I trust you all are enjoying 2 Module. Anybody wants to share their slum profiling experiences? I assume you have done it many times. Kindly share your field experiences..what challenges and constrains you have faced during profiling ?
The whole process of Settlement Survey has been very well elaborated. Just to share what I have dealt with, motivating a community to instigate and make them adopt the process of settlement survey is a big challenge, since they seek immediate results of the activity and these surveys target at long time results (foreseen or unforeseen). Second challenge which is worth noting is that, government officials or agencies do not approve the data collected by the community and raise many questions regarding its authenticity. In one of the instance when the officials were invited to see and participate in the process themselves they denied bluntly citing that government did not ask the community to initiate the survey and the meagre survey does not entitle them to services.
I would like to know a bit how these challenges can be turned into opportunities.
My country does not face the challenge of extensive slum settlements though it does have squatter settlements
The process of participatory mapping is not yet widely used in my country but is gaining traction, particularly among the civil society sector. It is a priority activity of their Poverty Reduction Strategy recommendations made to the government.
This process community driven documentation of community assets and resources is intended to dispel the notion of "poor and powerless" communities and to facilitate the engagement of communities in the decision making about the the development of these resources to address community identified priorities.
Among challenges are:-
- Competence in the implementation of the process
- In some quarters, it is driven by a top-down approach rather than a bottom-up process with the danger that the community is locked out from the access to information generated and the opportunity to participate in the decision-making about the resources should be developed and used. These intentions exist particularly with the influential tourism lobby which appears not to see tourism as a means to an end - the development of people and communities - but rather see communities and people as the means to achieving a ";tourism end" , determined by the tourism lobby.