Since the Venezuelan economic crisis began in 2010, more than 500,000 Venezuelans have migrated to Chile. This represents about 10% of all Venezuelan migrants over that time and more than 30% of the total immigrant population in Chile. In many cases, Venezuelan migrants are well educated, having been employed in stable, formal sector jobs in their home country. Upon arriving in Chile, they often face discrimination and lack employment opportunities commensurate with their skills.

More recently, the CV19-related shutdown and the legacy of the 2019 Chilean political unrest compounded the challenges for migrants seeking decent work. Migrants are among the most economically vulnerable populations, and the current economic climate makes their challenges especially acute. Women migrants are particularly vulnerable, facing large gender disparities in the Chilean tech and data industries. These negative pressures affect the migrant’s ability to pursue productive roles in the workforce to improve their livelihoods.

Data Visualization Trainers, Delmira Ravago and Mariangela Ugel began the program as students before completing an intensive Training of Trainers program.

Under the USAID and IDB-funded Juntos Es Mejor/BetterTogether Challenge, Data Elevates (DE) and local prime partner CDI Chile are implementing Aprendo Data, a comprehensive training-to- employment program equipping Venezuelan migrant women with data literacy and visualization skills to succeed in 21st Century jobs. In addition to hard skills training, Aprendo Data includes personalized soft skills mentorship and active job placement support to find internships and employment opportunities to apply their new skills.

Integral to the program success is Data Elevates 5C’s Methodology for Digital Literacy Training and Building Sustainable Cultures of Data Use. The 5C’s are: Community – people learn better when they learn together; Context – adapt trainings and topics to domain, culture, and geography; Competitions – learning should be fun, and students can apply new skills and generate engagement; Certifications – publicly acknowledge participants achievements; and Champions – super users who are able to further promote a culture of data use. This approach allows us to build networks of data users in a locally led and sustainable way.

Over the course of 11 months from October 2020 to September 2021, DE and CDI Chile designed and executed a customized data visualization and job skills curriculum, reaching 217 Venezuelan migrants across 8 cohorts, 85% of whom were women. As a result of the nimble and highly customized training approach possible through small businesses like Data Elevates, 86% of students graduated, improving their ability to communicate data insights through interactive visualizations. Within six months of graduating, 81% percent of graduates were fully employed or working in an internship at reputable Chilean employers, including Empresas SalcoBrand, TechSoup, and Universidad de Santiago. As part of the Training of Trainers (ToT) design, high-performing students from the initial cohorts were identified to act as data mentors in preceding cohorts. These women would go on to become teaching assistants in later cohorts, before acting as full data use trainers in the final cohorts.

Crucially, the training program was so successful that the Government of Chile is now funding the expansion of Aprendo Data program through the Servicio Nacional de Capacitación y Empleo (SENCE) program and private partner Banco de Chile, realizing a fully localized and sustainable model launched with USAID seed funding.