AIDG inspected 1500 buildings after the earthquake and, with help from KPFF Consulting Engineers, developed a training course to address a couple dozen major failure points to be presented in one day seminars to informal sector masons. The course includes information such as proper mortar mixtures for maximum resiliency, alternative technologies for developing inexpensive tools that are capable of precise bricklaying, and how to assess and repair fractured surfaces.
Masons are receptive to this type of training if it is short and does not impede their day-to-day struggle to find work and feed their families. Of masons who have already participated in AIDG's training course, several surveyed told the organization that they were able to obtain higher wages based on their new knowledge AND, more importantly, correct building mistakes they observed on the job.
AIDG works with international volunteer experts to develop technical assistance and training programs, and AIDG will leverage these experts in the continued development of its curriculum and improvement of its program. However, in order to ensure an approach that is sustainable for the long term, AIDG will also begin developing video content that can be transferred along with the curriculum to local training organizations.
Phase 1 (completed): Practical Trial and Curriculum Development (April 2010 - August 2010)
Since March, 2010 AIDG has performed one day trainings with 1100+ masons, a program which was funded by Architecture for Humanity, The Boston Foundation and AIDG donors. Structural/seismic engineers from KPFF Consulting Engineers gave the lecture portion of the training, teaching the basic theory of confined masonry building. Volunteer masons recruited from the Portland, OR region provided the hands-on portion of the training. AIDG's training coordinator, Adajah Codio, translated and co-led the trainings. During phase 1, AIDG revised the curriculum with KPFF and Haiti Rewired to produce the materials for Phase 2, which trains 150-600 masons per month.
Phase 2: Video Documentation and Continued Training (September 2010 - August 2011)
AIDG will continue its current 15-day training sessions each month bringing international volunteers in country as it has been. During this phase, AIDG will be working with video teams to develop training material that can be used on a mass scale that leverages the knowledge of international experts. The goal is to train 150-600 masons per month.
Phase 3 Transition of Curriculum to Local Partners (September 2011 - March 2012)
AIDG will identify and work with established Haitian institutions and other NGOs in order to develop a local network of trainers that can teach confined masonry techniques. The transfer of AIDG's video documentation and training curriculum to these partners will develop local capacity for performing ongoing trainings in order to increase the scale and reach of masons trained and ensure the overall sustainability and replicability of the training program. During this phase, AIDG will emphasize knowledge transfer and 'train the trainer' activities with its identified partners, with a goal of 600-1000 masons trained per month.
The January 12 earthquake in Port-au-Prince damaged and destroyed over 300,000 buildings and homes in the metropolitan region of Haiti's capital. While the world has seen the pictures of the suffering and devastation inflicted by the disaster, explanation as to why the buildings collapsed is not as readily available.
It is expected to take between 5-15 years to properly rebuild Port-au-Prince. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) states that another major quake is highly probable during the lifetime of the buildings that are being rebuilt. To ensure that the same mistakes that led to widespread building collapse and loss of life are not repeated, construction professionals need training in proper seismic design and building techniques. Unfortunately, most small construction teams exist outside formal training and code structures, working instead under an apprenticeship system. Without engagement of informal masonry teams on a mass level to change the culture of builders, code structures will continue to fail.