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Credit, insurance, technical assistance and training for communities in areas of natural disasters in Brazil.



Since the 1990, there have been 30 thousand more natural disasters and losses of R$ 800 million monthly in the Brazil. However, the floods were the ones that caused more losses and damages. Between 1991 and 2012, there were 10,474 cases in the country, with 6,771 occurrences of overflow and sudden flooding and 3,763 of gradual flooding (UFSC, 2016). The tendency is that the situation will deteriorate in the coming years (BALDAN, 2012).

Despite this reality, it was only after the calamity in Rio de Janeiro occurred in 2011, causing almost one thousand deaths and about thirty thousand dislodged people (SCARINI, 2016), that the government started to operate in this sector, but slowly revealing neglect at management of natural hazards in inland municipalities, such as the Goiânia Metropolitan Region in Goiás. The poor residents of this region have suffered floods every year, despite the Civil Defense of Goiânia monitoring the 57 critical points of the city (O POPULAR, 2017), as it appears in Figure 1. By 2016, for example, at least 700 people stayed homeless in nine neighborhoods (G1 GLOBO, 2016).

Figure 1. Location (Brazil, Goiás, Metropolitan Region, Goiânia), Points and pictures floods. Source: Author; Google Maps; Jornal Hoje em Dia (2013); A Redação (2015); Ajudar é possível (2016); Tv Anhanguera (2017).

Considering this context, it was thought of an innovative approach to help these people who suffer from these natural disasters, the  solidarity architecture cluster. This proposal covers a set of three strategies integrated: creation of a Community bank providing insurance and credit for the renovation, construction or reconstruction of local housing, shops and services, especially for low-income people in flood risk areas; an architectural office that grant participatory projects and provides free technical assistance to people with up to 3 minimum wages; free workshops to enable this public to act as a labor force in a process of assisted self-construction.

What actions do you propose?

Why Cluster Solidarity Architecture
Cluster means association, set, network, joined, grouped. This concept dominated the architecture of the Smithson couple in the 1950s who sought a holistic view of the city, that is, considering it as a living and dynamic organism with interdependent elements of the community, thus being "a human agglomeration that can be felt" (SMITHSON, SMITHSON, 1967, p. 20), active, creative and with identity. Solidarity refers to consoling, supporting, assisting, defending or accompanying those who need. Thus, the Cluster Arquitetura Solidária (CAS) it is a network of actions that help the community from an architecture focused on social protection anticipating, absorbing, and reforming the climate impacts.

Why a Community bank

Community banks are part of solidarity finances performing services such as microcredit and microinsurance to citizens not served by the traditional banking sector, businesses and families traditionally kept outside the system. Thus, they are created with the aim of providing lower rates and more simplified finances lines and channels for the housing sector and for the diverse productive activities of popular economy (BARRETO, 2016).

How the Cluster Works
The cluster is intended for two large publics, individuals (men and women over 18 years of age, or emancipated) and legal entities (including individual microentrepreneurs, micro enterprises, NGOs, etc.), belonging to the Metropolitan Region of Goiânia. The community bank will have the following services: correspondent banking (payments, receipts, checking account, among others); productive credit or for financing with reduced interest; Microinsurance  also with reduced rates; online services. To do so, it will operate in partnership with Brazilian public banks (CAIXA, BB, BANDES, BASA, etc.), an insurance company and an authorized brokerage firm in the region.

The credit lines cover: (1) reform or housing construction for individuals with up to three minimum wages that do or do not part of a social program (such as Bolsa Família, for example) and possessor or holder of a unique residential property  in the national territory, (2) reform or housing construction for individuals with income above this value, (3) reform or construction of commerce and service, (4) housing reconstruction, trade and service affected by natural disasters. Already the insurance will cover two types, life insurance and real estate insurance that encompasses natural disasters. This because, although the cluster is focused on absorbing and reforming climate impacts, the others are needed for community and cluster functioning in periods before or after such impacts.

In a space adjacent to the bank, the office of architecture and space for citizen training will be installed, also functioning as a meeting point for community and reunions of of the cluster. However, their activities will be free only for individuals with up to three minimum salaries who do or do not participate in a social program. Thus  is fulfilled with Federal Law 11.888 / 2008, which determines the technical assistance for project and work to families with this income.

The office will also promote the initiative to anticipate the climatic stresses with realizacion of surveys in the areas requested to diagnose the situation of risk and to indicate corrective measures that can be carried out by the residents or the city hall. With access to credit, constructions and reforms will seek technically feasible interventions to extinguish or minimize climate impacts, such as the implementation of a selective garbage collection system and reuse of rainwater, the creation of gardens and green areas at the estate, among others.

In order to acquire the services, the interested parties must make a registration with the delivery of documentation and providing other information. Agents will check, by means of referrals and contacts on the neighborhood, if the family can take payment. Then the data will be forwarded to the executive coordination who will approve the credit and the insurance. With the positive result, the architecture office will schedule inspections of the property, carry out the project, manage the resources and monitor the construction. The material and manpower for construction will be acquired primarily in the Metropolitan Region of Goiânia. In the cases of assisted self-construction, the owners should participate in the specific workshops, without contracting remunerated. Finally, the construction will be carried out.

In situations of natural disasters, for registered people, credit, technical assistance and immediate workshops will be offered for the reconstruction of infrastructures and / or temporary shelters.

Issues not identified here can only be answered through of realization of partnerships with existing community banks, non-community banks, insurance companies and brokerage firms, such is as social currency, amounts of credits and insurance, types of insurance. This is because each one of them has a different system, so is needed if research to evaluate and identify those for community bank.

To achieve this the project has the following actions:

(1) Preparation
- Hire  design company or professional for branding, website, social networking and publicity material;
- To print the material of publicity in graph;
- Conduct research, identifying target audiences, possible locations for Cluster headquarters, existing organizations and other types of partnerships, contacting and presenting the project and using the initial disclosure material;
- To contract legal and accounting assistance to carry out the procedures of the managing entity and the Cluster to be created;
- Negotiate and establish partnerships with banks, insurance companies and the like;
- Convene and hold meetings with the community, organizations and public authorities to raise awareness and deliberation the creation of the Cluster;

(2) Physical structure of the cluster
- Define the location for the Cluster's headquarters and establish a rental agreement;
- Carry out the reform project or space adaptations;
- Hire manpower, buy materials and adapt the space;
- Hire services for the installation of security system;
- Install and keep Internet, water and energy services;
- Purchase and install equipment and furniture;
- Rent Armored van /vehicle;

(3) Team formation and product management
- Create and print the coins or social cards;
- Hire services for the implementation and maintenance of the Portfolio Management Software, the microinsurance link, the Credit portfolio, the banking correspondence and the social currency management worksheets;
- Hire Employees and direct them to courses of Agent, Credit Manager, Cash and Social Currency, Training of Portfolio Management Software, Microinsurance Link, Credit Portfolio, Bank Correspondence and Currency Management Worksheets Social;

(4) Inauguration
- Hire design company or professional to create publicity material;
- To print the material for dissemination, if necessary;
- Hire a company to distribute the publicity material and promote community awareness actions to use the Cluster;
- Start Cluster activities.

Who will take these actions?

The Community Bank will be managed on a shared basis with mechanisms of direct democracy by a community organization (such as associations, forums, councils, NGOs) constituted by the author of the proposal, community members and other types of organizations interested such as churches, trade unions, among others. Its operation also implies at the constitution of an executive coordination within the associative organization itself, in addition to paid employees to be hired.

The office and workshops, complementary to the bank's operations, will be managed by the author of the proposal and will functionate with the hiring of paid employees, such as architects, engineers, masons.

Where will these actions be taken?

Metropolitan Region of Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil.

Created by Complementary Law no. 27 of 12/30/1999, and composed of 20 municipalities totalizing 2,527,092 inhabitants and 7,315.15 km², although its area of influence is not limited to them (IPEA et al., 2014). These cities are: Abadia de Goiás, Aparecida de Goiânia, Aragoiânia, Bela vista de Goiânia, Bonfinópolis, Brazabrantes, Caldazinha, Catruaí, Goianápolis, Goiânia, Goianira, Guapó, Hidrolândia, Inhumas, Nerópolis, Nova Veneza, Santo Antônio de Goiás, Senador Canedo, Terezópolis de Goiás, Trindade.

Considering that a metropolitan region in Brazil is characterized as, "an urban agglomerate composed of several administratively autonomous municipalities, but integrated physically and functionally, forming a practically continuous urban spot", instituted by the States through a complementary law  (BRAGA, CARVALHO, 2004, p.08).

What are other key benefits?

The other important benefits of the approach correspond to the:  democratize access to reform and construction services, as well as financial and banking services for the low-income population; foster local economy and job creation; reduce poverty, vulnerability and dislodgedings in natural disasters; adaptation, support and prevention of climate impacts; strengthening of the social actors; collective efficiency and generation of participatory governance.

What are the proposal’s costs?

(1) Preparation - Subtotal: R$ 24,000.00 (real)

Creation of the brand, site, social networks and initial dissemination material + Printing of the dissemination material (R$ 10,000.00); Research (R$ 6,000.00); Legal and accounting assistance (R$ 5,000.00); Partnerships and meetings (R$ 3,000.00);

(2) Physical structure of the cluster - Subtotal: 110,000.00 (real)

Headquarters rent (2 years - R$ 20,000.00); Rent Car (1 year - R$ 15,000.00); Reform project + labor and materials (R$ 15,000.00); Internet, water and energy services (2 years - R$ 5,000.00); Security system (R$ 15,000.00); equipment and furniture (R$ 40,000.00);

 (3) Team building and product management - Subtotal: R$ 16,000.00 (real)

Creation and printing of coins or social cards (R$ 6,000.00); Services for implementation and maintenance of Softwares and others (R$ 5,000.00); Courses (R$ 5,000.00);

(4) Inauguration - Subtotal: R$ 10,000.00 (real)

Creation of dissemination material or other types of marketing + Print material for dissemination if necessary + Distribution of dissemination material and awareness actions (R$ 10,000.00);

* Salary 6 Employees with charges (1 year - R$ 100,000.00);
* Initial credit fund (R$ 30,000.00);
* Resources to balance the social currency (R$ 5,000.00).

Total cost without the initial credit fund, ballast and wages - R$ 160,000.00 (real) or R$ 40,000.00 euros.

Total cost with the initial credit fund and ballast - R$ 195,000.00 (real) or R$ 49,000.00 euros
Total cost with salaries - R$ 295,000.00 (real) or R$ 74,000.00 euros

Time line

For the accomplishment of the four stages described above - preparation, structuring, formation and management, inauguration - it is estimated a period of 2 years. A further period of five years for the Cluster to be established, to be publicized and attract the citizens of the Metropolitan Region of Goiânia, with funding from public resources.

Until 15 years of operation, it is expected to have attended at least 2,000 people per month, resulting in more than three hundred thousand beneficiaries. Besides the acquisition of space and own cars, updating of furniture, equipaments and systems, to hire more employees, etc..

In the medium term (15 - 50 years), other Cluster services  may be provided as savings and joint bank funds, a system of continuous professional training, cooperative work, interventions in public spaces, etc. In the long term (50-110 years), it is proposed to create other units within the Metropolitan Region of Goiânia that has a great extension, but also in other cities and states of Brazil.

As for the first two years corresponding to the budget, the schedule stipulated is presented below.

(1) Preparation - 12 months
(2) Physical structure of the cluster - 6 months
(3) Team formation and product management - 4 months
(4) Inauguration - 2 months

Related proposals


BALDAN, R.. Inundações serão cada vez mais frequentes no Brasil, diz especialista. NOTÍCIAS R7, 2012. Disponível em:  Acesso em 01/2017.

BARRETO, S.S. 2016.  Os Fundos Rotativos Solidários no Brasil: Uma Perspectiva a partir do Mapeamento dos Fundos de 2011-2012. Mercado de Trabalho: Conjuntura e Análise, 60:101-108.

BRAGA, R.; CARVALHO, P.. Cidade: espaço da cidadania. In: GIAMETTI e BRAGA (Org.). Pedagogia cidadã. São Paulo: Unesp-Propp, 2004.

CENTRO UNIVERSITÁRIO DE ESTUDOS E PESQUISAS SOBRE DESASTRES - UFSC, 2016. Relatório de danos materiais e prejuízos decorrentes de desastres naturais no Brasil: 1995 – 2014. Florianópolis: CEPED UFSC.

G1 GLOBO. Bombeiros dizem que chuva deixou 700 desalojados em Goiânia; vídeos. G1 Globo Goiás, 2016. Disponível em:  Acesso em 01/2017.

IPEA; FUNDAÇÃO JOÃO PINHEIRO (FJP); PROGRAMA DAS NAÇÕES UNIDAS PARA O DESENVOLVIMENTO (PNUD). Atlas do Desenvolvimento Humano nas Regiões Metropolitanas Brasileiras. Brasília: 2014.

LEI FEDERAL 11.888/2008. Disponível em:  Acesso em 01/2017.

O POPULAR. Confira no mapa os 57 pontos de alagamento, inundações e enxurradas em Goiânia. Jornal O Popular, Cidades, 2017. Disponível em:  Acesso em 01/2017.

SCARINI, J.; RODRIGUES, B.. Tragédia na Serra do Rio completa 5 anos e ainda há espera por ajuda. G1 GLOBO, 2016. Disponível em:  Acesso em 01/2017.

SMITHSON, A.; SMITHSON, P.. Urban Structuring – Studies of Alison & Peter Smithson. London: Studio Vista Ltd. 1967, p. 20.

AJUDAR É POSSÍVEL, 2016. Disponível em:  Acesso em 01/2017.

A REDAÇÃO, 2015. Disponível em:  Acesso em 01/2017.

GOOGLE MAPS. Pontos de Inundações, enxurradas e alagamentos em Goiânia. Disponível em: .  Acesso EM 01/2017.

JORNAL HOJE EM DIA, 2013. Disponível em:  Acesso em 01/2017.

TV ANHAGUERA, 2017. Disponível em:  Acesso em 01/2017.