Case Examples

Kalingalinga Integrated Upgrading Project

Example of:

    Comprehensive Integrated Project

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Lusaka, Zambia

Kalingalinga was a joint project of the Lusaka Urban District Council (LUDC) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft f|r Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ). It was seen as a comprehensive project integrating physical, social as well as economic improvement efforts. The project was first conceived in 1979, launched in 1980, and completed in 1987, with follow-up support continuing through till 1992. At initiation, the area contained 13,000 people in 1,460 houses. 2/3 of the project costs came from GTZ grants. The goal was to involve people in the decision making, planning, and execution process of upgrading, and to integrate social and economic improvement along with upgrading houses and infrastructure. To avoid the problem of special implementation units, the project was developed as part of a normal 'line-agency' function and no special project implementation unit was envisioned.
For further information:
Kalingalinga: Community on the Move, GTZ report, No. 175, Eschborn, 1987.

A priest acted as catalyst to initiate donor efforts for upgrading of this centrally located but neglected transitional community. It had been omitted from the previous LUDC/World Bank upgrading program which had covered much of the city. LUDC and GTZ staff with newly established community representative group agreed on a plan of action, after intensive planning meetings held to familiarize officials and staff in goals and issues in the project. The community representative body and the housing section in the LUDC were charged with implementing the project, and occasional expatriate inputs provided technical assistance and training. A post mortem evaluation was commissioned in 1994 to assess results and draw lessons.
Included was the provision of school, clinic, markets and community center; installation of water standpipes to groups of families; roads, street lighting; house improvement loans through a community revolving fund; core house material loan program through community revolving fund; promotion of economic activities and income generation through micro-loans; experimentation with lower cost construction materials and techniques, alternative sanitation methods; and secure title to the land. The project including realignment of dwellings and lots to lower densities and to allow for widening streets. Building material loans were offered first to families who had to be relocated into an adjacent overspill area .
Photo: Kalingalinga Project - Mudbrick

Kalingalinga Project: Houses throughout the area were
traditional mudbrick structures.

What worked and why?
  • Clear interests of the community resulted in extensive input and support: participatory-built schools continue to expand even today.
  • A very successful 'micro-loan' program was implemented and was proposed as a model for the city. It abruptly ended after trained staff was hired by another development agency.
  • Improvement of the dwellings and new construction proceeded at a surprisingly rapid pace once the project was initiated, even before the formal loan programs were implemented.
  • The effective participatory structures from groups of families up to the representative council paralleled and was reinforced by the political hierarchy.
Photo: Single room core houses

Kalingalinga Project: Materials loans were given for single room
core houses at the beginning stage.

What didn't work and why?

Alternative soil-cement block manufactured through cooperatives proved to be non-competitive and not popular. First choice was cement block since they provided a sense of permanence and contrasted with traditional rural construction. Their use also allowed higher rents.

Double-pit composting latrines proved to be culturally unacceptable and too expensive.

Kalingalinga Project: Core Houses Expanded to Attractive Homes

Kalingalinga Project: Core houses rapidly expanded
and became attractive homes.

  • Time is an often overlooked necessity in the incorporation of innovative approaches. For example, cost effective soil-cement blocks slowly became in use after 10 years of effort and exposure to attractive and sturdy community buildings made of the soil-cement block.
  • A feeling of secure tenure does not necessarily translate into the issuance of individual titles from the authorities. Very few exercised their newly granted right of individual title unless when selling.
  • Inflation was a harsh opponent, rapidly depleting the community revolving fund, but allowed the use of German funds for much longer than expected.
  • Integrating the project into routine operations of the municipality made project work and accounting very cumbersome. The concept of a line-agency project proved problematic, and it was a low-priority in the continuous struggle for scarce administrative and technical resources within the LUDC.
  • The imposition of perceived more appropriate (modest) standards is often at odds with local expectations. Projects are a powerful symbol to families, community and city in their transition to 'modern' urban living, and lowered standards are seen as an affront to their esteem and their striving for upward mobility.
  • Projects should be aware of larger national issues. Macro-economic policies, i.e., full cost recovery of services, may make seemingly attractive programs not financially viable. In Kalingalinga, plans to install transformers providing service to individuals and small businesses was not implemented because of the high full-cost recovery tariffs imposed by macro-economic policies.
  • Funds for housing may not be a critical need for families.
To Learn More:
Kalingalinga: Community on the Move, GTZ report, No. 175, Eschborn, 1987.
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