Most developing countries lack institutions and personnel with adequate skills in human settlements and there is a shortage of trained personnel in almost every profession and skill involved in settlements development and management. While there are a number of training activities focused on human settlements, many of those involved in the settlement building process do not take part in such programmes. The gap is most pronounced at the grass-roots and intermediate levels, where training is concentrated almost exclusively in metropolitan areas. Even for high-level professionals, training opportunities are grossly inadequate: present training programmes are often divorced from reality, particularly in relation to the needs of low-income populations, and professionals are not equipped to deal with related social and environmental concerns. Agencies engaged in the various types of training focused on human settlements tend to perpetuate an uncritical transfer of basic concepts and training schemes from industrialized countries to situations that are inherently different and which require new approaches.