Technical support and training in reconstruction
In July 2010, the SDC opened a Competence Centre for Reconstruction (CCR) in Port-au-Prince, comprising SHA and private-sector experts. The CCR participates in planning and implementing SDC projects, as well as providing support and advice to the Haitian partners and government institutions involved in reconstruction work. The CCR supports the Haitian ministry of public works in developing and disseminating key messages about simple construction techniques. It informs and raises awareness among the general public about earthquake- and hurricane-resistant building methods.
On the initiative of the SDC, an inter-institutional technical group was established in late 2011 to draw up blueprints for the design of schools. SHA architects developed three such standard designs – using reinforced concrete for two- to three-storey buildings in urban areas, chained masonry for single-storey buildings in rural areas, and timber frames for remote and inaccessible regions. A ministerial decree of April 2014 designated these three blueprints as national standards and the SDC now plays a leading role in the thematic exchange platform responsible for their application.
Another of the CCR's key objectives is local capacity-building. In collaboration with the National Vocational Training Institute (INFP), the centre developed training modules for bricklayers and bricklaying trainers. Over 550 bricklayers and 50 trainers gained advanced training certificates between April 2011 and January 2014. A series of theoretical and practical workshops were also organised for engineers from the Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training to familiarise them with the principles of earthquake- and hurricane-resistant construction.
On this basis, the CCR launched in 2014 a project aimed at reducing and managing the risks of natural disasters. It seeks to disseminate a 'mixed' risk analysis method (both scientific and participatory) and to develop prevention measures. Additional national experts will be trained as part of the project.