Good Practice

Bogotá Care System

How a city is reorganising itself so that caregivers can pursue personal development.

Bogotá City Council
Local policy


  • Address demands around balancing the provision of care so that caregivers can pursue personal development, well-being, income generation, etc.
  • Recognise caregivers’ contributions by means of a radical “ease-of-access” modality
  • Redistribute care work responsibility more equitably between women and men
  • Reduce women’s unpaid care work so that they can pursue personal development and self-care
  • Simultaneously provide services for those who provide care and those who require it. For example, while a caregiver attends a programme to finish high school, her family members can take part in play and physical activities, including those members with a disability


In Bogotá, 30% of women engage in unpaid care work full time, a situation affecting mainly low-income women, whose opportunities for professional development are hampered by care work overload.


  • 70% of caregivers cannot pursue basic education; fewer women are able to access jobs or entrepreneurship;
  • 21% have diagnosed illnesses;
  • 33% lack rest time; women lack economic autonomy.

Long-term consequences include: (1) wider educational gaps; (2) increasing health problems; (3) increasingly feminised poverty and the broader resulting impacts thereof.


Bogota’s Care System operates in three distinct ways:

1. Care Blocks: A new criterion for the city’s urban planning that gives centrality to caregivers and care work and organises the city to meet people’s needs. Care Blocks are situated so that services are located in an 800-metre vicinity and can be accessed within a 15- to 20-minute walk.

2. Care Buses: The mobile version designed for people who live in rural and outlying areas, guaranteeing rural and peasant caregivers have access to care services. This is especially important because caregivers in Bogotá’s rural areas devote more time to care work and often lack basic utilities like running water or electricity.

3. The “Home Care Delivery”: A programme designed for the 14% of full-time caregivers who cannot access Care Blocks or Care Buses due to the conditions of the people they care for, mainly individuals with severe disabilities who are seldom able to leave the household. Door-to-Door Care will deliver services to this special population in their own households, guaranteeing their access to the System.

4. The Care System is also implementing a strategy for cultural change, called “Men’s Care Schools”, so that men can acquire housework skills and caring abilities.


  • Community Care Blocks located within an 800-metre vicinity enable most potential recipients to access them by a 15- to 20- minute walk from their homes
  • Lack of recognition for unpaid caregivers is the product of socio-cultural sense making, so long-lasting, powerful and sustainable change will require that the Care System transform cultural biases
  • The Care System simultaneously provides services for carers and care recipients; services can be brought to their homes if they are unable to leave


During 2021, the Care System provided 53,178 services to caregivers and their loved ones in the first 12 months of operations across the city. Of these, 10,416 were for care recipients, and over 10,180 women reached with the Care Buses in rural and outlying areas.

Likewise, 3,426 people, including Afro-descendant, Indigenous, trans, teens and elders, participated in 303 workshops as part of the ‘We can all learn to care’ programme.

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