Colombia

1999 - 2001

WHY USAID/OTI WAS IN COLOMBIA

In August 1998, following 50 years of conflict, the Colombian government initiated a peace process with armed insurgent groups. President Pastrana, who was elected on a platform of bringing peace to Colombia, represented a major contrast to the corrupt tenure of the previous president, who had open ties to the drug barons. Pastrana's election was seen as a window of opportunity for peace.

USAID/OTI'S ROLE IN COLOMBIA

USAID/OTI's Colombia program began in January 1999 and ended in 2001. Recognizing that civil society had a particularly important role to play in the promotion of peace, USAID/OTI designed its program to open lines of communication and foster dialogue among the government, civil society and neglected communities. USAID/OTI worked with U.S. and Colombian universities to help the Government of Colombia establish a framework for a permanent and peaceful resolution of the conflict.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

USAID/OTI implemented a wide range of programming aimed at strengthening democracy through community-based programs. Projects brought together local elected officials and other influential individuals with local community members to assess priority infrastructure needs, such as schools, health centers, roads or clean water. USAID/OTI also focused its support to non-governmental organizations involved in the peace process at both the local and national level. A "Peace Fund" grant-making mechanism was developed with the International Office of Migration (IOM) that provided seed money to local Colombian organizations that attempted to facilitate dialogue and bring an end to violent conflict.

 


2007 - 2011

WHY USAID/OTI WAS IN COLOMBIA 

USAID/OTI launched the Initial Governance Response Program (IGRP) in Colombia in March 2007. The program’s goal was to reinforce stability in high-priority, conflict-affected areas of Colombia.

USAID/OTI'S ROLE IN COLOMBIA

In support of the program’s goal, IGRP’s objectives were to:

  • Strengthen the credibility and legitimacy of the Government of Colombia (GOC) in post-conflict areas through small, community-driven activities;
  • Increase the willingness and capacity of communities to cooperate and interact with the GOC; and
  • Expand the GOC’s capacity to exercise timely, credible and responsive civil functions.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHT

USAID/OTI helped boost public perception of the Colombian government through road rehabilitation projects. Roads served to connect communities to one another and helped generate employment for communities, fostering community interaction as communities often contributed labor. The improved perception of the GOC generated by the road-building helped support the consolidation of state presence.

 

Related Sectors of Work 

Last updated: December 01, 2017

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