Education for the Participation of Indigenous Youth in Bolivia

Published:September 2012 by SAIH Studentenes og Akademikernes Internasjonale Hjelpefond
Commissioned by:SAIH Studentenes og Akademikernes Internasjonale Hjelpefond
Carried out by:Constance Almquist Buvollen
Tags:Bolivia, Education and research, Indigenous peoples

Summary

Executive Summary
Bolivia is becoming a Pluri-national State but it will take many years to achieve its full meaning. There are forecasts that say that this can take up to 25 years, if the political situation allows the indigenous people to continue exercising their rights and taking part in politics. In 2014 there will be elections for a new president, and it is a critical time to reinforce all the efforts of teaching and forming new indigenous leaders. Therefore, SAIH’s program “Education for the Participation of Indigenous Youth” in Bolivia has come at a very appropriate time in Bolivia’s history. This program is a culmination of SAIH’s work since 1993, when SAIH focused on indigenous peoples’ rights against suppression.

The fourteen days field work for this external evaluation for five partners was very intense. Achacachi, Trinidad, Cochabamba, Santa Cruz and Huanuni were visited in order to have an opportunity to interview the beneficiaries and understand “how” and “how well” the projects function and what kind of impact was made. One of the most important and valuable aspects was to find out if the local communities and beneficiaries “owned” the projects run by the five partners. The other important aspect was if the partners’ actions were directed to the needs of their target groups or if they malfunctioned. The field visits are the “test” of the partners’ activities and actions. The third aspect is to insure that there is no artificial proposal when there is no local demand for the project.

The time allotted for each of the five evaluated organizations was organized to be able to visit the beneficiaries where the project was carried out. The five organizations met at least 3 times with the evaluator. Each organization had the opportunity to organize and present their projects to the evaluator. The preparation for the evaluation as well as the feedback on the preliminary version of this report was very helpful and positive in all but one of the partners. ITEI has expressed a large degree of inconformity with the findings of the evaluation. Only two partners have only provided minor clarifying comments. The remaining two organizations had no comments.

Four of the five partners were carrying out their work plans and addressing the needs of the target groups accurately. One of the partners (ITEI) was struggling and is in conflict with some of the beneficiaries. Two of the partners (CEADL and ITEI) had similar objectives with the youth but their approaches were very different, as were their perspectives on what and how to organize what should be done. FENATRAHOB was working with labor rights and had put aside themes dealing with indigenous problems such as discrimination, although their target group is more than 90% indigenous. CDIMA delve into the topic of indigenous rights as well as women rights since 1993, and have never let up. FUNPROEIB Andes has embraced the intercultural and bilingual themes to empower indigenous peoples through their language and culture to fight for the rights to be themselves as indigenous people.

SAIH is very dynamic and respected by their partners. Not only because SAIH has financed parts of the budget that other donors do not finance, but because SAIH shows the partners respect. There is never imposed thinking or threatening of retracting the financial aid. SAIH has been described as solidarity, partner, understanding and ethical. So far each partner has had a very good impression of the SAIH personnel.

1. CDIMA is SAIH’s oldest partner in this program (since 1993) and they have carried out their plans of action with little delay. The organization concentrates on human formation. SAIH should continue the financial support for the human resources to allow CDIMA to prove to the donors that they are competent. If there is not enough staff to insure execution of projects with a transparent accounting system, CDIMA will have difficulty securing future donors.
2. CEADL has played a vital role in political formation of indigenous youth in Bolivia. CEADL works with the Human Rights Observatory as well as the Natural Resources Observatory that gives opportunities to the individual indigenous youth and their organizations to participate actively in the public discussions and decision making.
3. FENATRAHOB’s focus of the organization will have a long term impact both individually for a large number of Salaried Domestic Workers and both national and international legislation in favor of their cause. In many ways, the organizatio is humble, but has proven that they are ensuring the correct use of SAIH finances, and that they are interested in continuing with their work.
4. The SAIH choice of FUNPROEIB Andes was excellent. They have accomplished their goals, established very good administration and work routines, employed academically and technically sound project officials, director and administrator, and set clear objectives and target groups. They produce materials, network on the local, municipal, departmental, national and international level simultaneously without losing perspective of their objectives and who they work with.
5. ITEI has had four years of financing and has two partially functioning Youth Centers. There are no physical centers to aid in the work or local persons in place although financing exists. The ITEI - Youth Center Huanuni conflicts are serious and need to be resolved quickly. ITEI has made personnel changes which have caused some instability. This project does not seem like a logical competence of their organization. There are serious doubts about implementation of this project and the continuation of the SAIH support should be reconsidered.

Conclusions
SAIH set out to support “Education for Participation of Indigenous Youth in Bolivia” during the period 2009-2012, with the objective of encouraging and training Bolivian youth to promote important changes in Bolivian society. Special emphasis was put on indigenous youth, and the political situation in the country seemed favorable for such a program. During this period, SAIH has supported 5 projects with Bolivian non-governmental organizations, Centro de Formación Integral de la Mujer Aymara – Amuyt’a (CDIMA), Centro de Estudios y Apoyo de Desarrollo Local (CEADL), Federación Nacional de las Trabajadoras Asalariadas del Hogar de Bolivia (FENATRAHOB), Fundación para la Educación en Contextos de Multilingüismo y Plurinacionalidad (FUNPROEIB Andes) y el Instituto de Terapia e Investigación sobre Secuelas de la Tortura y la Violencia Estatal (ITEI). The majority of these projects has responded very well to the expectations and produced valuable results. One of the partners has fallen short of producing expected results.

All of the partners have expressed a clear profile of supporting indigenous peoples and communities and two of the partners (CDIMA and FENATRAHOB) have favored explicitly indigenous women. Two projects have addressed very explicitly the interest of indigenous youth (CEADL and FUNPOREIB Andes), while the fifth partner (ITEI) leaves much to be desired in the process of empowering indigenous youth.
SAIH has reasons to be satisfied with the choice of the majority of the partners, and this evaluation suggests that 4 of them should be considered for further cooperation, while the fifth, ITEI, should be reconsidered, based on poor and less relevant results.

Recommendations
Based on the evaluation and the conclusions, SAIH should consider the following recommendations:

1) Establish communication with the co-financing organizations to determine if SAIH is the only partner willing to finance administration and running costs and on the basis hereof to be able to determine when cooperation could be phased out without devastating consequences for the local partner.
2)  Provide all the partners with training in Logical Framework Approach, and achieve a more streamlined program design and criteria for monitoring.
3)  SAIH should ensure that partners have a better understanding of the program and not only of their individual projects.
4) SAIH should work with partners that represent the targets groups directly.
5) The Terms of Reference sent to the external evaluator needed to contain more specific information about the expected results and activities of each organization.
6) Encourage more interaction among the partners in the program.
7)  Explore the possibilities of interaction with Norwegian volunteers through Fredskorpset.
8)  Explore the possibilities of providing scholarships for professional training for the staff of each partner.
9)  Contact former donors of the organizations to find out why the funding was discontinued.
10) Phase out the cooperation with ITEI, given the lack of results, the incompatible orientation of the organization versus the target group, and the failure to empower the indigenous youth.
11)  Continue the support to CDIMA, CEADL, FENATRAHOB and FUNPROEIB Andes with a perspective of gradually phasing out the partnerships, and explore the possibilities that other donors can replace the SAIH support.
12)  Keep a constant and transparent communication with the partners.
13)  Compile lessons learned from the cooperation in Bolivia which seems to be an example of success.
14)  Establish a calendar for periodic evaluations of the SAIH programs in Bolivia.

 

 

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