Foreign aid and power relations : the government of Egypt, USAID and housing in Helwan
Foreign aid, power and housing are the three key issues covered in this thesis. The focus of the thesis is on aid and the relationships that it triggers, and the role that power plays in shaping these relationships. This will be examined in the context of housing. The thesis explores the way in which power impacts on inter and intra donor- recipient relations. While the economic relation in aid has been often the preoccupation of those engaged in this debate, the political relationship has been often overlooked. This research shows that an appreciation of the role that politics in general, and power in particular plays in aid, is necessary for an understanding of the aid process. In order to form a complete picture of this process, both the planned intervention (policy-planning-implementation) and the community side, were covered by the research. This included the examination of the interactions between and amongst different collective actors as well as the impact of such interactions. The research thus examines the particular relationship between the government of Egypt (GOE) and the United State Agency for International Development (USAID), which has gone through numerous changes over the last two decades, highlighting the way in which it had been predominantly a political relationship. A housing project, co-funded by the GOE and USAID, targeting factory workers in Helwan, an industrial suburb of Cairo, was studied. The uniqueness of this case is that it was an attempt by USAID to change GOE housing policy. On the one hand, the analysis looks into the inter-and intra relationship between the different actors involved in the project. On the other hand, these various and complex relationships are examined in terms of their impact on two communities who were involved in the project.