Manchay, Pachacamac, Lima
Manchay is a semi-rural community in the Pachacamac district of Lima. The population (60 - 80,000) includes 11.7% living in conditions of absolute poverty and 41.7% in conditions of poverty. It is semi-dessert land, most housing being from land occupations and over 55% of the housing in Manchay is a basic wooden or reed construction, with earth floor and laminate or reed roof. Manchay is predominantly land that is communally owned and divided into housing lots that have not yet been fully legally approved by land registry, meaning that access to credit is a particular challenge for the community. Opportunities lie in its position to the west - 5 minutes drive - from one of the richest suburbs of Lima - La Molina; and the increasing amount of tourism going to the coastal area and archaeological sites to the east in Pachacamac.
Of the adult population who could work, only 10.8% are adequately employed and 35.7% are without any employment - these are substantially worse statistics for any other part of Lima. Over half the population of Manchay receive less than the minimum wage of 500 soles per month (about US$175 in September 2008). A particular concern in the community is the increasing level of youth-related crime and gangs.
Bernie Ward, former Director of nef's Tools for Local Economic Renewal programme is working as an independent consultant in Manchay alongside other organisations, in particular the Catholic Parish of the Holy Spirit who have undertaken an impressive array of social development projects in the last 13 years (including setting up an adult education technical college, nursery education and parenting courses, community dining rooms, water projects and health centres).
The work will draw on learning from a survey process being led by a national medical university to identify how people are currently spending their income, how they are acquiring it, and what skills and knowledge exist locally - as well as data about the basic education, health and housing status of residents. Workshops to show the benefits of strengthening the local economy and to heighten awareness of local skills and resources are planned for 2008 in collaboration with the local technical institute and secondary school. The overall approach needs to be embedded in a culture of 'can do' since residents predominantly rely on securing roles as maids, chauffeurs, gardeners, mechanics or unskilled tradesmen and entrepreneurial spirit is largely subdued.
Bernie will operate as coach to the community's social entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs, and also as a networker to strengthen local social capital within Manchay and to foster stronger linkages with other parts of Lima, in particular the La Molina community.
In other work in Peru, Bernie Ward has applied the Local Multiplier 3 tool to a government social project paid for by funds arising from the mining industry, the food procurement programme of a mine and a social project undertaken by an NGO in a mining area. These measurements highlighted the opportunities being missed out on by local communities who have not yet managed to respond to local opportunities that are being created by the arrival of mining in their area. Key challenges are the ability to purchase materials in the quality and scale required, confounded by the fact that few businesses are formalised; and the very low skill levels at the local level - exacerbated by the high levels of people who do not have even basic documentations for citizenship, never mind appropriate skills to be able to be formally employed by a mine. The limited pro-active initiative by local government and NGOs has meant that the local government procurement contracts tend to go to Lima-based companies, and the local expectation is that it is the the mining company´s responsibility to make the effort to employ local people and use local resources. Yet whilst local supply is below standard and quality and small-scale this leads to an unhealthy situation of dependence: if the mine were to train up local suppliers to improve their quality those suppliers will feel that the mine HAS to purchase from them, regardless of any quality failings. Unless these challenges are addressed in a multi-sectoral manner the local government, the mining company and the communities will not be able to achieve the substantial development outcomes that mining presence could potentially bring to these communities.