Safe, healthy, and sustainable construction in Peru’s poor neighbourhoods.

Rural flight in Peru over the last 30 years has resulted in sharp population rises in coastal cities. Due to a lack of urban planning, many informal urban settlements have sprouted in areas originally intended for single houses. Today, around 16 million people live under conditions that are unsafe and hazardous to health. In addition, Peru is one of the most earthquake-prone countries on the planet. In the capital city Lima alone, the number of homes that would collapse in a magnitude 8.5 earthquake has been estimated at over half a million.

The Project

This project involves a skills development programme in Peru’s informal construction sector. Its main objectives include increasing technical skills and incomes for construction workers. As a result, safer homes will be built in informal residential neighbourhoods while quality of life for the local population improves.

Swisscontact is committed to:

  • developing good construction practices
  • high-quality training of local construction workers suited to the local context
  • sensitizing homeowners to ensure they demand higher quality construction practices for their homes  

The project launched in 2015 and builds on valuable experiences from a similar construction project in Colombia. In Peru, the project is being implemented in other regional centres beyond Lima in the country’s north and south.

Objectives 2017-2018


  • 5,000 construction workers will be trained, including 750 who will also undergo entrepreneurship training.
  • 15,000 homeowners will have been sensitized either directly or indirectly, and 3,000 of them will undergo targeted training.


  • At least 2,500 construction workers will have increased their annual income by 15 to 30%.
  • 18,500 residents in informal settlements will have benefited from qualified construction services, thereby improving their quality of life.
  • Local partners will be applying the project’s concepts in at least four Peruvian rural regions.

Project activities

  1. Developing and teaching an attractive course curriculum for informal sector construction workers
    Developing training modules for vocational trainers and construction workers in collaboration with the SENCICO training institute and numerous private companies. These training modules will be offered in various cities across Peru. The courses include specialised technical content and business management.
  2. Information campaigns, trainings, and advisory services for owners of informal homes
    Information and trainings that are specially designed for local partners to reach out to informal homeowners and easy to understand. They include information on risks and other information to help homeowners improve their quality of life and home environment.


Results 2017

  • 1’779 construction workers received a training in safer construction techniques and 435 were trained in business and entrepreneurship.
  • 1’251 homeowners were sensitised during workshops and trainings about safe and healthy construction and over 10’000 residents and construction workers were reached through targeted media.
  • In 2017 two impact studies were conducted. They indicate that by the end of 2017 a total of 1’487 workers could increase their annual income from CHF 4’200 to CHF 6’600 on average. The seismic vulnerability fell in more than half of all the examined houses and 80% of the trained workers are doing better job than untrained peers.

Project progress 2015-2016

  • 7 public- and 7 private-sector project partners have been brought into the programme. Training curricula were developed and poor construction practices documented.
  • The project has trained more than 800 construction workers in pilot training courses.
  • 750 local residents underwent personal sensitization. Over two million residents were reached through the mass media.

Project partner

  • Hilti Foundation

Project countries

  • Peru

Project duration

2017 - 2020


  • Hilti Foundation

Working area


Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation
Hardturmstrasse 123
CH-8005 Zurich

Tel. +41 44 454 17 17
Fax +41 44 454 17 97