Baseline Survey for Integrated Urban Database Project (IUDP)
Client: The Ministry of Urban Development and Construction
Objective of Study: The overall objective of the study is to collect data on urban and construction industry development sectors to establish a baseline for the implementation of an Integrated Urban Database Project (IUDP). Its two specific objectives are: a) To generate sufficient quantitative and qualitative information on the urban sector development program, sub-programs and projects carried out over the last six years by the ministry; b) To produce detailed interpretation of the collected data and information and draw recommendations with clearly defined strategies and approaches required to improve urban sector development activities. The baseline data collection focuses on the following programmes of the Ministry of Urban Development and Construction: a) Integrated Housing Development Programme (IHDP), b) Micro and Small Enterprises (MSE), c) Urban Infrastructure Development Programme (UIDP), d) Urban Good Governance Programme (UGGP), (e) Construction.on these population centers. The methodology further included questionnaire design, pilot testing and field staff training as well as rigorous data verification, data entry and data cleaning.
Findings : Findings of the baseline survey are indicated under each of the Integrated Urban Database Project’s (IUDP’s) 5 programmes.
On MSEs: The baseline data survey reveals that MSEs have created 2.4 million permanent and temporary job opportunities for the youth and provided goods and services to local communities at affordable prices. Regional governments had provided a variety of capacity building trainings to 1.4 million people during the five- year period. More than 3.4 billion birr has been transferred to MSEs in the form of loan. However, repayment is low and there is a fear that much of it may not be repaid in the near future. Most of the MESs have never been audited. Adequate market links were not established as planned. As a result, only 1.7 billion birr worth of goods was passed through such market links. This was considered unsatisfactory. Another MSE goal was to provide a one- window or one-stop service to clients. Only a few MSEs could successfully claim that they had achieved that goal. Still another major objective of the MSE project was to graduate a significant number of MSEs to the next level, i.e. to the medium enterprise level. In this area, too, only a small proportion went through that graduation.
On IHDU: The survey shows that of the 5 programmes that MUDC has been executing during the six-year period, it is in the IHDU sector that had the most success. It is MUDC’s success story. Out of the 400,000 houses planned for the said period, it succeeded in delivering 143,000, creating job opportunities for 353,000 people—taken as unprecedented in the last 40 years. The construction was mainly in Addis Ababa but it was later extended to other regions. More than 574 building contractors and 32 building consultants received project awards. A significant number of new contractors and consultants have been created within the six-year period. While 15.8 billion birr was allocated for the construction within the said period, some 8.1 billion birr was actually expended, indicating a utilization rate of 51%. Most of the construction in the project was carried out using local building materials. However, the survey showed that MUDC used 1.2 million tons of cement and 145,000 tons of iron bought from abroad.
on UGGP The Urban Good Governance Programme focuses mainly on urban planning, land management, finance and tax related issues, manpower development and the creation and strengthening of institutions. The baseline survey reveals MUDC’s achievements along these challenges. During the six-year period, 72% of the targeted population centers (94 of the 131 cities and towns) have acquired master/ structural plan. More than 195 towns have developed the concept of “town planning” as an integral part of their urban development plans. Well over 400 towns have managed to have a map. Of the sampled 131 urban centers, 40 (30%) reported that they had established steering committees to monitor the implementation of their urban plans.
The data revealed that 29% of the sampled towns said that they had fully implemented the land lease system. Land registration (44%) is not progressing as planned. It is clear that much remains to be done in the area of land administration. One thing MUDC has done exceptionally well, according to the survey, is streamlining the laws related to urban land. To this end, many proclamations, rules, regulations, directives and manuals have been prepared and disseminated during the six-year period. On the other hand, what are seriously lacking are trained manpower and appropriate institutions, despite the fact that the government has trained some 5000 management staff and experts in the town planning area. Some 81% of the sampled towns have established city/town councils and 76% have established social courts.
Infrastructure : Given the key role infrastructure plays in the functioning of a city or town, MUDC has invested much resource and effort for its development and maintenance. The survey showed that one of the vexing problems in the development and maintenance of infrastructure is synchronizing the activities of the providers of electricity, water, telephone, road, drainage, sewerage and housing construction services all taking place at the same time. Lack of awareness of the interconnectedness and interdependentness of the nature of modern infrastructure and the resulting failure to avoid the activities of one service provider undermining or damaging those of the others have often resulted in huge financial wastages. Much improvement has been seen in this area and cities and towns have been able to save in infrastructure costs. Another improvement shown by the survey is in the registration, by cities and towns, of the infrastructure resources under their jurisdiction.
Registering infrastructure resources and maintaining accurate and up-to-date data is a valuable input for the preparation of further infrastructure plans. The BDS-CDR survey shows that while many cities and towns are making good progress in this task, others are lagging behind. The survey further shows that many cities and towns are making significant progress in providing road, fire-fighting brigades, abattoirs, waste collection and ambulance and other emergency services. Some cities and towns have established IT systems for administering their finances, including tax payments.
Construction : One of the serious constraints to the development of construction in the Ethiopian cities and towns has been a lack of the appropriate legal framework and the institution for implementing it. The survey showed that MUDC has gone a long way in providing the necessary legal framework and in creating the necessary institutions. As a result, urban construction boomed. This in turn created vast employment opportunities for the population. Furthermore, the number of private building contractors, consultants and building machinery renters grew rapidly. The data showed that the number of private building contractors grew from 1,552 to 2,479 during the six-year (1998-2003) period. Despite the growth of contractors in number, the growth in the level, grade or quality of contractors has not been satisfactory. The number of private consultants grew from 29 in 1998 to 221in 2003. During the same period, the number of construction machineries for rent grew from 385 in 1998 to 3849 by the end of 2003. The adequate presence of such machinery contributes greatly to the facilitation of the construction process and the completion of projects according to schedule.
On MSEs: These enterprises, be they government supported or self-made, need more and equal support from the government. They must be given better land on which they could carry out their activities. The government should follow a fair and transparent system of awarding contracts, for there are complaints that big, local and foreign companies are encroaching on areas of activity reserved for MSEs, thus crippling their activities. According to MSE beneficiaries, training given to them is believed to be of poor quality and should be improved. There must be a regular monitoring and evaluation system and a set and enforceable time limit on the basis of which MSEs will have to be promoted to the next level of enterprises. There must be a limit to the time an MSE could remain as
an MSE. MSEs engaged in the production sector should be given more priority to those engaged in the service sector.
On IHDP: Up to now, the government has been the major provider of public housing. Private individuals and cooperatives must be given more opportunity in the construction of housing. Up to now, finance for housing has been available only through IHDP. The government should provide finance, through long term-loans, to enable cooperatives and private individuals to build their own housing. There have been repeated complaints regarding the non-transparency in the awarding of housing construction contracts and on the poor quality of construction and management of public housing. There must be transparency in the awarding of contracts and strict supervision on the quality of construction, particularly on finishing and management of public houses worth billions of birr . The interest rate on the housing loan is said to be “back-breaking”; ways must be looked into to reduce it, as has been suggested by government officials. Beneficiaries of the housing scheme also complain of the high advance payment required. The government should consider lowering this payment. One of the factors that make housing less affordable is VAT. The government should explore ways of making some of the housing expenses free from VAT.
On UGGP: Cities and towns should be given more professional assistance to help them develop their capacity in urban planning. This could be done partly by encouraging more private consultants to be involved in the area and to contribute to the facilitation of the sector. The government must impress upon regions the urgency of implementing the lease proclamation. There is a complaint that professionals in urban planning trained in domestic and overseas institutions are not occupying the positions that they should. Such people must be placed in positions where they could be usefully employed. There should a programme of sustained training for city councils to make them capable and fully functional.
On Infrastructure: A scheme must be developed to enable cities and towns to rent or own construction machinery at affordable costs. The government must institute a fair system of compensation for people displaced as a result of urban reconstruction. One of the problems made clear by the survey is lack of reliable and up-to-date information on urban matters. Cities and towns must be assisted in developing their capacity to record accurate information on their resources, activities and achievements. Together with this, they must be enabled to develop adequate and trained manpower.