Evaluation of the Performance of Rural Housing Programs and Their Impacts on the Quality of Construction in Rural Areas in the Fourth Development Plan (Case Study: Hormozgan Province)



Improving the living standards of rural people has been among the major concerns of the post-revolutionary state in Iran. For this purpose, the government has made an attempt for reorganizing the pre-revolutionary rural and agricultural administration. Enhancing the quality of rural housing has been one of major programs that systematically received a notable attention in recent years for various reasons. First of all considering the quality of life as a basic need, housing and enjoying a minimum of its standards is mostly defined as a basic right for all people. Secondly, according to the different country's national censuses of population and housing, rural housing, as compared to urban areas, is more vulnerable and less sustainable, mainly due to using less or low qualified materials in constructing rural houses. Thirdly, the periodic occurrence of natural disasters, like float and earthquake, has had the most ruining effect on rural people and making them more vulnerable. The problem of poor quality of rural constructions along with the rural housing vulnerability and, make the government consider the renovation of rural housings continuously at the top agenda of its rural development policy. In fact, since the second development plan, improving the conditions of housing in rural areas has constituted a main objective of the development plans. Housing Foundation of Islamic Revolution was to be the charge of various related initiatives to enhance the country's rural housing status. Since detailed report of the national Censuses of population and housing in various years had revealed a gloomy picture of rural housing for different parts of the country particularly for the province of Hormozghan, this province has been a Suitable major target for housing programs.
Despite emphasis on significant role of the programs in enhancing the status of rural housing, no scholarly systematic study has been done for clarifying the effectiveness of mentioned programs. This study attempts to fill some of the existing gaps in related fields by focusing on Hormozgan Province. In other words, it aims to probe the fact that to some extent rural housing programs have succeeded in meeting their objectives. So two aspects of program evaluation have been taken into account: effectiveness, and impacts.

Typologically speaking, the study is about evaluation, both performance and impacts. In the part of performance, the aspect of effectiveness of programs (comparing objectives and the degree of their materialization) has been taken into account. In the part of impacts, the main emphasis has been put on the effects of the initiatives on upgrading the quality of housing construction in under consideration villages the data of the study were collected through available documents and interviewing with the local informants who were selected via random proportionate sampling method. Regarding objectives of the study, iniquity of analysis, and nature of the data, the research has been based on documentary-descriptive and survey-descriptive and quantitative method.

The findings indicated that the performance of Housing Foundation with more than 230 technical inspectors has been effective and successful in meeting such objectives as granting improvement facilities, providing loan interest, free facilities for repairing ruined buildings and establishing the province's rural technical system. The findings of the field study also showed that the performance of the program, with respect to the issue of construction certificate, has been evaluated satisfactory too, mainly due to the establishment of village animator system by the interior ministry and that of rural technical system by Housing Foundation. On the basis of outcomes, following the evaluation of impacts in implementation of fivefold programs (issuing constructional certificate, determining technical inspector, training local experts, providing improvement and repairing loans) on the quality of housing construction, in general the local informants evaluated the impact of programs is satisfaction and most effectiveness levels.

With regard to the findings, the authors may conclude that the performance of programs from the effectiveness viewpoint (the degree of materialization of objectives) as well as the impacts of programs on quality of the constructions from the view point of using durable materials and enhancing construction methods has been successful. However, the poor performance of some parts of the program, such as training local experts, insufficient monitoring arrangements over the activities of technical inspectors, lack of coordination between technical inspectors and rural management system, insufficient familiarity of the most technical inspectors with modern methods and materials of the construction, lack of systematic plan in producing and supplying standard materials, limited use of technological possibilities and didactic means in training constructional workers and retraining technical inspectors could be noted as the main constrains for full successes of rural housing improvement and renovation programs in rural areas of Hormozghan province during the fourth national development plan.