Egypt: Profusion of Plans, Poverty of Programs — A Consultant’s Experience

  • Malcolm D. MacNair


This paper provides a brief history and appraisal of development planning in Egypt with emphasis on activities since the War of 1973 and the infusion of foreign, largely Arab and Western supported, technical assistance. More than 100 major plans and studies prepared in the period 1973–85 covered the entire country. These studies varied from very inclusive regional plans to designs in construction detail for new communities scaled at a half million persons each. Drawing upon the best of British, Dutch, French, Canadian, American, Japanese, German, Yugoslav, Italian, Swedish and Norwegian consultants, along with their Egyptian counterparts, many of these plans were on the technical frontier of planning analysis and method. Yet, few elements of these plans were either carried out or welded into a national program for action. This state of affairs in part occurred due to: problems similar to those in other developing countries including the misuse of human and other resources; the perpetuation of early models of administration which are insufficient to later tasks; and the emphasis on technical assistance projects instead of an emphasis on technical assistance processes. This paper proposes a corrective direction in the development and foreign aid process and the role of expatriate professionals.


Regional Plan United Nations Development Program Master Plan Physical Planning Suez Canal 
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  1. Europa Publications, 1984, “The Middle East and Africa 1984-5,” Thirty-first edition, Europa Publications, London.Google Scholar
  2. Nutting, Anthony, 1972, “Nasser,” EP Dutton:299, New York, NY. (Nutting’s book is a particularly good one in its inter-relation and interpretation of Egyptian external and internal political events. Nutting had a relationship with Nasser both as a British diplomat and, after resigning over the Suez invasion of 1956, as a journalist and friend.)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Malcolm D. MacNair
    • 1
  1. 1.Pt Hasfarm Dian KonsultanJakartaIndonesia

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