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 Program Resume - Public Building Rehabilitation Program (WVI)

 Duration: 31.12.1996 - present
 Location: Baku
 Sectors: Public building rehabilitation

WVI - Community Shelter Rehabilitation Project (Donors: SC/USAID, WVI)


The overall goal of this project is to improve the basic living conditions of the internally displaced and refugee population of Azerbaijan. By the end of the project, IDPs and refugees in the Baku and Sumgait area will have housing that meets, and mechanisms that maintain, basic standards of safety and sanitation, adequate protection from the elements, and where feasible and cost effective, access to basic services such as water and electricity. Specific objectives for the project are: 1) At least 10,500 IDPs and refugees will have demonstrated a degree of responsibility for their living conditions by meeting criteria for site selection, being involved in rehabilitation work, and having working mechanisms for on-going building maintenance; and 2) At least 10,500 IDPs and refugees in the Baku/Sumgait area will live in shelters with adequate levels of safety, weatherization, sanitation and access to basic services.

Community criteria, participation, and sustainability in rehabilitation: By the end of the first quarter of the project, 5,142 IDPs and refugees at 17 out of the 54 targeted buildings had met the criteria for entry into the project. By ensuring that the community was involved in the process early in the project, the Community Liaison Workers (CLW) are able to take time to develop the communities participation to a level that allows them to truly have an input into the work carried out, thus increasing the likelihood of taking ownership of the results. Community Shelter Working Groups have been formed at 20 buildings and have been working well, with the groups making significant input into defining the work needed as well as solving or preventing problems that would have prevented or significantly delayed rehabilitation work. The second mechanism that has encouraged community involvement has been through the employment, where possible, of IDPs as members of contractor work teams. To date, at least 30% of labor has been from IDP residents, thereby enhancing income as well as a sense of ownership. A number of different mechanisms for the maintenance of the buildings are being experimented with at the first building where work is being done. Selection has been carried out for items to make up the toolkits that will be lent to craftsmen in return for carrying out repairs for six months, at which point the kits become their own. In addition, CLWs have been training Shelter Working Groups how to hold effective meetings and establish rosters for keeping communal areas clean.

Adequate living standards: Rehabilitation work has begun at seven buildings housing a total of 3,102 people. Once criteria for entry into the project is met by the residents, the CLW for the building, the Shelter Working Group, and the engineers perform an assessment of the work that is required before bill of quantities are prepared and the tender process carried out. Once the contractor is selected, the construction manager spends time going through their implementation plan and providing guidance to them to ensure that their targets are reasonable. Buildings are prioritized according to dangers, winterization needs, hygiene, and security. Work has started at the buildings that are in the worst condition, thus slowing initial progress though overall progress is not expected to be affected.

(SC Fact Sheet: March 1997)

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