Municipal Matters: The 5 Steps of an IDP

The process undertaken to produce the IDP consists of 5 steps:

Step 1 – Analysis

During this step information is collected on the existing conditions within the municipality. It focuses on the types of problems faced by people in the area and the causes of these problems.

The identified problems are assessed and prioritised in terms of what is urgent and what needs to be done first.

Information on availability of resources is also collected during this step.

At the end of this step, the municipality will be able to provide:

  • An assessment of the existing level of development.
  • Details on priority issues and problems and their causes.
  • Information on available resources.


Step 2 – Strategies




During this step, the municipality works on finding solutions to the problems assessed in step one.

This entails:

Developing a vision

The vision is a statement of the ideal situation the municipality would like to achieve in the long term once it has addressed the problems outlined in step one. The following is an example of a vision statement:

An economically vibrant city with citizens living in a secure, healthy and comfortable environment

Defining development objectives

Development objectives are clear statements of what the municipality would like to achieve in the medium term to deal with the problems outlined in step one.

For example: Provide access to clean water for all residents living in the informal settlement.

Development strategies

Once the municipality has worked out where it wants to go and what it needs to do to get there, it needs to work out how to get there. A development strategy is about finding the best way for the municipality to meet a development objective.

For example: Cooperate with the Department of Water Affairs to provide one water stand pipe for every 20 households.

Project Identification

Once the municipality has identified the best methods for achieving its development objectives it leads to the identification of specific projects.

Step 3 – Projects

During this step, the municipality works on the design and content of projects identified during Step 2.

Clear details for each project have to be worked out in terms of:

  • Who is going to benefit from the project?
  • How much is it going to cost?
  • How is this project going to be funded?
  • How long will it take to complete?
  • Who is going to manage the project?

Clear targets must be set and indicators worked out to measure performance as well as the impact of individual projects.

Step 4 – Integration

Once all projects have been identified, the municipality has to check again that they contribute to meeting the objectives outlined in Step 2. These projects will provide an overall picture of the development plans.

All the development plans must now be integrated. The municipality should also have overall strategies for issues like dealing with AIDS, poverty alleviation and disaster management.

These strategies should be integrated with the overall IDP.

Step 5 – Approval

The IDP is presented to the council for consideration and adoption. The council may adopt a draft for public comment before approving a finalised IDP.