Background and objectives:
The Shelter Profile Studies are implemented as a demonstration project in Malawi, Uganda, Senegal and Tunisia. Shelter Profiling is a housing sector assessment tool currently being developed by the Housing Policy Section to contribute to the improvement of shelter delivery and housing sector performance. It provides governments and various stakeholders with a comprehensive analysis of housing and land delivery systems as well as the mechanisms to access land, housing finance, and basic infrastructure, building materials and technology and labour. Methodologically, the profile draws on multi-stakeholders’ analysis and multi-sector assessment sustained by an action research approach and based on the holistic notion of the housing sector that includes the policy, institutional and regulatory frameworks.
The Shelter Profile is both a diagnosis and analytical tool that helps governments to identify gaps and bottlenecks in the housing sector that impede the housing market from working properly, particularly for the urban poor. It provides evidence from the field to support the required institutional, regulatory and policy reforms, both at local and national levels. The Shelter Profile produces knowledge through applied research, market surveys, institutional and stakeholders’ analysis as well as city consultations. Therefore, the Shelter Profile is an appropriate tool to policy recommendations. Locally, the Shelter Profiles are carried out by a team of local researchers with backstopping from UN-HABITAT and international consultants. In Malawi and Uganda, the Shelter Profile Studies are complementary to the Rapid Urban Sector Profile Studies (RUSPS) as they add a detailed analysis and in-depth knowledge of the various sub-sectors of the shelter delivery system.
Malawi is the inception and pilot country; Uganda is the next country where Shelter
Profiling is undertaken. A range of activities have been carried out in Malawi and
Uganda, including the following:
- Design of detailed Terms of Reference, outlining the major areas of the study: policy and institutional frameworks, land supply systems and land markets, provision of infrastructure, building and construction technology, and housing markets and finance.
- Development of methodology and fundamental questions to be answered through the shelter profile.
- Rapid assessment of the housing sector in Malawi, with a particular attention given to the financial sector.
- Presentation of the approach of the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme (PSUP) and Rapid Urban Sector Profiling in Malawi to ensure synergy among the initiatives.
- Establishment of the Malawi Shelter Profile Team comprised of four national and one international consultants.
- Preparation of thematic research reports by national consultants.
- Consolidation of thematic reports into the final Shelter Profile Study.
- Organisation of an executive workshop on “Enabling the Housing Sector to Work” for senior policymakers, housing practitioners, researchers and technical cadre of the government.
- Organisation of a methodology workshop for the members of the Malawi Shelter Profile Team.
The main results so far have included:
1) Thematic reports focusing on each of the fundamental inputs to shelter:
- Policy and institutional frameworks
- Housing finance and markets
- Infrastructure/basic urban services
- Urban land supply systems
- Construction industry, building materials and labour
2) Final Shelter Profile Study Report on each country analysing the performance of the housing sector as a whole, including an assessment of the institutional, policy and regulatory frameworks, and capacity needs, proposing the needed reforms to enable housing markets to function well and affordable housing options to become available.
3) Broad awareness of the gaps and potentials in the shelter sector through capacity building events.
4) Stakeholder consensus on shelter sector priorities through a consultative process.