Triangular cooperation between Chile, Australia, Paraguay and Germany: ‘Paraguay For All’ – strengthening the National Strategy for Social Policy
Title: Regional Fund for the Promotion of Triangular Cooperation in Latin America and the Caribbean – Individual measure: ‘Paraguay For All’ – strengthening the National Strategy for Social Policy
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Countries: Chile (partner country); Paraguay (recipient country)
Lead executing agency: Planning Secretariat Paraguay
Overall term: 2011 to 2014
Paraguay is a country of great economic and social inequality. Some 30 per cent of the population lives in absolute poverty. Compared with other countries in the region, Paraguay ranks far down in the United Nations’ Human Development Index, and its income distribution ratio is particularly unequal in relation to other South American countries, too.
Paraguay’s Government is responding to this situation by rolling out a special social policy and a welfare system. A key step in this direction was the launch of the country-wide social welfare programme Paraguay For All. Implementing and coordinating measures initiated by the various government agencies and institutions is a major challenge, particularly at local level. Services in areas such as social housing, health care and childcare do not meet people’s needs.
Over recent years, Chile and Paraguay have engaged in intensive and productive cooperation on various social issues. Amongst other things, their joint activities build on the experiences of German-Chilean international cooperation in the field of social policy – and housing in particular. And now this triangular cooperation project is building on them too. Besides GIZ, the cooperation partners include the Chilean International Cooperation Agency (AGCI) and the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAid), which is providing cofinancing.
With Chilean assistance, Paraguay has developed a coordinated nationwide strategy for rolling out its cross-departmental social welfare policy. The strategy is being piloted in one rural and one urban area.
The project is helping to develop an implementation strategy for Paraguayan social policy. The activities focus particularly on changes in social housing, health care provision and childcare. The key aim is to introduce a comprehensive and coordinated approach that includes all social policy stakeholders.
The project takes a territorial approach to social intervention, which it is currently piloting in one rural and one urban region. It is seeking to cooperate with public and private stakeholders and to actively involve the local population in each of the communities in order to strengthen social networking amongst low-income groups and improve their access to public services.
Alongside these measures, Chilean institutions are helping to train representatives from the relevant public institutions in Paraguay. This training is designed to enable them to organise their work more coherently and to coordinate activities more effectively at national and municipal levels. The implementation partners for this project are various Chilean and Paraguayan institutions from the social welfare sector.
This project has developed and trialled a management model that will help implement social services more effectively at local level. Once project activities are completed, the Paraguayan Government will use this model as a key instrument in its fight against poverty. Officials plan to roll it out in 16 Paraguayan ‘departamentos’ in the course of the current legislative period.
During the pilot phase, the project managed to reach more indigenous peoples and involve them in shaping social policy.
Performance-enhancing measures have led to crucial innovations in the partner institutions’ community management practices and to the creation of networks to improve intra-institutional communication.
Paraguay’s Housing Ministry has adopted the National Plan for Living Environments and Social Housing (Plan Nacional de Hábitat y Vivienda, PLANHAVI) as a central tool and has set up a department specifically for its implementation.
The majority of people that have taken part in the training measures organised by the triangular cooperation project now occupy key positions in the incumbent government. This knowledge transfer thus strengthens the national plan and facilitates its sustainable implementation.