Cover Image
close this bookAssessment of Experience with the Project Approach to Shelter Delivery for the Poor (HABITAT, 1991, 52 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentForeword
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentI. Recent trends in shelter projects
Open this folder and view contentsII. Financial and economic impact of shelter projects
Open this folder and view contentsIII. Social impact of shelter projects
Open this folder and view contentsIV. Impact of the project approach on total shelter demand
Open this folder and view contentsV. Shelter projects and national policies
Open this folder and view contentsVI. Achieving a multiplier effect through shelter projects
Open this folder and view contentsVII. Conclusions and recommendations
View the documentList of references


In many developing countries, the provision of shelter, particularly for the low-income groups, is grossly inadequate. There are many reasons for this, most of them beyond the control of the individual households concerned. Despite shelter programmes, projects and other forms of government action taken in most countries, the shelter problem prevails with increasing dimensions.

Government involvement in the shelter sector ranges from the provision of completed housing units to several forms of supporting measures. The inadequate and, sometimes, negative effects of public-sector intervention in the shelter-delivery process can be summed up as problems of insufficient coverage, affordability by beneficiaries, lack of replicability and, to a lesser degree, social acceptability. Relevant strategies must deal with these issues which limit the effectiveness of actions in the form of planned projects.

The Global Strategy for Shelter to the Year 2000 (GSS), adopted by the United Nations in 1988, is addressing the shelter problem of the developing countries through a perspective where the full capabilities of all actors involved in the shelter sector can be utilized. The enabling concept, as it is outlined in the GSS, does not imply a reduction of public-sector responsibilities in the shelter and services sector, but rather, a new arrangement of financial, institutional, human and physical resources, coordinated by public action.

The elements of shelter projects that are considered appropriate means of providing at least some components of the needs in the shelter sector will have new roles within this approach. The research project described in this publication was undertaken to evaluate the experience with the project-by-project approach to low-income shelter delivery in the developing countries. Based on this evaluation, the main objectives of the study were to identify the components of the shelter-delivery process that can most effectively be addressed by the project approach, and to find ways to improve the integration of projects with large-scale programmes and policy level directives.

This report is based on information from case studies in Colombia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Zimbabwe. Where appropriate, reference has been made to other sources of information. Although the report is limited to a number of projects in a few countries, the case studies cover a wide range of different experiences, and the projects reviewed broadly reflect approaches that have been widely adopted by several governments.

I gratefully acknowledge the support provided by Mr. Geoffrey Payne, for the global research and evaluation of the country case studies and Messrs. Herlianto, K.A. Jayaratne, N.D. Mutizwa-Mangiza, B. Tokman and R. Utria, for the preparation of the case-study reports.

Dr. Arcot Ramachandran
Executive Director