A critical examination of the role and impact of NGOs in the provision of housing for the poor of Addis Ababa : application of a rights based lens : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Development Studies at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
Our world today is experiencing the fastest urban growth rates in history, with developing countries at the forefront of this trend. This rapid urban growth is contributing to a multitude of problems, since countries lack the resources and institutional capacity to manage them effectively. As a result, the prevalence of slum and squatter settlements is escalating within the urban environment. This thesis seeks to critically examine the role and impact of NGOs in the provision of housing for the poor of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The study argues that housing is a human right and explores whether a rights based approach is an effective means for NGOs to employ, in order to achieve successful housing provision.
The methodological approach to this study was largely qualitative, due to the fact that it deals with matters relating to social relationships and issues of power. This mode of enquiry has provided a deep understanding of the issues facing NGOs working in Addis Ababa. The primary mode of data collection was semi-structured interviews, which were carried out during the four weeks of field research in Addis Ababa.
The findings of this research reveal that the role and impact of NGOs seeking to provide housing within Addis Ababa is extremely limited, due to a number of serious and debilitating factors, including a restrictive policy environment, excessive bureaucracy, and a lack of sound governance. In addition, it was discovered that the employment of a rights based framework for housing provision would be exceptionally difficult within Addis Ababa, thus posing serious risks for NGOs and the communities in which they work. This thesis highlights the importance of context and how it can change the suitability and roles played by those within the development sector.