Effective government institutions that represent the interests of all citizens are essential for inclusive economic growth, social development, and prosperity. Corruption threatens Peru’s socioeconomic gains and the stability of the region. Responding to increasing citizen discontent and interest from the Government of Peru (GOP) to strengthen its institutions, USAID works with civil society organizations, public entities and private-sector partners to strengthen the responsiveness, transparency, and accountability of key government institutions to increase public integrity, reduce corruption, and support human rights.
As Peru’s economy has grown over the past decade, so has public-sector corruption. Peru’s National Comptroller General reports that corruption generates a loss of more than $3 billion dollars annually. By partnering with government, civil society, and private-sector leaders, USAID supports Peru’s National Integrity Plan and Fight Against Corruption to improve government accountability and capacity to prevent and mitigate corruption in priority public investments, strengthen public and private sector transparency, and increase citizen engagement in oversight of government performance. Peru’s National Integrity Plan directly advances the recommendations from Peru’s Country Program with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
PROMOTING INTEGRITY AND EFFICIENCY IN PUBLIC PROCUREMENT
Public procurement remains hampered by processes that are inefficient and overly complex, making it prone to corruption. USAID supports the GOP’s commitments to improve public spending and procurement processes. Activities help government counterparts to strengthen internal control mechanisms, such as concurrent public auditing, and to promote more competitive and transparent public procurement systems. Through multi-sector integrity networks, partnerships enhance civic oversight of public spending processes, and engage the private sector to advance the role of corporations in creating a culture of public integrity. USAID provides specialized technical assistance and shares international best practices with the Ministry of the Economy and its General Supply Directorate (DGA), the State Procurement Supervisory Agency (OSCE) and other public entities to improve the legal framework of the lifecycle of public contracting and the professionalization of purchasing officers. USAID works with the Secretary of Public Integrity (SIP), the Comptroller General, OSCE, Civil Service Authority (SERVIR), private sector associations, and civil society organizations to build a culture of integrity and effective government accountability.
COMBATTING HUMAN TRAFFICKING
Peru is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Indigenous Peruvian women and girls are particularly targeted. USAID works with the Peruvian government to implement national and regional action plans to end human trafficking, improve legal and protection services for victims, and train justice-sector operators who work with victims. Since 2014, USAID provides legal, psychological and social support to trafficked victims through a leading Peruvian organization, Capital Humano y Social Alternativo (CHS). USAID’s partnership with CHS has increased public attention and improved government capacities to stop human trafficking and help hundreds of victims in the priority areas of Loreto, Madre de Dios, Cusco, and Lima.
STRENGTHENING POLITICAL PARTICIPATION
The Citizen Voices and Engagement activity is implemented by USAID implementing partner IDEA International. This activity aims to strengthen civic engagement by empowering citizens with the knowledge they need to hold elected officials more accountable, while at the same time strengthening the capacity of political parties and candidates to develop and disseminate responsive, evidence-based platforms against which their performance in office can be measured. Citizen Voices works with civil society organizations, political parties, and public officials to develop creative, effective channels of information flow between citizens and government. The activity includes a strong focus on the interests and rights of traditionally marginalized groups such as youth, women, people with disabilities, children, senior citizens, the LGBTQI community, Afro-Peruvians and indigenous peoples. To ensure the sustainability of this initiative, the activity also works with the Ministry of Education to revitalize and standardize its pedagogical approach to civic education, which will be piloted in secondary schools.
FOSTERING TRANSPARENCY IN THE EXTRACTIVE SECTOR
Although Peru is rich in natural resources such as gas, minerals and oil, revenue from extractive industries is often misused. USAID strengthens the capacity of the GOP to comply with the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), which is a global initiative that promotes understanding of natural resource management, strengthens public and corporate governance, and provides the data to inform greater transparency and accountability in the extractive sector. Peru has been qualified as an EITI-compliant country since 2012. By becoming an EITI member, Peru is committed to disseminating information throughout the extractive industry value chain. USAID supports the strengthening and expansion of EITI standards at the regional level in at least 10 regions with a significant presence of extractive activities, such as Piura, La Libertad, Moquegua, Arequipa, Apurímac, Cajamarca, Ancash, Cuzco, Ucayali, and Loreto. USAID-supported national and regional EITI committees promote effective multi-stakeholder dialogue, engaging government, business and civil society in support of EITI standards.
INCREASING COMPETITIVENESS THROUGH CORPORATE PURPOSE
Peru’s private sector has an important role to play in tackling the nation’s development challenges and in increasing public trust. The business sector is instrumental in helping Peru to overcome its most complex challenges: poverty, endemic corruption, deficient infrastructure, inequitable access to state services, and environmental degradation. Maintaining high standards of corporate integrity, while contributing to and prospering alongside society, can help restore faith in Peru’s institutions. USAID support to IPAE promotes Shared Value—a business approach that enhances companies’ profitability while simultaneously addressing social problems. With USAID support, executives will be trained to go beyond corporate philanthropy and focus on social problems as core business opportunities.