Democracy and Governance
USAID provides training and technical assistance to civil society organizations on international standards and best practices that encourage broad Nicaraguan participation.
USAID’s municipal development program works with several community organizations to strengthen the capacity of citizens to participate more efficiently and effectively in local government decision-making and to establish public oversight of municipal planning and budgeting.
Programs also provide skills training to emerging young leaders fostering successful democratic political leadership. Since 2010, more than 800 Nicaraguan youth have graduated from these trainings. USAID support focuses on strengthening democratic institutions and enhancing transparent political processes and is open to all political parties.
USAID provides assistance to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and promotes policy reforms to improve competitiveness and to increase investment, trade opportunities, and employment. By linking small producers to larger “anchor firms” the project’s agricultural activities promote market-led production to help Nicaraguan farmers take advantage of the Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). From 2003 to 2012, USAID provided agriculture assistance to over 1,000 SMEs helping them increase local sales by $2.5 million and exports by nearly $4.5 million.
USAID also supports activities that promote sustainable tourism as well as agriculture, and economic development as a platform to strengthen micro, small, and medium enterprises and community-based organization competitiveness.
USAID also promotes the creation of strategic partnerships and alliances between the public and private sectors for the purpose of furthering its education, health and governance objectives. USAID has teamed up with some of the largest private sector partners to promote early grade reading, access to technology in schools, and HIV workplace policies.
USAID’s Scholarships for Education and Economic Development (SEED) program provided 76 scholarships to young Nicaraguans to study technical careers in U.S. universities and community colleges in 2009 and 2010. In 2011, the SEED program provided 80 scholarships. From 1991-2008, under the previous CASS Scholarship program, 927 Nicaraguans had the opportunity to study in the U.S.
Under the Central American Regional Security Initiative (CARSI), USAID provides scholarships and vocational training for at-risk youth in grades 4-6 and for high school students in three municipalities in Nicaragua’s South Atlantic Autonomous Region that are highly vulnerable to drug trafficking.
USAID Maternal and Child Health programs have provided training and technical assistance to local clinics and posts in obstetric and pediatric care. USAID’s FamiSalud community health project benefits approximately 300,000 people in communities where health care is limited. Activities include vaccination campaigns, child growth monitoring, hygiene programs, family planning, HIV/AIDS testing, and maternity care and deliveries by trained medical personnel.
Last updated: October 22, 2013