The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


DPU Working Paper - No. 47

Women's participation in self-help housing: The San Judas Barrio project, Managua, Nicaragua


4 December 1985

Author: Irene Vance

Publication Date: 1985

In current Latin American literature there are a growing number of studies which focus on the difficulties surrounding the implementation of community participation in housing improvement programmes. While a substantial number of these studies point to the limitation of trying to promote a 'top down' participation programme on the basis that this will be met with resistance by the target group, very few studies examine factors operating at the project level which limit participation or offer an analysis of the constraints which exist between the group of self-builders.

Explanations to date refer to the laziness of the participants, and to the lack of will and time to participate in voluntary labour, corruption, and to co-optation of local leaders. In all these studies little reference at all is made to women and to their work in construction, nor to the division of labour, and gender roles generally.

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