Integrated Urban Housing Development Project
This is an international research project based around the cities of Nakuru in Kenya and Alwar in India. The project aims to address the question of how can access to improved housing contribute to improving poor people's livelihoods. Participatory planning activities have been or are being carried out with local communities for the building of 100 new houses in Nakuru and the upgrading of 200 slum dwellings in Alwar. In Nakuru activities are also being undertaken on improved water and sanitation provision, which is a priority identified by the communities.
The focus in India has been on building the capacity of urban poor individuals to become self-reliant entrepreneurs through skills training, managerial training, provision of credit, marketing assistance, various support services (e.g. information, technology, inter-group linkages, etc.), and action to facilitate women's involvement in economic activities (e.g., training in basic literacy and numeracy, awareness-raising of women's role, etc.). The project has stimulated self-help, income-generating activities and self-management, and also strengthened the community movement. Women, in particular, have been significantly empowered and have been able to overcome behavioural, occupational, social and cultural barriers.
In Nakuru, Kenya, income-earning opportunities and human-based resources in the settlements have been developed and have increased the capacity of residents to improve their settlements independently. Capacity development based on local needs has enhanced leadership within the communities and helped them establish their own viable institutions. A key outcome of the project in this respect is the formation of an apex body to co-ordinate CBOs in the project settlements and facilitate their developmental activities. The co-operative has over 400 members, almost one-half of who are women.
In both Kenya and India, the target communities have been able to develop a range of management, technical and intellectual skills that have enhanced the communities credibility vis-a-vis their respective local authorities, with whom they are now working closely. Mobilising the resources of the communities and municipalities in a constructive dialogue has created equitable and effective partnerships that have boosted the efforts of the individual actors and produced greater impacts. Partnership networks have also been broadened. In both countries, it has been possible to identify sub-sectors with good potential for income generation. But shelter improvement appears more difficult to tackle for a number of reasons, including the tenure situation, mixed ownership, inappropriate regulations and high densities.
Integrated Urban Housing Development workshop
An international workshop on Integrated Urban Housing Development was held at Bourton Hall in the UK on 17-18 March 2003, with participants from several countries.
Seven working papers are available to download as PDF files. Click on the links below for abstracts.
Nakuru - a study in urbanisation
The Integrated Urban Housing Development Project (top of this page)
Further details: e-mail Theo Schilderman