Bolivia

Switzerland's development work in Bolivia focuses on governance, economic and vocational skills development, climate change mitigation and environmental protection. As it prepares to phase out its bilateral programme by 2024, Switzerland is prioritising knowledge transfer and support for young people in rural and peri-urban areas of the highlands and the Andean valleys. 

Map of Bolivia
© FDFA

In the past ten years Bolivia has experienced economic and income growth attributable to exports of gas, oil and mining products. Although the government's income redistribution programmes have reduced poverty, Bolivia remains one of the poorest countries in Latin America. Its revenue from commodities trading has fallen by 25% in the past three years. After two changes of government (in 2019 and 2020), Bolivia is faced with increasing economic and political challenges as well as diminished growth. The economic challenges include low productivity, underemployment, a lack of diversification and international competitiveness, and a significant shadow economy.

After more than 50 years of successful development cooperation, Switzerland will phase out its bilateral cooperation with Bolivia by the end of 2024. It will continue to conduct development policy dialogues, and will remain involved in the Andes region through its humanitarian aid and global programmes on water and climate change.

Switzerland is working with government agencies, national and international organisations, and other nations active in Bolivia to coordinate knowledge transfer and the phasing out of its bilateral development cooperation.

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 improve 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. With regard to vocational skills development for disadvantaged groups, Switzerland can draw on its own experience as well as on the expertise 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 also place a strong emphasis on expanding production and increasing 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 focuses mainly on adjustment mechanisms. The key aspects here are water management, land use and disaster risk reduction through prevention and preparedness. SECO contributes to this by supporting sustainable urban development measures. Environmental challenges are also arising due to growing urbanisation. In this area, the SDC is focusing 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, where it has been active since 1968. Bolivia has been an SDC priority country since 1981 and a complementary country of SECO since 2017. The programme is adjusted on an ongoing basis to reflect the country's changing social and economic conditions.

Current projects

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PER:FinancialMechan.DRRAndeanCountries

15.11.2023 - 14.11.2027

Subnational authorities in Peru and Ecuador responsible for DRM strengthen their capacities to access central government finance for DRM. The project will provide guidance in developing and accessing funding from existing public, public-private and multilateral DRM funds based on prior country diagnostics. A complementing Community of Practice (Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and Colombia) fosters exchange of experiences and lessons learned. This is expected to result in enhanced access to available financial resources for DRM for project beneficiaries. 


Strengthening policy dialogue on DRR & RR of Andean countries

14.11.2022 - 31.10.2025

The project aims at strengthening policy dialogue on Disaster Risk Reduction and Rapid Response among Andean countries in particular and within the Latin America countries in general. The participation of SDC’s key partners in DRR and humanitarian events (e.g. the yearly Humanitarian Network and Partnership Week) will facilitate knowledge exchange, experience sharing and increased collaboration within the region. The project will further contribute to this by engaging in knowledge management supporting regional policy dialogue, and by financially contributing to specific events.


Climate and Clean Air in Latin American Cities Plus Programme Phase 2 (CALAC+ 2)

01.08.2021 - 31.07.2025

Phase 2 of the Climate and Clean Air in Latin American Cities Plus Programme (CALAC+) will support the consolidation and implementation of local and national measures to reduce emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases (GHG) from urban transport and non-road mobile machinery to protect the climate and human health. CALAC+ will foster normative and technological changes through regional cooperation, building on Swiss expertise, and share the programme’s experience at the global level. 


Building Regional Adaptive capacity and resilience to climate variability and change in Vulnerable sectors in the Andes (BRAVA)

01.06.2021 - 31.12.2026

SDC contributes to the World Meteorological Organisation’s ENANDES project, aiming to increase the resilience of 6 Latin-American countries to climate change. With the support of Swiss researchers and experts from MeteoSwiss, the project will increase the predictive capabilities of the responsible national authorities and support co-design of Weather, Water and Climate Services across the region, to the benefit of the local population, including the most vulnerable.


El Agua Nos Une - Water stewardship: evidence-based decisions

01.01.2021 - 31.03.2026

Based on Switzerland’s decade long experience on private sector engagement and empowerment of public institutions, El Agua Nos Une programme focuses on strengthening evidence-based decisions for better water governance, in 4 Latin American countries. It envisions systemic change towards corporate water use efficiency and pollution mitigation, mobilizing stakeholders and investments in ecosystem preservation; contributing to a more equitable society and responsible water use.


Sustainable and Innovative Rural Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (SIRWASH)

01.10.2020 - 31.12.2024

The Sustainable and Innovative Rural Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (SIRWASH) initiative improves enabling policy, innovation and knowledge environments and fosters the required capacities to provide sustainable quality water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services to rural communities – in particular poor households and vulnerable people – in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Haiti and Peru. It builds on Switzerland’s over 20 years of experience in strengthening rural WASH systems in Peru and Colombia.


Andean Regional Initiative on Adaptation to Climate Change (ARIACC)

15.12.2017 - 31.07.2024

The Andean Regional Initiative on Adaptation to Climate Change builds on Swiss experience and aims at incorporating the resilience of poor rural Andean communities into national climate change adaptation (CCA) public policies, programs and intiatives of Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru. Together with key stakeholders, it will promote the uptake of an integrated pro-poor approach, build on regional knowledge exchange and coordination, and articulate with the global CCA agenda


Swiss Better Gold Initiative, Phase III

01.06.2021 - 30.06.2025

SECO and the Swiss Better Gold Association (SBGA) promote the creation of value chains for responsibly sourced gold from artisanal and small-scale mines through a public-private partnership called the Swiss Better Gold Initiative.


Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises SCORE, Phase IV

01.01.2021 - 31.12.2024

Achieving sustainable improvements in working conditions and productivity in SMEs in national and global supply chains: Embedding the proven SCORE methodology with national implementation partners in a few remaining countries will guarantee long-term contributions to decent work and higher productivity in line with the SDGs.


Resilient Bolivian Cities

01.12.2020 - 31.01.2025

Bolivian cities’ exposure to natural hazards – mainly floods, flash floods and landslides - in combination with rapid unplanned urbanization is a huge issue: Bolivia has the second highest economic risk exposure to multiple hazards worldwide. To improve resilience of its cities, the government has identified key challenges it needs to address.

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