In 2011, SALGA initiated a Local Data Programme that has now become known as the Municipal Barometer. This initiative brought together data agencies including, Statistics South Africa, Municipal Demarcation Board, South African Cities Network, Development Bank of Southern Africa, and Centre for Municipal Research and Advise to collect, package and disseminate local governance and development indicators and associated data to its member municipalities and stakeholders.
The Municipal Barometer initiative was driven by concerns from Local Government Practitioners which highlighted that municipalities are not able to make informed, credible decisions due to lack of access to reliable, local level data at affordable costs. SALGA as a representative voice of municipalities, thus, established a web-based portal called the Municipal Barometer to ensure that local level data is easily accessible to its members.
A series of milestones, including the launch of the portal at the National Members Assemble in November 2013, have been reached. SALGA is now rolling out the programme in order to ensure that its members are aware of its existence and are able to access, interpret and apply the data.
SALGA has now appointed two members onto the Municipal Barometer Team. The two new positions is a data analyst and a researcher.
The second Municipal Barometer Training workshop was held in Gauteng at the SALGA National Office from the 06th to the 10th of October 2014, to enhance the capacity of the Municipal Barometer Team. The training consisted of activities such as creating import files, creating labels, uploading data onto the SWING Software.