ECO.COM: strengthening local economic development in Bolivia

Title ECO.COM – Rafforzamento dell’economia comunitaria, solidale, inclusiva e sostenibile nei Comuni di Tiquipaya e Sacaba

Location Minucipalities of Tiquipaya e Sacaba, Bolivia

Duration 2018 -2020

Partnership FELCOS Umbria, ANCI Umbria, Legacoop Umbria, United Nations Development Program (UNDP), ARCO, Gobierno Autónomo Municipal de Tiquipaya, Gobierno Autónomo Municipal de Sacaba.

Funding Italian Agency for Development Cooperation

Context

The municipalities of Sacaba and Tiquipaya are located in the Cochabamba Valley at 2600 m above sea level and on the surrounding mountains. They count respectively 170,000 and 50,000 inhabitants. Of the 12 districts of the Municipality of Sacaba, 6 are urban and 6 rural. Tiquipaya has 6 districts, 3 of which are urban and 3 rural, the latter are the biggest and are located on the cordillera. In both Sacaba and Tiquipaya, over 70% of the population currently lives in urban districts and their main problem is insufficient drinking and irrigation water.

General Ojective

The project aims at promoting local economic development in Bolivia in the municipalities of Sacaba and Tiquipaya by strengthening the production and marketing capacities of 10 local associations active in the agriculture, livestock and handicraft sectors.

What have we done?

ARCO Researchers carried out a mid-term evaluation of the project. During the first field mission, Researchers collected data through multiple interviews with local actors and conducted focus groups with representatives of the producers’ associations of the two municipalities.

During the second field mission, Researchers carried out a mid-term evaluation. The aim was to collect the opinion of the representatives of the associations involved in the project’s selection process and their opinion on the expectations they have regarding the improvement of their production and marketing capacities. Data collection for the evaluation also focused on understanding in which dimension and in what ways the project will affect the local community.

The project’s activities include the selection and financing of projects presented by associations of local producers, the strengthening of the municipalities’ capacities to promote the local economy, technical-professional training and the exchange of good practices between Italy and Bolivia.

The project also includes initiatives aimed at promoting the social and work inclusion of people at risk of marginalization. These include the provision of job grants for the inclusion of women, youngsters and people with disabilities in the selcted associations and professional training to association themselves to foster a better inclusion.

The project is receiving a lot of interest from the associations involved both for the prospects of growth and increase in production levels but also for the possibility of including new members within the associations. The project is therefore also having an effect of multiplying the beneficiaries and preventing migration  from rural to urban areas.

The final evaluation will take place at the end of the project in 2020.

Read more on our Local Development Unit