Case Examples


Example of:


    • Community Participation

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Lusaka, Zambia

Large scale upgrading with appropriate standards

The post-Independence decade of the sixties brought rapid urbanization to Zambia’s capital, Lusaka. In 1968, 15% of the city’s population lived in unserviced squatter settlements. By 1974, this figure had risen to 42% and the problem needed a solution. From this arose one of the World Bank’s first very large scale, low-cost urban housing attempts, the First Lusaka Sites and Services Project. This US$42.1 million project (1974 dollars) included upgrading, technical assistance, and infrastructure components. The project stands out due to its size, high level of community participation, and emphasis on evaluation.
For further information:
Sanyal, Bish; Valverde, Nelson; and Bamberger, Michael. Final Report on the Evaluation of the First Lusaka Upgrading and Sites and Services Project (Washington, D.C.: Urban and Regional Economics Division, Development Economics Department, The World Bank, 1981).

Provide large scale, low-cost urban housing using the concept of mutual help construction, with an emphasis on evaluation.
  • Upgrading of existing squatter settlements;
  • sites and services;
  • allotment of building materials to families;
  • primary infrastructure construction;
  • community facilities; and
  • technical assistance (with infrastructure plans, management, and the provision of an autonomous executing agency).

(1,400 ha, 145,000 beneficiaries)

What worked and why?
  • The project had a very high level of community participation. This involvement lowered opposition to the project, thus enhancing its potential for success.
  • The interdisciplinary project Management Team approach.
  • The use of a field team provided an effective link between the project team and the community.
  • The project targeted several income sectors, generating the appeal of a “substantial proportion of the urban population.”
  • The use of hired, local labor helped the economy and the project reputation.
What didn't work and why?
  • The use of self-made materials—no one had the time or inclination. They preferred to buy them.
  • There was a lack of interest in building material loans because of a lack of publicity and the small scale of the loans available.
  • Repayment of home loans and service fees was not adequate.
  • The constant need to reevaluate the income limits of potential program participants due to inflation made it difficult to reach the target population.
  • From an institution-building standpoint, creating a new, separate, and by Lusakan standards very well-paid, executing agency alienated Zambian government workers, leading to turnover difficulties when the executing agency was incorporated into the local government.
  • According to a World Bank Report, for better cost recovery, an adequate collection agency was needed, sanctions on nonpayment cases should have been imposed, and collectors should have been backed with authority
  • Additional attention might have been paid to the “bigger picture” in that the wealthy Lusakans did not have to pay for their housing or services so why should the lowest income group be obliged to pay for such services? - Especially when their level of service was much lower than that of the higher-income areas (trash was often not collected in the project area). Most of the project beneficiaries had the means to pay for the services but saw no reason to.
  • Careful consideration of the political implications of the project’s structure might have helped things run more smoothly while also improving the capacity of the Lusakan agencies. Instead, the Bank set up a separate implementing agency - a move which was taken as an affront by the existing government, making cooperation difficult.
  • Given the emphasis of the project was on self-sufficiency, the community centers should have been built by residents. The centers are underutilized (or used as preschools instead) and the design was not appropriate for their needs (They don’t tend to congregate in buildings.) (Sanyal, 2-26).
To Learn More:

Mulwanda, Mpanjilwa P. “The Socio-Economic Consequences of Squatter Clearance and Relocation in Zambia.” African Urban Quarterly 4, nos. 3 and 4 (August and November, 1989): 254-261.

Project Completion Report, Zambia - Lusaka Squatter Upgrading and Site and Services Project. Report no 04611 (Washington, D.C.: World Bank, June 1983)

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