Working Paper
The Scale and Nature of International Donor Assistance to Housing, Basic Services and Other Human-Settlements Related Projects

This paper describes the scale and nature of development assistance to projects that sought to improve housing and living conditions for low income groups, including housing-related infrastructure and services such as water supply, sanitation and drainage during the period 1980-93. It also considers the scale of development assistance to urban infrastructure (such as ports and airports), urban services (such as hospitals and higher education institutions) and urban management during this same period. The study concludes that (i) most donor agencies give a low priority to interventions that directly seek to improve housing conditions and basic services for low income groups, (ii) funding channelled through local organizations is often more effective at reaching low income groups with better housing conditions and service provision than donor agency 'projects' and (iii) that donor agencies should provide more support to local organizations (bottom-up initiatives) that give priority to primary health care, water supply, sanitation, drainage, basic education and micro-credit.