Influencing Policy

Our efforts have concentrated on establishing strong lasting links with the authorities, organisations and communities that GREAT works with in Cali and Havana.

In Cali, GREAT partners with Secretariats of: Planning and Citizenship Participation, Health (in particular the Psycho-Social Programme available to victims of the armed conflict), Environmental Health, and Housing; the local agency for Environmental Management (DAGMA); and the Carvajal Foundation, an NGO with 50  years of experience working with communities from informal settlements, in particular, involving successful programmes on social entrepreneurship. GREAT  also works closely with three community leaders (presidents of the Juntas de Acción Comunal, or, Local Action Assemblies) and many residents, who have taken part in various activities led by colleagues from Univalle. In addition, GREAT has established a collaboration with Fundación Tecnisólidos, an organisation of waste pickers operating in Cali’s Districts 17, 18 and 19 in the recovery of recyclable materials. Another collaborator is COOTRANSOL, a transport cooperative operating two of the most important routes connecting the four settlements with the city.  


Cali has adopted the intersectionality approach for the City Habitat Integral Improvement Policy.

The Secretariat of Social Housing and Habitat participated in the event City, Territory and Peace held in Cali in November 2022. As part of this event the Laboratory of Popular Neighbourhoods of Cali “PopuLab” was launched. This public event brought together the community of District 18 and other representatives of the local government.

Launch of the “PopuLab” Laboratory of Popular Neighborhoods of Cali

In Havana, GREAT has established a partnership with the commission of the Plan Perspectivo de la Bahía de La Habana (PPBH, Spanish for Havana´s Bay Development Perspective) with the support of Universidad de La Habana. Involved in the commission are the Havana´s Historian Office and its Planning Department (Plan Maestro) and the General Directorate of Transport of Havana. Also partners of GREAT are the Recycling Entrepreneurial Group (Grupo Empresarial del Reciclaje) whose mission is to recover, process and market recyclable waste from industry, commerce and residential areas. The PPBH commission has scheduled for 2023 the publication of a series of complementary urban management tools such as: the Havana´s Bay Mobility Plan, the Emergency plan for sanitation and environmental management, a Special plan for advanced infrastructures development and a Special Plan for the development of Informal Settlements located within the perimeter of their jurisdiction. One of the settlements is San Nicolás, where GREAT is based. The purpose of the partnership is to translate the co-produced research results and the principles brought by the GREAT project into these urban management and planning tools. Also, the National Planning Institute (INOTU) has identified GREAT as one of the key projects contributing to a national strategy on informal settlements. Related to this is the invitation  to two GREAT Havana team members to join the experts team of the policy drafting project “II Improvement of living conditions , habitat Conditions” which is part of the National Development Plan 2030 (PNDES2030)