Workshop on Urban Mass Housing

This workshop was organised by the Centre for the Study of African Economies at Oxford University in collaboration with the IGC Infrastructure and Urbanisation Programme. The purpose of the workshop was to assess the state of knowledge on key issues that affect the success of large-scale housing for the mass of urban populations and for the economic performance of cities in developing countries, particularly in Africa, and to identify gaps which could then be addressed by a focused joint, global research programme.

Two burning questions for policy-makers and academics alike are:

  • What are the key impediments to mass housing of reasonable standards for ordinary people in rapidly-urbanising cities in poor and lower middle income countries? and
  • What forms of urbanisation and mass housing best create ladders of opportunity for people in such countries?


Paul Collier and Tony Venables launched a project to receive proposal of work collecting available state of the art and frontier research, further raising the profile of this theme within academia and the policy-making environment, in particular in Africa. The central focus will be policy, and the participants convened to jointly attend several conferences and events, mostly organized by the institutions to which they belong, such as Global Development Network, UN-Habitat, that will be funded mainly by the IGC.

All papers and presentations from the workshop are available online on the Oxford Institute for Global Economic Development events page.

The full event report, agenda and list of participants for this event are available for download below.

Downloads/resources