This paper describes how a settlement profile, mapping and enumeration of Magada, an informal settlement in the town of Epworth just outside Harare, provided the basis for an upgrading programme. This was both in terms of the needed information and in terms of agreement between the residents and their community organizations and local and national government. The local government’s agreement to support in situ upgrading was the first of its kind in Zimbabwe and it is the first settlement plan to include meaningful participation by residents in articulating their own development priorities and in influencing the design. The work to map and number each plot was undertaken by teams that included residents, supported by members of the Zimbabwe Homeless People’s Federation and its support NGO Dialogue on Shelter Trust, along with planning students. This was supported by high resolution satellite images and a GIS process was developed drawing in data from enumerations covering each household.