A Model For The Assessment Of Foreign Housing Assistance To Developing Countries

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


In this interdisciplinary study over 380 natural and man-made factors, called "Infrastructure of Conditions," are identified to emphasize the conditions in developing countries, and the majority of them are analyzed. These factors are disaggregated while recognizing that all of them interact with one another. Many are constraining. In a comprehensive approach to an assessment of the housing shortage many causes and remedies are generally seen from a narrow point of view. To pinpoint detailed cause and effect relationships while visualizing the broad scope of the housing issue, the factors are synthesized in a "Housing Matrix." An analyst can select a housing issue and assess its position within the complex factors. Specifically, a methodology is devised to assess the criteria of the Agency for International Development (AID) utilized in housing assistance.AID is one of the over 1200 U.S. foreign assistance agencies which are in turn only one factor in the Infrastructure of Conditions of developing countries. The Housing Matrix indicates this position. See Chapter III, Matrix E. The Housing Matrix is adapted in developing a Model for the Assessment of Foreign Housing Assistance. A new "Foreign Housing Assistance Matrix" is thus created and an Assessment of AID Assistance Criteria is made. AID criteria are found largely ineffective due to strong constraining elements deeply rooted in developing countries. AID, or any other foreign assistance agency, would be hindered in their efforts to alleviate housing shortages because of the lack of a comprehensive approach and the disregard of realities.Using the Matrices leads to the recognition of real problems and in order to remedy them, several approaches for improvements are devised. Hundreds of others are possible. For example, participation of all income groups needs to be drawn into the scheme of cost minimization in housing. Also, industrialization of housing for the highest-income group is proposed to benefit the low-income groups.The development of a methodology and going back and forth between the Matrix and real country conditions facilitate the probing into the complexities. Cross-linkages of many factors, some seemingly unimportant but at times overriding major factors, can be better understood through this theoretical and practical study.Ideally, this new systems approach should be considered only a starting point with the expectation that many more applications are forthcoming.


Urban and Regional Planning

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