Sustainable Rural Dwelling Unit (SRDU)

Of the estimated eighty million Ethiopia’s population, approximately 80% are living in rural areas in housing units that are substandard and inadequate. Although this dire situation requires and immediate intervention an systematic improvement, both academics and policy makers still largely neglect the issue; of witness, the United Nation’s Millennium development goal, Target-11, focuses on urban slums only. Observing this gap, a research project was initiated at the Chair of Housing, EiABC, entitled Sustainable Rural Dwelling Unit (SRDU) and focuses on capacity building for the construction of improved housing units with the use of alternative building materials and renewable energy.

The research project is designed in three phases: Phase-1 dealt with the documentation and study of the existing rural housing and the construction of a prototype—SRDU-I, Phase-2 dealt with the construction of a prototype—SRDU-II,  and Phase-3 dealt with the up-scaling of the SRDUs and the contextualization of vocational training—SRDU-III (Rural Housing).

This research project was done in partnership with Arthur Waser Foundation, ETH-Global, Guraghe Administration Zone, Bete-Guraghe Cultural Center, Wolkite University and Wolkite Technical and Vocational Education and Training College.

Urban Renewal and Income-Generating Spaces for Youth and Women in Addis Ababa

This research project, done by member of the Chair of Housing (EiABC) and University of Jyväskylä, and funded by the Academy of Finland, asks: how can living spaces for resettled urban poor be designed so that they not only reduce the problems encountered so far in slum resettlement, but also incorporate income-generating spaces for unemployed youth and women? Such income-generating spaces would not only be aimed at creating jobs and economically vibrant areas in and near areas of resettlement, but also at transferring skills and training from older to younger generations in a way that is affordable for the poor.

A specific objective of the research project is to develop a replicable, affordable and upwardly scalable set of research methods which can be easily used by researchers throughout Sub-Saharan Africa to study livelihoods among the urban poor and develop income-generating spaces in resettlement areas. Given the unique conditions surrounding African urban poverty, such a methodology must be developed in the context of African itself. The most influential results of the project will be the policy recommendations generated by it. To discuss and disseminate these recommendations, the research outcomes will be published, and a research workshop and one large international conference will be organized, to which international cooperation partners and relevant scholars and stakeholders will be invited.


The Chair of Housing provides consultancy services to any government or private institution interested in its area of competence. Up to now, the Chair has participated in EiABC projects such as: Evaluation of the Implementation of Development Plan of Addis Ababa: Housing Sector, and Bash Wolde Chilot Urban Design Project. The chair welcomes any institutions or private industry services interested in our services either in consultancy or research.


Imam M. Hassen (M.Arch.)

Chair Holder

Mobile    +251(0) 913 961796

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