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

Object 1 – 12 of 16

Rural Markets

01.01.2022 - 30.09.2023

The political and health crisis in recent years has affected the economic activity of the Family Production Units (UPFs, in Spanish), which is why their resilience needs to be strengthened. The market development approach, applied in phases I and II of the project, has proven its potential to solve major bottlenecks.  In the last phase, the proposal is to consolidate and scale up the achievements in the market systems, as well as of the public and private services supporting them, focusing on knowledge management and sustainability mechanisms.


PROCOSI - Campaña de comunicación y educación para la prevención y contención de la pandemia en áreas urbanas y rurales vulnerables. EDUCOVID-19

01.09.2021 - 30.08.2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has been affecting the most vulnerable segments among the population in Bolivia. The Swiss funded communication and sensibilization campaign of the PROCOSI community health network contributes to reducing morbidity through educational and preventive interventions for health promotion and vaccination in 8 urban and rural municipalities.


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

01.06.2021 - 30.09.2026

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.


Socioeconomic recovery of micro and small enterprises, agricultural production units and organizations providing social services within the framework of the COVID-19 pandemic

20.08.2020 - 30.04.2022

Due to the devastating impact of COVID-19 on Bolivia’s economy, many micro and small enterprises are facing bankruptcy. As they are the backbone of the Bolivian economy and responsible for most of its job creation, employees and the self-employed are seeing huge job losses and rising food insecurity. This project will help preserve jobs and increase the resilience of micro and small enterprises by providing sanitary support measures in the short term, and by promoting alternative and innovative business models in the long-term.


Inclusive Insurance

01.07.2020 - 30.09.2022

Most of Bolivia's population is exposed to various risks that may trigger situations of poverty; in addition, the country is located in a region that is highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. During the previous phases, the project sought to motivate actors in the insurance market to implement inclusive and agricultural insurance; the exit phase seeks to consolidate the conditions enabling the innovative and sustainable operation of this insurance market.  


Fondo Suizo de Apoyo a la Cultura

01.06.2020 - 31.12.2023

La Cooperación Suiza en Bolivia asigna de acuerdo a lineamientos de la casa matriz el 1% de su inversión a la cultura, por la relevante contribución de las expresiones culturales en el diálogo intercultural y los procesos de desarrollo. El apoyo se dirige a sectores de la sociedad que por razones geográficas o sociales disponen de posibilidades limitadas de realizar expresiones culturales o de tener acceso a manifestaciones culturales y artísticas.


Life Without Violence

01.06.2020 - 31.12.2022

The project aims to contribute to reduce domestic violence, which is experienced by 70% of women in Bolivia, be it psychological, physical, sexual or economic. Good practices (in prevention and support) from the previous phase will be replicated and scaled up. Evidence-based advocacy at the policy level aims to improve procedures and the implementation of laws in an integral response model involving central and local state institutions and civil society. In addition, the project provides a comprehensive response towards combating the impact of COVID-19 on domestic violence.


Bioculture and Climate Change

01.04.2020 - 31.10.2023

Bolivia is highly vulnerable to the effects of Climate Change, particularly in its regions of greater population density and poverty. Over two phases, the program has helped Bolivia to improve the resilience capacity of its most vulnerable communities, while in parallel building up and strengthening the public sector’s capacity in this area. The third and final phase aims to consolidate the mechanisms put in place by the State to implement its climate change related policies at national and subnational levels.


PROMYPE Project Integral services to improve the performance of urban micro and small enterprises in Bolivia

01.04.2020 - 31.12.2023

Micro and small enterprises in urban areas of Bolivia face difficulties that limit them increasing their productivity and improving incomes and jobs for their workers. The PROMYPE Project (formerly Jiwasa) supports the provision of integral public services aimed at addressing bottlenecks in production conditions and access to finance and markets. It also promotes the linking of national and local policies to support MSEs.


Support for the elections process in Bolivia

23.03.2020 - 30.11.2021

New elections in Bolivia will be held in May 2020 at national level and in November 2020 at local and regional level. SDC support will strengthen the legitimacy of the Plurinational Electoral Agency, and give continuity to the work of civil society to improve media information and electoral observation. This will help overcome the crisis following the general election in October 2019, restore the public’s confidence in the transparency, independence and impartiality of the electoral process and strengthen the role of civil society.


Diálogo y apoyo colaborativo (DAC)

01.07.2019 - 31.12.2023

The project aims to strengthen Bolivian civil society organisations, with a view to them engaging in dialogue incl. conflict resolution on a more equal footing and a relationship of shared responsibility with the state and the private sector, through collaborative interaction between them on key inclusive development issues (added value of Swiss support). Emphasis will be placed on the three domains of the current Cooperation Strategy: governance, economic development, and climate change and the environment.


Municipal environmental management

01.04.2019 - 31.03.2023

Based on its significant expertise in the field of sustainable waste and wastewater management Switzerland supports Bolivia in addressing its environmental challenges by consolidating models of sustainable management of wastewater treatment services and solid waste management for small and intermediate cities. In coordination with the Ministry of Environment and Water, it contributes to the implementation of public policies reinforcing the quality and efficiency of environmental services, involving local populations and institutions. This will reduce harmful effects on the health of the population.

Object 1 – 12 of 16