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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.

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 (2019-2022), 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.


Results per 2018

  • The “Construya Peru” methodology was introduced, which is based on a skills approach, andragogy, and participatory and interactive facilitation processes that include the use of manuals and training materials, on a small scale.
  • 18 facilitators trained in the Construya Perú methodology, mainly from SENCICO and the CAPECO Institute, as well as independent facilitators.
  • A total of 3,004 homeowners and 4,198 construction workers have been trained. Of the latter group, 2,056 have built new or expanded homes; less vulnerable homes have been built by implementing good construction practices.
  • Approximately 53,000 homeowners and their families are living in safer houses thanks to works carried out by trained construction masters.
  • 1 399 construction workers increased their incomes by at least 15%. This means about USD 4.8 million of increase in the net income of construction workers.

Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation
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