Particularly striking is the weak correlation of measures of income and human capital with infrastructure access and quality of living conditions. For example, residents of Dakar’s slums have low levels of education and high levels of poverty but fairly decent living conditions. By contrast, most of Nairobi’s slum residents have jobs and comparatively high levels of education, but living conditions are but extremely bad. And in Johannesburg, education and unemployment levels are high, but living conditions are not as bad as in Nairobi. These findings suggest that reduction in income poverty and improvements in human development do not automatically translate into improved infrastructure access or living conditions.
In this paper the authors compare indicators of development, infrastructure, and living conditions in the slums of Dakar, Nairobi, and Johannesburg using data from 2004 World Bank surveys. Contrary to the notion that most African cities face similar slum problems, they find that slums in the three cities differ dramatically from each other on nearly every indicator examined.
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In this paper the authors compare indicators of development, infrastructure, and living conditions in the slums of Dakar, Nairobi, and Johannesburg using data from 2004 World Bank surveys. Contrary to the notion that most African cities face similar slum problems, they
find that slums in the three cities differ dramatically from each other on nearly every indicator examined.
Since not all slum residents are poor, living conditions also vary within slums depending on poverty status. Compared to their non-poor neighbors, the poorest residents of Nairobi or Dakar are less likely to use water (although connection rates are similar) or have access to basic infrastructure (such as electricity or a mobile phone). Neighborhood location is also a powerful explanatory variable for electricity and water connections, even after controlling for household characteristics and poverty. Finally, tenants are less likely than homeowners to have water and electricity connections
This paper—a product of the Sustainable Development Division, Africa Region—is part of a larger effort in the department to improve the global knowledge base on African infrastructure as part of the Africa Infrastructure Country Diagnostic. The paper has benefited from funding, at different stages, from the Norwegian Trust Fund, Public Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF), Water and Sanitation Program-Africa (WSP-Africa), the Africa Region of the World Bank, and the multi-donor supported Africa Infrastructure Country Diagnostic (AICD). Policy Research Working Papers are also posted on the Web at http://econ.worldbank.org. The author may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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