The Rosario Habitat Program Experience, Part 1


Project Management Applied to Government
Part 1 of 3


By Ana Maria Rodriguez, MSE, PMP, LIMC
Adriana Salomón, PMP

Rosario, Argentina

There are few documented cases of Project Management methodologies in Government projects in Latin America. There is a wrong belief on the impossibility of applying methodologies in environments strongly affected by political decisions. It is also wrongly believed that the specific characteristics of government projects make it impossible to apply international standards. It is real that the implementation of best practices requires political decisions that ease the environment for it, and it is also true that methodologies should be adapted to the particularities of each project. There is no doubt that well managed projects bring more benefits to populations and more transparency on funds administration; therefore the implementation of Project Management best practices should be seen as a need in all government areas.

The present article documents the experience of the Rosario Habitat Program, developed since year 2000 by the Public Housing Service (Servicio Público de la Vivienda), office of the City of Rosario (Argentina); numerous project management practices have been applied at RHP since its beginnings. The objective of RHP is to improve the quality of life of the population living in irregular settlements in Rosario, by promoting the physical and social integration of these areas to the regular city. The program’s main characteristic is its unique focus that considers the problem of the so called “misery  villages”[1] not only as a problem of lack of housing but also lack of access to health, education, and minimum services. This is why the program combines investment in infrastructure – focused on improving the habitat – with social actions, job initiatives, training, and income improvement.

1 – Background

By the end of the 1990’s, there were ninety-one irregular settlements in Rosario, with almost 115,000 habitants representing 13% of the city’s total population, placed in 10% of the total urban area of the city in extreme poverty conditions. The Government of Rosario[2], through the Public Housing Service[3], managed an application process to a loan granted by the Inter American Development Bank (IADB). The Program was initiated in year 2000, with own funds and in 2002 the first funds from IADB were received. As a first instance, 5200 families from irregular settlements were included in the RHP, this means one third of the Rosario families in irregular housing situation. The total program budget was US$71 millions, 60% of the funds come from the IADB loan and the remaining 40% funded by the Government of Rosario.

The Rosario Habitat Program includes 11 projects; projects are delimited in a territorial basis. Each project works for the improvement of a particular settlement as its purpose. All projects implement the same deliverables (components of the program):

  • Integrated urbanization: Construction of infrastructure Works, required houses (for a maximum of 30% of the families), construction of social facilities (clubs, health centres, and others), ownership regularization (houses in the name of the families)
  • Integrated actions for children and adolescents and their families (social education, nutrition, recreation, food production, inclusion in the education system for young people)
  • Work and income generation (youth training in trades, formation of micro-enterprises)

Program implementation posed clear challenges for the Public Housing (SPV): Firstly, the SPV historically functioned as an area in charge of housing, and the Rosario Habitat Program had a higher demand for services to the populations served. Second, given its financing and its impact on the city of Rosario the program has many highly influential stakeholders. Third, IADB requires some management regulations that required a particular effort to be completed. All this created a need to incorporate best practices in Project Management. Suggested practices were selected by the German Technical Cooperation Agency (GTZ), the same IADB, and some of the Project Management Institute as in the case of time planning and setting up a PM Office (PMO).

Even considering all these sources of methodology, for ease of understanding the present article is structured following the PMBOK knowledge areas provided by the Project Management Institute (PMI).


To read entire article, click here

Editor’s note: Second Editions are previously published papers that have continued relevance in today’s project management world, or which were originally published in conference proceedings or in a language other than English.  Original publication acknowledged; authors retain copyright.  This paper was originally published in PM World Today in November 2009.  It is republished here with the authors’ permission.

How to cite this paper: Rodriguez, A.M., Salomón, A. (2009). The Rosario Habitat Program Experience: Project Management Applied to Government, Part 1; republished in the PM World Journal, Vol. X, Issue III, March 2021. Originally published in PM World Today, Vol XI, Issue XI, November 2009. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/pmwj103-Mar2021-Rodriguez-Solomon-rosario-habitat-program-part1-Engish.pdf

About the Authors

Ana Maria Rodriguez, MSE, PMP, LIMC

Rosario, Argentina


Ms. Ana Maria Rodriguez offers consulting services to the Engineering and Construction Industry in Argentina, and is an adjunct professor of project management at the Universidad Nacional de Rosario. She is Founder of ERA Project Management. Colombian by birth, Ms. Rodriguez graduated with a Civil Engineering Degree from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota and from the University of Texas at Austin, USA with a Masters Degree in Construction Engineering and Project Management (MSE). She earned the Project Management Professional (PMP) and is a graduate from the Leadership Institute MasterClass of the Project Management Institute. Ms Rodriguez has implemented Project Management best practices and managed projects both in the government sector and in the engineering and construction private sector. Ms. Rodriguez is also an active member of PMI in Argentina, and is an international correspondent for PMForum and PM World Today in Argentina. Ms. Rodriguez welcomes contact at arodriguezdev@gmail.com also at https://www.linkedin.com/in/amrodriguez/


Adriana Solomón

Rosario, Argentina


 Adriana Solomón is an architect, graduated from the Universidad Nacional de Rosario, and Project Management Professional (PMP). She attended the Project Management Program at INDES-Interamerican Development Bank. Managing Partner at ERA Project Management and Partner at Prohabitat XXI.  Se ha desempeñado como Coordinadora General del Programa Rosario Hábitat, gerenciando la ejecución simultánea de varios proyectos. She served as General Coordinator for the Rosario Habitat Program, through the design and implementation phases. She has worked with the PM4R program of INDES as trainer and facilitator for processes on projects all overall Latinamerica.  She is actually in charge of the Area of Programs and Projects in the Servicio Publico de la Vivienda, Municipalidad de Rosario. Additional information can be found in www.prohabitat.com.ar. Adriana Solomon can be reached at adrianasalomon@gmail.com

[1] Villas Miserias
[2] Municipalidad de Rosario
[3] Servicio Público de la Vivienda