Surveying Slums: Process of Survey and Use of Data

By Shahana Sheikh and Subhadra Banda
Economic & Political Weekly, 30 May 2015

With an increased policy emphasis on slum surveys, the story of such surveys in Delhi assumes importance, including the "power to survey" vested in the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board. There is a need to closely analyse the way in which such surveys are carried out, the data that are collected, and the purposes for which they might be used. A review of the legal frameworks on slum surveying and the case of Delhi reveal that there is much variation in the process of data collection. Surveys that determine the mode of rehabilitation of a slum have life-changing implications for residents, and survey processes have to be accurate and participative.