts het die studie probeer om die vlak van deelname van gemeenskapslede te evalueer. Daarin is geslaag deur die strategieë/platforms wat aangewend is met deelname aan die opgradering van die DRC-nedersetting te ondersoek deur gebruikmaking van die spektrummodel van die Internasionale Vereniging vir Openbare Deelname (IAP2) en die leerpatroon-tipologieë van Arnstein (1969). Laastens is met dié studie ook aanbevelings gedoen om kommunikasie tussen die SM en die DRC tydens die deurlopende opgradering van die informele nedersetting te verbeter. ’n Ewekansige steekproef bestaande uit 25 deelnemers en ’n doelgerigte steekproef van sewe deelnemers was deel van die studie. ’n Vraelys is gebruik met die oog op data-insameling van die deelnemers uit die geledere van die DRC-inwoners (gewone gemeenskaps- sowel as gemeenskapsleierskap-komiteelede) en onderhoude is met munisipale amptenare en raadslede gevoer. ’n Korpusontleding van argiefdokumentasie en ‘n literatuurstudie is aangewend om die teoretiese begronding van die navorsing te bepaal en om die SM se vlak van voldoening aan wetgewing, regulasies en beste praktyk betreffende gemeenskapsdeelname na te gaan. Hierdie studie onderskryf die argumente van die IAP2 (2007) spektrum van openbare deelname en die leerpatroon en tipologieë van Arnstein (1969) betreffende gemeenskapsdeelname, soos bespreek deur Theron, Ceaser en Davids (2007:8), naamlik dat die twee denkskole ’n belangrike rol kan speel in die opgradering van ’n informele nedersetting. Met die analise van die vlak van deelname deur gewone gemeenskaps- sowel as gemeenskapsleierskap-komiteelede is dit duidelik dat dié deelname nog op die vlak van tokenisme verkeer waar dit nog nie ’n bemagtigingsfase bereik het nie. In hierdie geval word deelname as ’n vorm van inligtingdeling toegepas en, hoewel dit met die beste bedoelings gedoen word, dien dit nie oor die geaffekteerde gemeenskap te bemagtiging nie. Hierdie studie het ’n kombinasie van kwantitatiewe en kwalitatiewe navorsingsmetodes, asook ’n evaluerende navorsingsontwerp, gevolg met die doel om ’n antwoord te vind op die vraag of die SM genoeg gedoen het om ’n sinvolle opgraderingsproses tydens die formalisering van die enigste informele nedersetting op Swakopmund in plek te plaas. Daar is bevind dat die SM nie ’n hoofstrategie, dit wil sê ’n gemeenskapsdeelnamebeleid, in plek het om betekenisvolle deelname te bewerkstellig nie. Die onvoldoende strukture wat bestaan word nie behoorlik aangewend nie en daar is ook nie genoegsaam pogings aangewend om gemeenskapsdeelname te bevorder nie. Dít verduidelik die afwesigheid van wykskomitees en demokraties verkose gemeenskapsleiers. Die SM is geneig om slegs van platforms gebruik te maak om inligting te deel en nie vir betekenisvolle gemeenskapsbydraes nie. Derhalwe beveel hierdie studie aan dat ’n omvattende gemeenskapsbetrokkenheidstrategie, in samewerking met alle belanghebbendes, opgestel word en dat die bestaande platforms vir deelname, asook dat die strategies om gemeenskapsdeelname binne die SM te bevorder, hersien word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/107145
This item appears in the following collections: