Scaling-up in urban areas

Diana Mitlin, David Satterthwaite

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Introduction In most urban areas in the Third World, a substantial proportion of the population lives in poor housing with inadequate or no basic services and infrastructure. This is a major factor in the high levels of ill-health, disablement and premature death of these populations. In most instances, local governments lack the power and resources to address these deficiencies. Neither national governments nor aid agencies appear to be able (or willing) to respond. However, low-income groups have demonstrated remarkable ingenuity in developing their own shelters and they are responsible for most new housing in Third World urban centres. There are an increasing number of intermediary institutions (most of them Third World NGOs) which provide technical, legal and financial services to low-income households for shelter construction or improvement or which work with community organisations in basic service and infrastructure provision. This chapter offers an analysis of the mechanisms and processes through which Third World NGOs have undertaken such tasks. It also considers the ways in which such NGOs effectively multiply the impact of community initiatives: how they stimulate the formation of community organisations; how they support their work, and the role of credit in such initiatives. By 1990, an estimated 1.5 billion people lived in urban centres in the Third World2; of these, at least 600 million are estimated to live in ‘life and health threatening’ homes and neighbourhoods because of the inadequacies in the quality of the housing and in the provision of infrastructure and services.3 The conventional.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMaking a Difference
Subtitle of host publicationNGO’s and Development in a Changing World
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781134160464
ISBN (Print)9781853831447
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global Development Institute


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