DAG’s advocacy work is focused on promoting equal, inclusive and sustainable neighbourhoods. We believe in dealing with causes, not symptoms thereby creating change from within communities and policymakers.

We work with a range of Community Partners, Academics and Non-Governmental Organisations to lobby for pro-poor urban policy and practice changes. Our lobbying and advocacy strategies on human settlements policies and practice are largely informed by research undertaken in partnership with a wide range of local and international partners. The participatory research practice with local partners at the grassroots level has been instrumental in influencing the current practice in the sector.

  • In 2012, DAG implemented an innovative methodology to unblock unfinished housing projects in coordination with Provincial and Local government.
  • DAG participated in the policy formulation of the new national PHP policy and guidelines, White Paper, Value Capture, Backyarders Policy
  • DAG was actively involved in the National Housing Forum through the Urban Sector Network USN where new housing policy was developed.
  • Actively participated in a Human Settlement reference group and drafted a position paper on the implementation of the Breaking New Ground (BNG) policy framework.


DAG supports active community engagement that facilitates the self-empowerment of citizens. We have a history and culture of supporting communities to bring about the change they want to see.

DAG strives to strengthen the leadership skills of the civil society and support communities in need of adequate housing to lead, and engage with, their own development planning through socio-technical support, active citizen training and contractor support.


Through these, and related support mechanisms, over

  • 100 000 households were assisted with securing community services.
  • strengthened the capacity of more than 2,500 civic leaders, with a focus on women and youth over the years.


Our current and past projects demonstrated best practices for partnerships between local citizens, communities, contractors and state to deliver housing, basic services, land tenure and other interventions.

DAG demonstrates that innovative public and private housing delivery and informal settlement upgrading in partnership with local citizens, contractors and the state is possible. We have a long and impressive track record in working in partnership with the government, to deliver affordable housing for the urban poor through its People’s Housing Process (PHP). Our organisation demonstrated and documented good practice on the expanded People’s Housing Process (ePHP) through community-driven housing projects. Using local contractors, DAG managed the Khayelitsha and Philippi (Masimanyane) ePHP processes.

As a result of this collaborative effort, we facilitated the following

  • Delivery of over 7323 low-cost houses in Cape Town’s disadvantaged communities.
  • Improved tenure security for more than 27,000+ people across the Cape Metropolitan Area.

Activating Citizens and Building Networks

At the centre of our work is the value and appreciation of participatory processes that support communities in finding their own solutions and long-term sustainability for the urban sector.

We strongly believe in strengthening the capacity of civil society organisations,
community groups and local civic leaders in order for them to effectively participate in developmental processes. Our approach towards capacity building of local civic leaders has contributed to the growing voice of the often marginalised groups in decision-making. As an organisation, we have also actively participated in pro-poor initiatives aimed at addressing economic, social and spatial imbalances across Cape Town.

  • Direct assistance in securing community services to 100k+ households in 80+ projects