This publication is based on the results of field work undertaken by Father George McInnes during the period 1982 to 1984 on the World Bank Sites and Service Project in the Dandora Community located on the eastern outskirts of the City of Nairobi. The Dandora Project was innovative and experimental in significant respects. The original plans for this site and service scheme, drawn up by the Nairobi City Council with the assistance of the World bank incorporated specific community development strategies calculated to make housing affordable by promoting self-reliance and plot consolication in stages. Such strategies were based on the experiences of urban poor in satisfying their basic needs for shelter and sustenance in the spontaneous settlements where they formerly lived and worked.
This study by Father George Moines provides a critical account of how and why these community development strategies for the Dander project had problems in the social and economic climate of Kenya during the 1980s. Father McInnes under took a comprehensive household questionnaire survey of residents in Phase 2 of the Dandora project during 1984.
The lessons learnt from the Dandora experience are salutary and have much wider implications. They raise important questions for the future of urban planning in Third World countries, answers to which may not be very easy to apply in the current global economic climate dominated by New Right politics.