¨Acuerdo para la Prosperidad¨Barranquilla

Acuerdo para la prosperidad Barranquilla

Architecture for Humanity Bogota was invited to participate in the ¨ Prosperity Agreement · number 38 in the city of Barranquilla, Atlántico on June 24 and 25, 2011, as part of a group of social innovators to share our experiences in the context of overcoming extreme poverty.

In "The Plan of Government of President Santos, citizen participation is one way of achieving social cohesion and is one of the roads posed to govern transparently, efficiently and effectively.

"Acuerdos para la prosperidad¨(Agreements for Prosperity) are exercises in dialogue that is held every Friday and Saturday from a region of the country. Each agreement is framed in a specific sector and will be led by the ministry or the entities in charge of this sector. "1

During the day on Friday 24 workshops developed with themes such as Water and Sanitation, Urban and Rural Housing, Infrastructure, Credit and Access to Housing and ¨La Niña¨ Phenomenon . In this event we participated by sharing some of the experiences we have had national and international in specific issues like water and sanitation and alternate financing.

In Saturday's 25 with the presence of the President of the Republic of Colombia, was held the meeting where, as part of a group raised the following points:

1 - In regard to the construction of rural housing, we believe should legalize the use of alternative techniques and materials such as adobe, rammed earth, construction with hay bales and recycled material such as PET bottles to empower communities through the knowledge and local resources and thus achieve not only housing but to create sustainable communities. We as a group are committed to develop the technical studies needed with the entities that you specify so these technics are included within the earthquake-resistant standards.

2 - From our work we have identified the problems experienced by the vulnerable population in land tenure, many of them Ünidos¨ families . We propose schemes to generate effective counseling for these families to begin a solution path to obtain proper housing.

3 - We believe that to achieve the goal of one million houses would be beneficial to the strategy of macro-projects to be complemented by smaller projects, allowing organizations with experience though smaller in scale as ours can support housing solutions for population of this country.

4 – We highlight the work of the ¨Cogestores¨ (co-managers) as a key tool for developing effective communication strategies. We would like to have access to co-managers to potentiate their work and nurture our social innovation projects.

These four factors are crucial to overcome extreme poverty in Colombia.

The use of alternative construction methods and community lead project can save up to 50% of administrative costs and 30% of construction costs resulting in better housing for the target population.

The problem of land tenure is a factor that prevents governments from any country to support families in need, part of this problem is the lack of mechanisms for families to legalize their situation, but the biggest problem is the lack of information on existing appropriate procedures so a family can legally have possession of the land and generate welfare and progress.

When a family has no legal ownership of the property can not receive any state subsidy, can hardly be helped by an NGO or the private sector cause there is no guarantee that the aid will remain in time and the family does not build anything permanent with its own resources because they can be evicted at any time. We need to break this vicious circle and the best way is to advise the families on legalizing their status and if this is not possible to search on the state's offer for a legal ground.

If families have relevant information of these issue may solve the problem much faster and overcome extreme poverty more quickly.

Within our organization we strongly believe that in order to build housing for all does not require major construction companies to build thousands of homes, we must work locally, empowering communities and distributing relevant information so thousands of people organize themselves to build millions of homes, a networked system that facilitates access to housing is easier to manage and more effective.

In Colombia as in other countries the model of co-managers can collect information not only on families but also carry information such as that required to legalize their land, is a network system with huge potential to be exploited, requiring only to create participatory mechanisms for information flow.

We will like to highlight the value generated for us working together with Colombian government entities and the dialogue on specific issues as discussed here, lead to innovative systems in government is a difficult task, even though the road is long it is the way to impact forcefully the future of a nation.

It is our commitment to continue working in the hand of the Colombian state and its different lines to achieve prosperity for all through sustainable architecture and responsible empowerment processes.

1¨¿Qué son los Acuerdos para la Prosperidad?¨,[en linea].[23 de agosto de 2011]. Disponible en web: http://www.regiones.gov.co/acuerdos/Paginas/AcuerdosparalaProsperidad.aspx

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