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Framed by principles and rights enshrined in the South African Constitution, DAG’s Vision 2020 firmly locates the organisation within a partnership-model of strategic engagement with citizens, citizen groups and public sector to “re-imagine” and transform human settlements and the urban context in South African cities. This seven year horizon, underpinned by the theme of Re-imagined Human Settlements, positions our emerging programme and project interventions as key building blocks towards engaging with and demonstrating how existing government policies and frameworks (such as the National Development Plan - Vision 2030, Future Cape 2040 and, numerous Cape Town City policies and frameworks) can be translated into tangible programmatic interventions that benefit the vast majority of South African citizens, especially the poorest of the poor and most vulnerable citizens.
Vision 2020 is driven by a transformative human settlements agenda and approach that is underpinned by principles of equity and driven by participatory urban governance platforms and processes aimed at mobilizing an active citizenship engaged in visioning and planning transformative urban demonstration projects, supported by a more responsive, effective and caring government - at all levels.
The ability to achieve re-imagined human settlements in South Africa, with robust citizen engagement and palpable participatory urban governance, requires a clear strategic focus and, relevant programmes. Vision 2020 aims to do this through three unfolding and inter-linked core programmes (strategic result areas), at varying stages of design and development: Participatory Urban Governance; Housing and Human Settlements; and, Capacity Building. These three core programmes use an integrated seven-step DAG methodology: partnerships; citizen mobilisation; capacity building; action and policy research; demonstration (housing) projects; and, opportunities for shared learning from practice. The emphasis is on active citizenship and more accountable local government.
Vision 2020 anticipates having a range of cross-cutting functional result areas to buttress and support DAG’s internal and external operational environment. The latter consists of the following operational and programme support result areas: finance and administration; resource mobilisation; communications, media and public relations; research and documentation; and a monitoring and evaluation framework and system.
The Participatory Urban Governance (PUG) Programme builds on outcomes and lessons learnt (2010 to 2012), a period during which DAG incrementally focused its (former) Democratic Urban Governance Programme on deepening two inter-linked concepts – “reimagining the city” and, moving “towards a new urban order” (see Board Quarterly Narrative and Annual Reports for details on the above period).
This Programme is designed around two strategic focal (sub-programme) areas: "Re-imagining Cape Town” and, developing effective Participatory Urban Forums in which citizens (especially those deemed poor and vulnerable) and public sector officials and politicians engage in robust debate on urban policies and programmes that impact on daily civic life and the built environment - national, provincial and metro). Demonstrating measurable results under these sub-programmes depends on DAG’s ability to create and sustain strategic partnerships with a wide range of role-players who share our vision of vibrant, equitable, inclusive and spatially integrated human settlements cities in South Africa.
The Re-imagining Cape Town Project
This sub-programme brings together key concepts, outputs and emerging outcomes of DAG’s former democratic urban governance programme, focusing them on projects and activities aimed at strategically and incrementally achieving “re-imagined” human settlements and a “new urban order” in Cape Town. The sub-programme currently consists of three activity and result areas, driven by strategic partnerships and a spatial focus that spans across the city, attempting to conceptually and spatially integrate selected areas on the South-East sector of the city into the heart and centre of a “reimagined” and citizen-centred Cape Town. The projects are underpinned by active citizen mobilisation, community-based participatory planning and creative spatial urban design.
Participatory Urban Forums
This focal area continues DAG’s interest in facilitating and influencing the design and implementation of participatory urban forums (national, provincial, metro and, area-based) aimed at enhancing citizen participation and public sector accountability with respect to urban development policies and practice and, delivery of affordable housing, especially for the urban poor. During 2013/14 DAG will track and engage with unfolding government urban (human settlement) forums (national and provincial) and strengthen an embryonic metro-wide “urban forum” emerging from the 25 CBOs DAG worked with through the CLP while, at the same time, working with other NGO partners and social networks to strengthen an over-arching social base for an envisaged city-wide “urban forum”.
The programme is comprised of two main sub-programmes: Community Driven Housing, currently operating in settlements across Khayelitsha and Philippi that focus on the unblocking of formerly blocked or stalled PHP housing projects and a Human Settlement focus in which DAG is beginning to explore a more integrated approach to the upgrading of formal and informal settlements across the city within a wider Re-imagining of Cape Town agenda, with a current focus on re-imagining Khayelitsha, Mitchells Plain and Nyanga-Philippi.
This is a growing cost-recovery and income-generating programme, currently co-financed by the Department of Human Settlements PHP housing subsidies, international donors and DAG’s own income earned. The programme builds on DAG’s long and well-established track record in facilitating the delivery of affordable housing to poor and marginalised communities. Strategic areas of focus include land value capture, job creation, local enterprise development, and research (action and policy-related) on public/private rental, social and emergency housing. DAG has also identified building citizen awareness and demonstrating the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of more eco-friendly houses as a priority housing focus for the organisation between the years 2013 to 2015.
This sub-programme focuses on the identification and facilitation of demonstration projects by DAG, community-based partners, NGOs and the public sector. Activities and outputs identified to date include: accessing basic services and social infrastructure; the incremental recognition of formal and informal tenure arrangements; improved household and local livelihoods; environmental awareness and sustainability; and, the strengthening of social networks and resilience within and across targeted settlements. DAG’s Human Settlements sub-programme is integrally linked to the social and spatial integration of the South East sector of the city into our wider Re-imagining Cape Town agenda.
DAG’s Capacity Building Programme has an external and internal focus. By making it a core programme area DAG is acknowledging and making visible the traditional role training and capacity building interventions have always played in our work, giving it more profile and place as a central and cross-cutting aspect of all our core programme and project areas. The internal capacity building elements of this programme will be managed as part of DAG’s operational and programme support functions in the short-term, while external capacity building activities will be implemented and managed by programme staff.
External Capacity Building
This aspect of the CBP implements DAG’s Action-learning Community Leadership Programme; Community-based Planning; Home Ownership; and, Local Enterprise Development Training activities. Strengthening the knowledge-base and capacity of citizens and community-based stakeholders is a central focus of all DAG programmes and projects.
Internal Capacity Building
The Internal Capacity Building Programme provides internships and mentoring for volunteers and interns who join DAG in order to gain experience and thus develop capacity within the broader urban sector. The programme includes Organisational Learning events and Staff Development for the on-going development of DAG staff members, ensuring that staff members are kept abreast of the most recent trends and developments in the sector on a regular basis.