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close this bookTraining Human Settlement Workers in Eastern & Southern Africa (AFSC - Mazingira Institute, 1981)
close this folderWorking group discussions
View the documentWhy self-help projects?
View the documentPolitics & training: Mobilization versus control
View the documentTypes of organization
View the documentTypes of human settlements workers
View the documentTraining of community development workers
View the documentTraining methods
View the documentWorking conditions
View the documentTraining & the role of women

Types of organization

Apart from the party political types of organization, the workshop discussed different types of governmental and non-governmental organizations. In some cases specific government organizations have been established to deal with self-help projects. Botswana, Lesotho, Zambia, Kenya and Tanzania all have self-help projects funded through international agencies, and there is some uniformity in their institutional structures and training needs. Botswana, Zambia and Kenya have institutions at local government level responsible for self-help project implementation, structured into technical, community development and financial/administrative personnel. Lesotho's and Tanzania's self-help organizations function at the national level, though devolution is underway in Tanzania.

Where implementation is done at local authority level, there is need for coordination between the national ministries responsible and local governments. Numerous examples were cited in the workshop of lack of understanding by government officials of how self-help projects work. On the other hand, much experience and knowledge is generated in the field and needs to be fed back to all levels of government.

In the countries where settlement workers were government employees organized into the technical/financial/community development organizational model, the various skills were generally taught on the job. This enabled people who had some basic skills to learn the procedures of dealing with self-help builders. However, both Botswana and Kenya noted the pressures that on-the-job training created for those already working in understaffed departments -there was obviously a need for a training institution specifically dealing with self-help construction and skills training.

Internationally funded projects often do not cater to the poorest whose needs are only met by the non-governmental organizations. As a result, in squatter or improvement areas there were sometimes several organizations doing the same kinds of things often competing (for staff for example) instead of cooperating. This situation was observed in Kenya and Zambia, the latter having up to 25 institutions in the field on various projects. One of the undesirable results is that neighbourhoods are also in competition for projects, and a solution suggested was coordination through the party or other residents' associations.