Strategies for housing improvements
Designing a plan of action for housing improvement
Assuming that you have done a housing survey and identified related housing problems, you need to prepare a plan of action that contains the list of activities with the objectives and time for implementation. Focus on those that you can do in partnership with the community and local leaders.
Monitoring and evaluation must be a part of your plan of action. Monitoring reflects the routine checking of your planned housing activities, while evaluation focuses on the effect that you have brought about as a result of your activities. You have to ask yourself what achievements you have made and what it was not possible to do. Revisiting and modifying the plan of action in such cases will be important. Some indicators that can help you evaluate the housing conditions are the proportion of households with improved housing space, separated animal sheds, proper windows and improved stoves.
The understanding of housing problems by the people who will benefit from the improvements is very important. You can discuss the housing problems with a targeted audience. You can gain additional information based on the community members' reaction. This is useful to support your implementation plan.
Training of local craftsmen
You need to transfer your knowledge to local housing constructors in order to make them your partners. They are helpful in bridging the gaps between you and the community. The training needs to focus on the hygienic requirements and the reasons for the poor housing in the locality. The options of housing improvements need to be sorted out with the assistance of local housing technicians.
This is the most appropriate means to implement housing improvement activities. The size of the house, its location, the good use of partitions, and the inclusion of other facilities such as a latrine could be advised right at the beginning of the construction.
Improving deficiencies (taking remedial actions)
Many rural houses might lack one or more elements of healthful housing. These are usually the absence of windows, a separate kitchen, latrine, improved stoves and a chimney in the kitchen. You should carefully plan to fill the gaps with the advice of influential community members and consideration of local policies.