The Construction Industry in Developing Countries

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THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

Fred Moavenzadeh

Professor of Civil Engineering

Janet Ann Koch Rossow

Graduate Research Assistaat

TECHNOLOGY ADAPTATION PROGRAM

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Spring 1975

(Second Printing Spring 1976)

PREFACE

which describe

o
This report is
ne of a series of publications
of the Technology

various studies undertaken under the sponsorship
of Technology.

Adaptation Program at the Massachusetts Institute
through the

In 1971 the United States Department of State,
Massachusetts

the
Agency for International Development, awarded
provide

a grant, the purpose of which was to nstitutions

Technology
Institute of the development at M.I.T.,
in conjunction with i
for
support
useful in the adap­
in selected developing countries, of capabilities
techniques to the needs of

tation of technologies and problem-solving
Technology Adaptation Program provides

those countries.
At M.I.T., the
for which the A.I.D. grant

the means by which the long-term objective
was made, can be achieved.

review of the construc­
This report piesents a state-of-the-art
It discusses the role of

tion industry in the developing countries.
and its importance to

construction in the process of development
income generation and re­
economic growth, employment creation, and
distribution.

indigenous construction

The issues facing the growth of a viable
within the context of

industry in the developing world are considered
of constructed facilities
the activities involved in the creation
environment

The
planning, design, construction, and maintenance.

has developed is also examined. For each

within which the industry
capabilities, the

constructioa activity the report reviews available
of an indigenous industry,

various resources needed for the development
needs.

and some possible means of accommodating these
discussions, the

In order to provide a specific focus for the
on five emerging nations at

authors utilized information available
Korea, Iran, Kenya, and

different stages of development -- Colombia,
in economic, social, and

Ethiopia.
These countries differed not only
development, but also

political structure and in their extent of
of natural resources.

presented a wide variation in the availability
a
firms as
poten-

The report reviews multi-national construction
of appropriate

development
tlal means for the transfer, adaptation, and
countries, considering the firms'

technologies to less industrialized
their evolving role in the

nature, the scope of their activities, and
to the developing coun­
development process. Opportunities available
for the developmental

tries for using the multi-nationals as a vehicle
for such use are also discussed.

process and possible incentives

In the process of making this TAP-supported study, some insight has been gained into how appropriate technologies can be identified and adapted to the needs of'developing countries per se, and it is ex­ pected that the recommendations developed will serve as a guide to other developing countries for the solution of similar problems which

may be encountered there.

Fred Moavenzadeh

Program Director

May 1976
Cambridge, Massachusetts

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
This study was sponsored by the M.I.T. Technology Adapta­
tion Program which is funded through a grant by the Agency for International Development, United States Department of State.

The

of
views and opinions expressed in this report, however, are those the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the sponsors. The authors wish to thank Dr. Margaret Scott Gaines for

editing the manuscript, and Ms. Susan Burkhardt for her assistance

in data collection and collation.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page
Acknowledgments
Table of Contents
Summary
Chapter 1:

iv...
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