Bolivia innovation fund
Title: Bolivia innovation fund
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Vicepresidencia del Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia
Overall term: 2014 to 2019
Bolivia is undergoing a process of fundamental political change. The new constitution, which was adopted in 2009, provides for comprehensive reform in areas such as state-building, the social and economic system and the rights of marginalised population groups. It also strengthens the political participation of civil society within a new decentralised model of governance. The promotion of social justice and the self-determination of indigenous peoples are accorded particular importance in this transformation process. The government and civil society organisations do not yet have all the capacities and resources they require to press ahead with this process in a politically charged environment by means of new initiatives.
Innovative political and social change processes designed to promote the rule of law, democracy, human rights and good governance are implemented on a pilot basis.
The Bolivia innovation fund finances individual measures that are applied for and implemented by governmental and non-governmental actors. The fund covers a wide variety of areas and focuses in particular on the issues of transparency and accountability, government reform including the integration of indigenous administrative structures, democracy, participation and the rule of law. State institutions at the national and local level, such as departmental parliaments, local and municipal councils, indigenous authorities and non-governmental organisations are eligible to apply for support.
Individual measures are selected from the applications received on the basis of a public invitation to tender. The selection is made jointly by the Office of the Vice President of Bolivia, the German Embassy and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in accordance with predetermined criteria, such as the innovative nature and sustainability of the measure. The project offers advice on drafting applications and provides support in the implementation of measures. The measures have a term of six to twelve months and are granted funding of up to EUR 100,000. They are usually implemented independently by the beneficiary institutions in the form of local subsidies or financing agreements. The institutions contribute around 30 per cent of the funding themselves.
The innovation fund has promoted ten measures to date. These include support for the establishment of the national autonomy council, advice on the setting up of the national council of indigenous self-governing bodies, strengthening the geopolitical role of Bolivia in a regional and international context, and promoting participation and social oversight within state institutions. Of these ten measures, four have already been completed.
One of the initial project results is that it enables the members of the national autonomy council and interested members of the public to learn about public finances and technical analyses carried out as part of the realignment of the financial equalisation system through information disseminated via both the internet and social networks. Discussions relating to this realignment can now take place based on objective information.
Fifty young Bolivians in public service and at universities have been given training on the topics of geopolitics and regional integration, thereby enabling these future decision-makers to consolidate and expand their knowledge in these areas. In addition, a training programme is now in place and will benefit more groups in future.
The establishment of the council of indigenous self-governing bodies provides indigenous communities with a platform on which to express their concerns and interests to the national government and to push ahead with the development of the plurinational state which grants different peoples and ethnic groups the right to self-determination.
Thanks to the participation and social oversight measure, a total of 35 municipal and departmental governments have enhanced their transparency. Campaigns for greater transparency have been set up at administrative level. Digital platforms provide the public with financial information while young people are joining networks and actively calling for greater transparency.