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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
close this folderII. Financial and economic impact of shelter projects
View the document2.1 Mobilization of household savings
View the document2.2 Affordability, subsidy and cost recovery
close this folder2.3 Institutional framework and financial management
View the document(introduction...)
View the document2.3.1 Institutional culture of public-sector agencies
View the document2.3.2 Role of local government agencies
View the document2.3.3 Relationship with local community groups
View the document2.4 Comparison with non-project shelter standards and costs
close this folderIII. Social impact of shelter projects
View the document3.1 Social impact at the local level
View the document3.2 Contribution to residential stability
View the document3.3 Proximity of projects to employment locations
View the document3.4 Job creation at the local level
View the document3.5 Impact of projects on the development of community based and non-governmental organizations
View the document3.6 Acceptability of project components to project beneficiaries
close this folderIV. Impact of the project approach on total shelter demand
View the document4.1 Shelter demand and levels of supply by projects
View the document4.2 Replicability of housing projects
close this folderV. Shelter projects and national policies
View the document5.1 Impact of projects on policy, and consistency of project and policy objectives
View the document5.2 Consistency with the objectives of the Global Strategy for Shelter to the Year 2000
close this folderVI. Achieving a multiplier effect through shelter projects
View the document6.1 Impact on institutional capabilities and public-sector roles in the shelter-delivery process
View the document6.2 Impact on urbanization, urban growth, spatial planning and infrastructure provision
View the document6.3 Addressing constraints in land and housing markets
View the document6.4 Impact on building and planning codes, regulations and standards
View the document6.5 Development of the construction industry and construction techniques
close this folderVII. Conclusions and recommendations
View the document7.1 General criticism of the project approach
View the document7.2 Projects in the context of national shelter strategies
close this folder7.3 Future emphasis and priorities in housing projects
View the document(introduction...)
View the document7.3.1 Projects to provide new shelter
View the document7.3.2 Upgrading projects
close this folder7.4 A framework for assessing the efficiency of project components
View the document(introduction...)
View the document7.4.1 Elements provided by projects
View the document7.4.2 Provision of other elements
View the document7.4.3 Guidelines for preparing and assessing future shelter projects
View the document7.5 The role of projects in the development and implementation of national shelter policies and the Global Strategy for Shelter to the Year 2000
View the documentList of references

2.3.1 Institutional culture of public-sector agencies

One of the primary factors that influence the success or failure of shelter policies, programmes and projects is the institutional culture of the public-sector agencies involved. If these are positively disposed towards innovation and responsive to changing patterns of demand, the chances of success are considerably enhanced. Where agencies are reactive and inflexible, opportunities for progress will be correspondingly reduced. The first approach can be characterized as a management approach, in which resources are continually being redeployed in line with assessments of need, while the latter represents an administrative approach and is characterized by a preoccupation with implementing inherited, or received, norms, standards and procedures, irrespective of their relevance in the wider environment. Unfortunately, public-sector agencies in many countries have not yet shaken off the traditional administrative approach. This has particularly negative consequences for the shelter sector, since it is not the exclusive preserve of any one profession or discipline, and depends for success on the collaboration and sensitivity of many professions and agencies.

The introduction of new approaches to shelter projects under such conditions is greatly facilitated if political support is available at the outset. This has been the catalyst in many successful cases, of which the MHP in Sri Lanka is perhaps the clearest example. This was administered by a high-level committee representing 12 ministries, with the NHDA acting as the lead agency. Despite the enormous scale of the programme, the data show that the rural and urban sub-programmes achieved a high proportion of their targets (95 per cent in rural and 76 per cent in urban areas). The Ministry of Policy Planning and Implementation has indicated that the Programme was completed satisfactorily by the end of 1988. If this is correct, it was no doubt directly due to political commitment at the highest level of government and the very high levels of public investment involved.

Similar political commitment was largely responsible for the successful introduction of sites-and-services projects in Egypt (Davidson, 1984), and the expansion of the settlement-upgrading programmes in Indonesia and Zambia. Where such support is not available, the degree to which projects can be expected to achieve their internal objectives, let alone generate a multiplier effect, will be restricted. Innovative projects, such as those sponsored by international funding agencies, tend to remain as isolated project cells. More often than not, the concepts or methods that they were testing are never being absorbed into the mainstream of the parent agency’s activities.