Notes on a programme of work on informal construction in Africa

    The overall aim of this programme is to increase understanding of and help improve, the estimation of the value, volume and price levels of construction activity in African countries and other developing countries in which household own-account construction is common. Specific objectives are to investigate:


    the value of construction activity included in, and excluded from, national accounts;

    • how best to distinguish the forms of small and micro-scale ‘informal’ construction activities which characterise own-account construction in Africa, and which are usually unregulated and under-enumerated;
    • the range and types of such informal construction;
    • the resource (input) prices (particularly, labour and material prices) for these activities; options to improve the collection of the purchase price and rental values for informal housing;
    • the production of PPPs for informal construction.


      In the longer term, outputs of the research will contribute to improved construction output data, national accounts, construction PPPs and poverty analyses. These will be useful for national and international agencies, development experts and academics and others. The work reported below will demonstrate what is possible, provide preliminary results and indicate what a fuller study would involve and produce.