Data and research as key enablers for city policy: A case study of Cape Town

Project Active from to Cities and Cities that Work

The City of Cape Town is widely recognised as a city that is making large strides in advancing the use of data and research in critical policy decisions including planning, implementation, and service delivery.

This project seeks to document the use of data and evidence in policymaking in Cape Town over the past 20 years, since the Metro became a Unicity in 2000. The analysis will include the evolution of the city’s approaches and strategies, infrastructure and tools, and the development of capabilities around data and research, as well as a deeper dive into one or two cases where this data and research has been leveraged to inform policy decisions.

Produced jointly by the City of Cape Town and IGC Cities that Work, this case study responds to a broader demand for a better understanding of how to use data and research to improve the efficiency and efficacy of infrastructure investment and service delivery. It will be used to promote cross-city learning and contribute to stronger use of evidence to guide planning, decisions, and implementation in Cape Town in the future.

Through interviews with relevant departments and analysis of historic documentation and infrastructure/software investments, we will:

  • Identify challenges;
  • Detail key aspects of reform over time;
  • Outline example use cases;
  • Document success factors and areas for improvement and learning;
  • Produce forward-looking recommendations for Cape Town’s research and data strategies.