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International Recovery Platform

Jamaica informal building sector study

The Disaster Vulnerability Reduction Project is a World Bank financed initiative with the development objective of enhancing Jamaica's resilience to disaster and climate risk. The operation supports the Government of Jamaica in implementing a program that promotes climate and disaster risk management in the wider context of sustainable development. A strategic priority of the project is to support building code implementation with a focus on delivering training programs to a wide range of building professionals, including the staff of building authorities and private sector practitioners through specialized academic institutions. This analysis was commissioned by the World Bank to provide further perspective on the scale, dynamics and motivations of the "informal" construction sector, characterized by low-income households, unlicensed practitioners and unpermitted work often resulting in houses vulnerable to disaster. The analysis was completed by Build Change, a nonprofit social enterprise with extensive training and building inspection experience in informal contexts in multiple countries. It is based on results from 240 structured interviews with households and practitioners from the informal sector, conversations with a number of institutional and private sector collaborators and past Build Change experience.

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