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Developing effective training IN CONTEXT Women in construction Traditional gender roles can be a barrier for capable women wanting to be involved in technical and non-technical aspects of construction. Build Change, an American-based NGO, supports gender parity by actively hiring and training local women for technical assistance in their communityand homeowner-based construction programs. Often already proficient in their trade, Build Change trains these female engineers, architects and builders on hazard-resistant construction. Build Change has found women particularly interested in spreading safe construction techniques to better their community, and they excel in training others on safer construction techniques too. Seeking self-employment, many of these women put their skills to work after disaster reconstruction. They become breadwinners and, in some cases, start their own businesses. Training should be developed and implemented by appropriate technical experts with extensive experience in hazard-resistant construction. Technical experts should collaborate with potential recipients of the training – construction workers and technical specialists – to ensure the training adequately addresses their concerns and is tailored to their learning needs. The training should provide plenty of hands-on exercises and confidence-building activities. The development of training programs should take into account the local context and the intended recipients. Local tradespeople and unskilled labourers may only have basic literacy, and some may have none at all. Few labourers have experience reading technical drawings or understanding technical terms. Those who have a little experience with proposed materials and techniques may struggle learning the new concepts. Conversely, those with some experience may be overly confident in their abilities and reluctant to adjust their practice by incorporating unfamiliar hazardresistant construction techniques. Beyond teaching new construction techniques, training should support participants as agents of change in their community. In many communities, skilled tradespeople have the highest available construction knowledge in the neighbourhood. Their specialised knowledge, even when limited, places them in a position of extraordinary influence. They can strongly advocate for hazard-resistant construction in a way that their neighbours respect. Reinforced concrete bands in a masonry school building are highlighted with bright white marks in Nepal. Parents now use these techniques in the construction of their own homes. Traditionally, the community built masonry houses without reinforcement. Photo: Bishnu Pandey. SECTION III: CONSTRUCTION By building construction skills and building institutions for continuing education and development, these tradespeople can begin to promote hazard-resistant construction as part of their service, promoting a broader culture of safety in their communities. 78