Bolivia

Swiss Development Cooperation in Bolivia focuses on governance, economic development, climate change and the environment. Bolivia's increasing urbanisation is posing new challenges. Thus, besides rural development, the focus is also on improving the delivery of services in peri-urban areas.

Map of Bolivia
© FDFA

From 2005 to 2014, Bolivia experienced economic and income growth attributable to exports of natural gas, oil and mining products. Since the end of the commodity boom in 2014, the country’s revenues have fallen by 25%. The government’s income redistribution programmes during the growth years reduced poverty. Nonetheless, Bolivia remains one of the poorest countries in Latin America. Its economic challenges comprise a heavily overvalued currency, underemployment, low productivity, insufficient diversification (e.g. in terms of products and especially regarding its economic sectors), lack of international competitiveness and a large shadow economy.

Switzerland is helping to ensure that the additional public resources benefit the poor and particularly vulnerable groups – especially young people and women. Its efforts are focused on rural and peri-urban areas in the highlands and in the Andean valleys. Switzerland coordinates its activities with national and international organisations and other countries that are active in Bolivia.

Governance

Promoting the rule of law and strengthening civil society

Swiss Development Cooperation projects include targeted measures to improve access to justice for broad sectors of the population, especially in rural areas. The programmes designed to promote the rule of law also focus on reducing violence towards women. The framework conditions for a freely emerging civil society have become appreciably more difficult in recent years. Switzerland and the international donor community support constructive dialogue and a culture of compromise between civil society and government.

Good Governance

Economic development

Economic and productive development with greater inclusiveness and equality

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) primarily works on vocational skills development, while the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) mainly promotes sustainable trade. Switzerland is able to draw on its own experience of vocational training for disadvantaged groups as well as the know-how it has acquired in various Latin American countries. The aim of the projects in this area is to improve access to financial and non-financial services or new markets for vocational college graduates, producer families and micro-sized and small enterprises. Furthermore in this regard, alliances are to be set up between Swiss companies in Bolivia and the SDC in order to advance sustainable development within the framework of the 2030 Agenda. In addition, Swiss projects promote the expansion of production and increased productivity.

Climate change and the environment

Risk prevention and improving resilience

Switzerland supports the sustainable use of natural resources. The Swiss contribution to combating climate change lies mainly in adjustment mechanisms centred on water management, land use and disaster risk reduction through prevention and disaster preparedness. SECO contributes to that by supporting sustainable urban development measures. Growing urbanisation brings environmental challenges. In this regard the SDC focuses mainly on wastewater and waste treatment.

Climate change and the enironment

History of cooperation

Switzerland's long-standing commitment is highly appreciated

Switzerland's long-standing and successful development cooperation efforts are held in high regard in Bolivia. Since 1968, Switzerland has been active in the area of development cooperation in Bolivia, since 1981 Bolivia has been one of the SDC's priority countries and since 2017 it has been a country for SECO complementary measures. The programme is adjusted on an ongoing basis to reflect the country's changing social and economic conditions.

Documents

Current projects

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Life without violence, from dream to reality

The face of a woman who has been abused.

01.02.2015 - 31.05.2020

The SDC hopes that by backing a newly-adopted law in Bolivia on ending violence against women, it can contribute to more systematic and targeted care for female victims. Local and national authorities and the people are working together on a comprehensive approach to prevent assaults on women. Too often, attitudes are tinged with a male chauvinism that sanctions violence.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Bolivia
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
Human rights

01.02.2015 - 31.05.2020


CHF 4'070'000



Gestión integral del agua

01.01.2019 - 31.12.2022

In Bolivia, Switzerland has been supporting the Ministry of the Environment and Water in improving integrated water and watershed management for several years. In this last phase of the project, support is given to the consolidation and implementation of the “Plan Nacional de Cuencas” (National Watershed Plan) to ensure water security and increase the climate resilience of vulnerable populations. Consolidation includes better coordination among various state levels, sectors and institutions and the systematization and capitalization of experiences and results.


Rural Markets

01.01.2018 - 31.12.2021

Rural Household Production Units experience various difficulties preventing them from establishing themselves sustainably and competitively in the market. The Rural Markets project successfully applied the market systems development approach. It now aims to induce systemic changes and a scaling up of markets for producers in new regions of productive potential. Support of non-financial services combined with financial services will establish synergies between public and private actors.


Formación técnica profesional

01.05.2017 - 30.06.2022

Vocational skills development is key for improving production and expanding opportunities for employment and self-employment. The project aims to reduce poverty and inequality by enhancing access to the labour market. It seeks to strengthen vocational skills and certify competences with an emphasis on young people and adults, promote the quality of training centres, and the shared responsibility of public/private stakeholders. Strategies cover both the national and the local level.


FONDO SUIZO DE APOYO A LA CULTURA

15.09.2015 - 31.12.2019

La Cooperación Suiza en Bolivia asigna de acuerdo a lineamientos de la casa matriz el 1% de su inversión a la cultura, por la relevante contribución de las expresiones culturales en el diálogo intercultural y los procesos de desarrollo. El apoyo se dirige a sectores de la sociedad que por razones geográficas o sociales disponen de posibilidades limitadas de realizar expresiones culturales o de tener acceso a manifestaciones culturales y artísticas.


BIOCULTURA 2015 - 2019

01.06.2015 - 31.12.2019

In the last 5 years the Biocultura programme has elaborated an environment compatible approach for the development of rural communities – known as „Vivir Bien“ in Bolivia, and has contributed to the definition of a legal framework for the climate issue. In the 2nd phase 15.000 families in 400 communities have been receiving support to assimilate the climate changes and national capacities for an efficient and transparent management of the national climate budget have been constructed.


Planned project

Jiwasa Programme – Strengthening urban MSEs

01.04.2015 - 31.03.2024

Poverty and vulnerability have increased among the urban population due to the surge in rural-urban migration. The project contributes to a National Programme that focuses on poverty reduction and improvements in employment conditions by providing financial and non-financial services required by urban Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs). The support focuses on processing activities of several productive sectors, benefiting 15,000 MSEs.


JIWASA Programme – Strengthening Urban MSEs

01.09.2014 - 31.03.2020

Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) involved in processing have the potential to contribute to industrial development in Bolivia, but their productivity is low. The Jiwasa Programme is a government initiative that seeks to increase production and incomes. With public and private sector support, it will provide direct and strategic services to five production clusters prioritised by the Bolivian government. 10’000 jobs will be improved, and gender equality and cleaner production will be promoted.


Angewandte Forschung zur Anpassung an den Klimawandel

01.06.2013 - 30.06.2019

Bolivien ist von den negativen Auswirkungen des Klimawandels (KW) stark betroffen – insbesondere 500‘000 besonders anfällige in Armut lebende Familien in den Höhenlagen der Anden. Mit dem Projekt soll die Resilienz von armen Familien in den Anden verbessert werden. Mittels eines Wettbewerbs sollen in 4 Jahren rund 100 Forschungsprojekte der zwei bekanntesten Universitäten des Landes finanziert werden. Es geht dabei um angewandte Forschung zu Themen, die den konkreten Bedürfnissen der am stärksten vom KW betroffenen andinen Dorfgemeinschaften entsprechen.


Rural microinsurance

01.11.2012 - 31.12.2019

Micro insurance is recognised as a useful tool for poverty reduction. However, costs for developing micro insurance products are too high for the private sector to assume them alone. SDC will share this risk with the PROFIN Foundation , who will validate the technical, legal and financial feasibility of commercialising agricultural micro insurances in Bolivia. With two pilots, this initiative will reach more than 1000 vulnerable men and women, who do not have access to adequate risk-management tools.

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