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.
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 (2019-2022), 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.
This project is financed by Hilti Foundation, among other donors. 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).