The FOINCIDE project in Colombia continues to put theory into practice

The project has been implemented since mid-2016 and is now starting a new 2 years period of activities both at the local and national level in Colombia until the end of 2020. At the core of the action are local governments who are seen as key players in the realization of sustainable peace.

By focusing on strengthening Colombian municipalities’ ability to engage in dialogue with citizens using innovative participatory approaches, the project aims to create possibilities to rebuild trust between citizens and local governments.  During the first phase this has been done through capacity building including a diploma course, training with Swedish experts, study visits and sharing experiences as well as practical work where the municipalities have put into practice their newly acquired knowledge.

For instance, in the municipality of Montelibano a women advisory committee has now been created, whose initial focus has been to find ways to educate on and prevent teenage pregnancy.  Under the slogan “Menos basura – Más cultura – i.e, Less garbage – More culture” the municipality of Ciénaga created an environmental committee, involving and training the public and building garbage separation points as well as organizing recycling days where the community keeps the beaches clean. The municipality of Florida focused their FOINCIDE Plan to form an environmental community team ready to assist in the formulation of the municipality’s land-use plan (Plan Básico de Ordenamiento Territorial – PBOT) and achieve real citizen inclusion in this process.

Simultaneously, at the national level the project has collaborated with the Colombian Department for National Planning (DNP) to provide an opportunity follow the pilot municipalities in the development and implementation of the practical work. With the launch of Terridata –  for the first time a tool to consolidate, publish and disseminate information and data from Colombia’s subnational governments is available. It is inspired by the Swedish data base for municipalities and regions – KOLADA. The digital tool is available both as an app and a website and has been welcomed by national entities and local governments alike. It is now the official platform for regional statistics and data in Colombia.

The project continues its work both with participation, conflict management and making statistics from the local level widely available through Terridata. It will now also include inter-municipal cooperation and municipal associations active in post-conflict environments, thus adding a regional dimension to the project. This new priority creates exciting opportunities to take advantage of SALAR’s strengths and areas of expertise. The associations will help to strengthen the dissemination of the methods used in the pedagogical approach of FOINCIDE, since they are not as susceptible to political changes. It is the aspiration that FOINCIDE will, through involving more stakeholders, contribute to horizontal learning at local and regional level, as well as the creation of new local associations.

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