USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives launched the Ecuador PILARES program in May 2023 to partner with Ecuadorians to respond to rising crime and violence. The program, implemented by the Palladium Group, will initially work in Guayas and in Pichincha, with possible expansion to other provinces. Through small grants to local government and diverse Ecuadorian organizations, such as civic organizations, youth groups, the private sector and others, USAID will support enhanced collaboration between local government and community members for a citizen-centric, integrated approach to addressing crime and violence. USAID PILARES activities will initially seek to:

  • Strengthen local level citizen security planning and programs to respond to rapidly evolving security dynamics. This includes support to GADs to align municipal and provincial plans and budgets and to refine management models for citizen security councils and coordination roundtables.
  • Catalyze Ecuador’s mechanisms for citizen participation in development and oversight of municipal or sector (parroquia) security initiatives. Ecuador’s successful experience in encouraging citizen input into other public policy issues offer examples that can be leveraged for citizen security.
  • Deepen coordination between and across local governments at all levels and civil society given that insecurity crosses administrative and territorial boundaries.
  • Help local governments translate citizen security plans into action by launching prevention interventions that demonstrate effective community level approaches.
  • Assist local organizations to promote awareness and adoption of a comprehensive, integrated approach to security that is gender-responsive and human rights based.