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close this bookCommunity Leadership and Self-help Housing (HABITAT, 1988, 50 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentForeword
View the documentI. Why analyse community leadership
View the documentII. The nature of community leadership and decision making in low-income settlements
View the documentIII. Why do leaders emerge and how do they relate to society at large?
View the documentIV. The impact of leadership upon low-income community development
View the documentV. Leaders and external agents: cooperation or conflict?
View the documentVI. Reaching the poor through community leaders; an agenda of points for consideration
View the documentReferences


International discussion on shelter strategies has been brought about by the alarming trends in the field of human settlements. It emphasizes the need to mobilize coordinated and widely-based efforts on the part of governments, the private sector and communities to act in concert, if there are to be visible improvements in the shelter and neighborhoods of the poor and disadvantaged by the year 2000. Effective strategies for the development of shelter, infrastructure and services at the community level have many facets and components, yet they all underline the necessity of involving communities in decision-making, planning, construction activities and the maintenance of shelter, infrastructure and services.

This publication, prepared under the Community Participation Training Programme of the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat), discusses the role of community leadership within low-income urban settlements. Prevailing or emerging leadership patterns have to he fully understood by local authorities, non-governmental organizations and international agencies who are considering alternative strategies of working in and with communities. More often than not, efforts by the established governmental authorities. supported by international assistance, have failed as they have underestimated or misjudged the role of community leadership.

This report, based on extensive research work carried out by Peter M. Ward and Sylvia Chant, analyses the impact of leadership on the development of low-income settlements, and suggests an agenda for cooperation with local leaders for the purpose of reaching the poor in their urban settlements through various forms of participation.

Arcot Ramachandran
Executive Director