Salvador, Bahia makes progress in building urban resilience through equality, collaboration, and digitization

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Salvador, Bahía. (October 19, 2021)-

The city of Salvador was awarded a 2021 LATAM Smart City Award, in the category of Equality and Collaboration, in recognition of its “Digital Citizenship Ecosystem: Democratizing Knowledge” project. The city is driving the project with the support of the Resilient Cities Network and Visa. Through an innovative digital technology training program, the city is promoting jobs, entrepreneurship, and digital inclusion of vulnerable groups, who develop skills in software programming, e-commerce, digital payments and more.

Together with Visa and the Resilient Cities Network, we are fostering the construction of inclusive digital citizenship through knowledge and tools, to enhance the city´s opportunities for employment and development,” says Bruno Reis, the Mayor of Salvador. “Through this alliance, the city is promoting resilience to face the challenges of the digital transformation in work, commerce and the economy” he added.

In Brazil, 63% of employers encounter difficulties when hiring qualified employees, mostly due to a lack of technical competencies[1]. This situation hinders opportunities for women and Afrodescendant communities, who represent the largest populations in the city of Salvador and who facse conditions made worse by inequality in access to quality education and jobs. This is one of the problems the program attempted to help resolve.

In relation to this challenges, the Secretariat of Sustainability and Resilience (SECIS) and the Electronic Governance Company of Salvador (COGEL), with the support of Visa and the Resilient Cities Network, through the “Resilient Cities Shaping a Digital World” program, have joined forces with Via Varejo, the Casas Bahía Foundation, the Secretariat of Innovation and Technology (SEMIT) and Hub Salvador to close the digital gap in the city, foster inclusive digitization, bring down the unemployment rate, and reduce social inequality. “The partnership between the city of Salvador with the Resilient Cities Network and Visa to develop the 2021 LATAM Smart City award-winning “Digital Citizenship Ecosystem: Democratizing Knowledge” project has allowed us to make progress toward productive digital citizenship and has contributed to Salvador’s development as a Smart City,” says Magda Andrade, of the Electronic Governance Company of Salvador (COGEL).

As a leading digital payments company, Visa is committed to supporting cities in seizing the economic and social opportunities that the digital world has to offer. Aída Esteban Millat, Director of Urban Mobility and Smart Cities at Visa for Latin America and the Caribbean, adds that ” thanks to Resilient Cities Network and the Salvador City Hall, we are innovating to support digital transformations, therefore providing responses that help to develop resilient cities using an open methodology focused on problem-solving. As Visa states in its proposal, we believe that these inclusive economies that include everyone, everywhere, are what makes everyone grow all around.”

The myriad effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have accelerated the tendency for cities to move toward digitization and technology. This plays a central role when it comes to thinking about a resilient recovery process that is inclusive, equitable and collaborative. “Building back our cities in a better way is an urgent challenge for our own and future generations,” says Eugene Zapata Garesché, Garesché the Global Director of Strategic Alliance and the head of the Resilient Cities Network for Latin America and the Caribbean. “The experience we are developing with the city of Salvador and in partnership with Visa will serve asinspiration for our network of cities around the world, using concrete experiences to show how to take advantage of digitalization opportunities, to foster the well-being of vulnerable communities and motivate cities to adapt to the challenges of a world in transition,” he adds.

This training program is part of the first edition of the “Resilient Cities Shaping a Digital World” program, driven by the Resilient Cities Network and Visa to support cities in designing digital solutions to their challenges in terms of resilience. The Guadalajara metropolitan area in the state of Jalisco, Mexico, and the Quito Metropolitan District in Ecuador also took part in this first edition. The experiences and solutions developed in these three cities will be presented at the International Forum on “Digital Solutions for Urban Resilience in Latin America,” to be held in December 2021.

Talent Booster – Salvador Edition

The Talent Booster Program – Salvador Edition is being carried out through a partnership between the City Hall of Salvador, through the Secretariat of Sustainability and Resilience (SECIS), the Secretariat of Innovation and Technology (SEMIT), Via, a Visa payments technology company, through its Marketplace, as well as with the Casas Bahia Foundation, the Resilient Cities Network and Hub Salvador. During this edition of the Program, there were 60 spots available, with 90 hours of training for attendees in two different courses: Application Development and Marketplace Agents (online sales on large retail sites). Classes were held in a hybrid mode, where instructors taught lessons remotely and those students who were unable to take part virtually could attend classes at Hub Salvador, located in the Comércio district.

The Program included three stages: selection, training, and visibility. In the first stage, the best candidates were chosen according to prerequisites and the desired profiles for each type of training with a perspective of social inclusion; in training, people were coached on Hard and Soft Skills (technical and behavioral knowledge, respectively); and in the final stage, partnerships were sought with local companies and businesses, looking for potential employers (for application developers) or potential customers (marketplace agents).


[1] Salvador City Hall, Secretariat of Sustainability, Innovation and Resilience – SECIS, “Salvador Resiliente”, original edition, Salvador, March 2019, pg. 145 – https://resilientcitiesnetwork.org/downloadable_resources/Network/Salvador-Resilience-Strategy-English.pdf

Salvador, Bahia makes progress in building urban resilience through equality, collaboration, and digitization

  • The “Digital Citizenship Ecosystem: Democratizing Knowledge” project was awarded at the 2021 LATAM Smart City Awards, in the category of Equality and Collaboration.
  • The Resilient Cities Network and Visa have partnered with the city through the “Resilient Cities Shaping a Digital World” program

ABOUT RESILIENT CITIES NETWORK

Resilient Cities Network is the world’s leading urban resilience network. Present in more than 100 cities, 40 countries, and 6 continents, R-Cities is a global city-led nonprofit organisation that brings together knowledge, practice, partnerships, and funding to empower cities to build a safe, equitable, and sustainable future for all.

For more information on Resilient Cities Network: www.resilientcitiesnetwork.org

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Nikki Rudnick
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Salvador, Bahia makes progress in building urban resilience through equality, collaboration, and digitization