Three quarters of all Colombians reside in cities, many in densely populated and illegally constructed poor neighbourhoods. Many residents have built their homes on their own steam, with little money or experience and without official approvals. The living spaces are often precarious, construction quality is lacking, and the homes are particularly vulnerable to earthquakes or landslides. According to estimates, roughly 10 million people across the country live in poorly built homes.
This project involves a skills development programme in Colombia’s informal construction sector. Swisscontact aims to raise the performance level of the informal construction market in Colombia by introducing technical solutions and promoting good construction practices. This is achieved through:
The project was launched in April 2011 with financial support through the Hilti Foundation. In this last project phase 2019-2020 Swisscontact aims to demonstrate the following elements of Systemic change to achieve the desired impact:
Between 2011 and 2018, over 25 000 construction workers and over 6 000 homeowners were trained. An impact study for 2018 concludes that trained construction workers were able to increase their income by CHF 1,332 per year and in 60% of cases build more safely than untrained workers. By the end of 2018, the training courses had been anchored at the national vocational training institution SENA and the two main private partners Homecenter and Cemex to the extent that they were able to implement them independently.
In this last phase, we are supporting these established partners, who are already familiar with the training methods, to independently train 6,200 construction workers and 80 new trainers nationwide.
At the same time, we are supporting four new partners in getting to know the training methods and coordination with SENA better and in training 2,000 construction workers (800 of whom are also entrepreneurs) in the cities of Bogota, Cali and Bucaramanga. The aim is for private and public partners to integrate the courses into their client strategies by 2020 and then to continue to run them independently.
Thanks to the training courses, at least 10 000 homeowners know that they have to take structural measures to reduce the vulnerability of their homes to weather extremes and earthquakes, and to improve their habitability by providing natural light and ventilation.
Results previous phases (2011-2018)
Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation
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