Informal settlement profiling is a development-oriented strategy that seeks to establish more rapid, innovative, and broad based understanding to the challenging situation underlying informality. Profiling is crucial for obtaining more comprehensive settlement information and to thereby enable effective decision-making on which developmental responses are appropriated for different settlements. As outputs for benchmarking, the profiling of settlements sets the stage for their inclusion in municipal/urban development plans and investment that will enable the availing of services and infrastructure to acceptable standards.
The challenge posed by informal settlements is one that calls for synergy and back-stopping of the diverse strategies in seeking solutions. Given the scale of informal settlements, their complexity and the limited human and financial resources available, profiling seeks to facilitate practical and achievable pathways to sustainable upgrading. Thus, it is of utmost importance that this approach is widely shared and appreciated by all those interested in settlement upgrading as an area of intervention.