Participation means bringing all relevant stakeholders such as national and local agencies, local community organisations, the private sector, and academic institutions together in a search for innovative development ideas, which would lead to reform. PDP’s approach to governance, planning and policy change includes a focus on planning with, rather than for people.
Thus, creating sustainable improvements in living conditions means building on existing potentials in informal areas: those of the inhabitants and the existing socio-economic structures. Moreover, planning and urban upgrading has to be linked to the priority needs and to the capacities of the people and accordingly one of the main objectives of PDP is the use and expansion of participatory methods in urban upgrading.
In order to identify relevant fields of intervention for instance, PDP has conducted Participatory Needs Assessments in the selected informal areas. Additionally, PDP started to conceptualise the meaning of participation of youth, women, civil society organisations and the private sector by drawing up and formulating Local Area Dialogue Committees to represent these groups in local decision-making processes.
Planning needs and processes in informal area development requires negotiated agreements among local government agencies, the civil society, residents as well as the private sector. The establishment of a Steering Committee and a Management Committee will foster governmental and administrative commitment by overseeing and monitoring tasks of the interventions.