About ILLH

The Institute for Land, Livelihoods and Housing is a centre at NUST bringing together the various disciplines at the university, locally and internationally around these key themes.

The institute was originally established in 2008 as the Integrated Land Management Institute to reflect the competences within the then-Department of Land Management. After a period of dormancy, was restructured in 2015 by a group of colleagues from architecture, land administration and property sciences; to enhance research and outreach activities between departments.

In 2017 the institute was awarded its first large commission to revise the national housing programmes by the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development (MURD). Today, the institute has undertaken the revision of the national housing policy, the development of the national strategy for informal settlement upgrading, enabled various research collaborations and partnerships, and facilitated several outreach activities.

The institute is financially supported by NUST as well as grants and project funds from partners like the German Cooperation Agency, UN Habitat, MURD, and international universities.

The institute lies within the School of the Built Environment, which houses many of the key disciplines related to urban development and infrastructure. Mechanisms have been established to enable university-wide collaboration on issues requiring transdisciplinary approaches. An example of this is the Urban Working Group, which reaches colleagues across the university concerned with this theme.

The institute was led by Dr. Guillermo Delgado until November 2023. The institute is currently co-led by colleagues of the Department of Architecture, Planning and Construction (DAPC) and the Department of Land and Spatial Sciences (DLSS); represented by Mr Gert van der Merwe (DAPC) and Prof Eugene Chigbu (DLSS). Researchers lead and participate in individual projects, and many of them remain as ILLH Associates.

The institute is currently implementing a Transitional Plan to consolidate itself as a university-wide entity, implementing academic programmes such as the postgraduate diploma on informal settlement upgrading (starting 2024).

The institute strives to engage with issues of key social relevance through partnership approaches, driven by a deep conviction that socio-spatial transformation is fundamental to enable a transition to more socially, environmentally and economically just future.



The African Union for Housing Finance (AUHF); the Association of Local Authorities in Namibia (ALAN); the Civil Society Working Group on Land Reform (CSO-WGLR); Development Workshop Namibia (DWN); the French Development Agency (AFD); German Cooperation Agency (GIZ); Legal Assistance Centre (LAC); Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform (MAWLR); Ministry of Urban and Rural Development (MURD); the City of Windhoek; the Namibia Association of Local Authority Officials (NALAO); the Namibia Architecture Students Association (NASA); Namibia Domestic Workers Union (NDAWU); the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN) and the Namibia Housing Action Group (NHAG); National Planning Commission (NPC); Network for Excellence in Land Governance in Africa (NELGA); Teachers Union of Namibia (TUN); the United Nations Innovation Technology Accelerator for Cities (UNITAC) Hamburg; the University of Helsinki; University of Namibia (UNAM); University of Manchester (UK); the University of Stuttgart; among others. 


For more information

You can read here a draft Research Agenda on Land, Livelihoods and Housing, currently under review.

Visit the Research page to look for the research themes we'll be pursuing throught his framework.

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