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Peru: Safe and sustainable building for healthier lives in poor neighbourhoods

The goal is train 3,200 construction workers in safe and healthy construction, as well as to sensitize 20,000 homeowners. In this way, construction workers will increase their incomes and help local residents of informal slums to improve their quality of life. By 2020, these trainings will be so entrenched among our public and private implementation partners that they will continue to provide them on their own.

The unauthorized slums that have sprouted in Colombian cities from strong migration pressure constitute a huge risk to their inhabitants. Due to their poor construction quality, they cannot offer safe living spaces. Poor ventilation and the lack of natural lighting cause the inhabitants to fall ill (from depression to respiratory illnesses).
Better trained construction workers in the informal sector can improve this situation. They construct housing with carrying walls and design windows and inner walls in such a way to ensure daylight can shine through and air can circulate. With professional construction services, the trained construction workers will generate higher incomes for themselves and their families.

The Project

To this end, the project has analysed the prevailing substandard construction practices, and together with the national vocational education institutes SENA, developed practical trainings for informal sector construction workers. Thanks to these technical courses, the construction workers learn how to build safely and sustainably, thereby improving the health of their homeowner clients. Some attend additional follow-on training courses to improve their business skills. In parallel, homeowners are sensitized through media campaigns and seminars dealing with healthy and safe living. By 2017, 20,000 construction workers and 5,000 homeowners received training.
In this latest project phase, a further 3,200 construction workers will receive training – 1,370 of them will also receive business training – and 20,000 homeowners will be sensitized. The goal is to ensure the trainings are firmly adopted by local actors by 2020. To this end, private and public partners will receive support to integrate the courses into their client strategies. While newer partners will learn the course methodologies and coordination with SENA, our premium partners will be offering the courses independently on their own. At the policy level, communities receive support to implement new processes to ensure poor homeowners gain access to state subsidies for home renovations. In this way, we ensure that the advanced trainings will continue beyond the life of the project.


Expected results

1.    Handover of trainings to our public and private partners

  • SENA, Homecenter, und Cemex will have trained 9,400 construction workers themselves.
  • 100 new trainers will be trained in the course methodology.
  • 4 new partners will have integrated the trainings into their service portfolios.

2.    Improved construction quality and increased incomes of trained construction workers

  • 3,200 informal sector construction workers will have been trained by our new partners.
  • 1,900 trained construction workers will be building better than before and increasing their incomes by 690 Swiss francs per year.

3.    Promoting demand among homeowners for safe and healthy homes

  • An online platform makes it possible for homeowners to find trained construction workers.
  • 20,000 homeowners will have been sensitized to safe and healthy home construction.

4.    Policy and subsidies for council housing

  • 4 urban municipalities will have enacted efficient laws and processes so that council housing residents receive 15% more subsidies for home improvement projects.

Project countries

  • Colombia
  • Peru

Project links

Project duration

2018 - 2022


  • SDC

Working area


Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation
Hardturmstrasse 123
CH-8005 Zurich

Tel. +41 44 454 17 17
Fax +41 44 454 17 97
E-Mail info@STOP-SPAM.swisscontact.org