Peru: Promotion of Safe, Sound and Sustainable Construction Practices in Vulnerable Urban Areas (Construya)

Accelerated urbanization, a lack of urban planning and a significant housing deficit have generated an increasing number of informal dwellings. It is estimated that 500,000 homes and more than 700,000 people in Lima live in conditions that place them at high-risk of earthquakes and tsunamis, making Peru one of the countries most likely to experience seismic events in the world. Most homes built in vulnerable zones do not comply with the most basic construction requirements.

Ancon, Peru
Lurín, Peru
Villa el Salvador, Peru
Carabayllo, Peru
Project duration
2019 - 2023

The project

Given this situation, the project is aimed at strengthening the demand by families and homeowners for qualified builders and reliable construction services. The project also seeks to institutionalize the supply of affordable and ongoing technical and business training for construction workers. The project connects other key actors as well, including municipalities, construction companies, and the suppliers of building materials and services.

During its first phase (2015-2018), the project identified bad construction practices that were most commonly utilized in Lima’s outlying districts. Based on these findings, evening training programs were designed for construction workers, using an adult education model (andragogy). Technical and business training was provided, with support from the nation’s most important training institutes. Simultaneously, homeowners in vulnerable areas received information about the risks of unsuitable building practices and were provided with training about how to improve their living conditions through safer and healthier housing. Impact studies indicate that the builders who received training constructed safer houses. The same workers also obtained increases in their incomes, and the aggregate value of the project’s approach began to gain recognition from local community actors. 

Although improvements in the quality of training remains a key priority during the second project phase (2019-2023), the formalizing of construction practices will be approached in a more comprehensive manner. To institutionalize inclusive services—both the provision of ongoing training and the availability of technical assistance (support from professionals such as architects and structural engineers)—inclusive business models for different institutional project partners are being developed. In this way, greater sustainability of project impact can be better insured. The greatest challenge is gaining access to the immense potential of the “self-construction” market, which accounts for approximately 70% of the market volume.



  • Wrong constructive practices documented
  • Curricula for technical and business training modules developed
  • 4 198 workers trained (1 254 also in entrepreneurial topics)
  • Average income increase of 15.7%
  • 6 809 owners sensitised and 3004 trained
  • 53 000 people living in safer homes thanks to safer construction practices


  • 363 construction workers trained
  • Approximately 800 families were sensitised in safe construction.
  • Negotiation of public-private coalitions for worker training and technical assistance
  • Virtualisation of the training offer
  • Survey of digital profile of construction workers (survey of 117 workers, via telephone)

Financing partners

This project is financed by the Hilti Foundation. As part of the Swisscontact Development Programme, it is co-financed by SDC (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA).


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