Territorial Inclusive Economic Development in the Mosquitia region, department of Gracias a Dios


The Honduran Mosquitia is one of the poorest and most conflict-ridden region in the country. With the program, Switzerland promotes income for the indigenous population, improves food security and thus contributes to reducing migration and improving regional stability. In cooperation with the private sector the program generates 1000 net new jobs, seeks to increment the income of 1700 families by 5% per year (USD 360/year in 2020), and promotes an increase in public investment in the territory by at least 10% per year. 

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Honduras
Employment & economic development
Governance
Industrial policy
Decentralisation
01.08.2021 - 30.06.2024
CHF  4’600’000
Background

The region of the Honduran Mosquitia, located mainly in the department of Gracias a Dios, is a highly important area in biological terms and due to its ecosystem services. It is also home to 4 indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples: Miskitu, Garífuna, Tawahka and Pech. The Honduran Mosquitia faces significant environmental challenges: floods, tropical cyclones and forest fires top the list of natural threats, while pollution, deforestation and poor fishing practices are among the anthropogenic threats. The population of La Mosquitia faces high levels of multidimensional poverty, which reaches an incidence rate of 71.8% of households, 4.6 percentage points higher than the national average (67.2%) and in some municipalities of the department exceeds 80.0%. In addition, the territory has an open unemployment rate of 13.6% of the population, 18.4% for women and 11% for men, and a food insecurity index of 79.4% (8 out of 10 households in the Mosquitia area are food insecure).

Resource governance also triggers conflicts between municipalities and indigenous communities among other things due to the predominance of an extractivist model that does not create any benefits for the local population, the loss of access to land by indigenous families, and the invasion of coastal waters designated for artisanal fishery by commercial fishing vessels. Despite the high levels of vulnerability and conflict, the need for employment, income and food security remains an important factor that brings the different stakeholders together and incentivizes them to manage jointly the development of their territory. However, indigenous businesses face unfair competition from companies financed by drug trafficking, which affects the profitability and sustainability of these business initiatives.

In recent years, the government has increased its presence in the Mosquitia, which contributes to the solution of conflicts at different levels of the value chains. In addition, value chain committees that assemble public and private actors help to improve competitiveness and the business climate, to strengthen the productive bases and promote public and private investment.  

Objectives

Contribute to the development of inclusive territorial governance, and the articulation of the public and private sectors, as well as to the improvement of the productive, organizational and entrepreneurial capacities of the indigenous peoples of the Honduran Mosquitia in order to strengthen food security and the generation of employment and income, in harmony with Buen Vivir.

Swiss Cooperation will continue to lay the foundations for the promotion of shared governance, a clear example of which is the constant support it has given to the Alliance for the Development of the Honduran Mosquitia and its active participation in the Territorial Governance Platform.

This programme corresponds to Switzerland’s interest in promoting good governance, climate change mitigation measures and income generation for vulnerable populations. Switzerland stands out for its approach based on poverty reduction in indigenous territories, engagement with the private sector and conflict prevention.

Target groups

-    5 Territorial Councils

-    Productive groups of 5 TC

-    Municipalities of Wampusirpi, Ahuas and Puerto Lempira

-    Mancomunidad of Gracias a Dios

-    Regulatory and value chain support organizations: National Vocational Training Institute (INFOP), Secretariat of Agriculture and Livestock (SAG)

-    Directorate of Science and Technology (DICTA)

-    General Directorate of Fisheries (DIGEPESCA)

-    Secretariat of Economic Development (SDE)

-    National University of Agriculture (UNA)

Medium-term outcomes

Outcome 1:    3 Territorial Councils and 3 local governments agree on and implement territorial food policies that prioritize local production, nutritious consumption and income generating initiatives that rely on climate change resilient practices.

Outcome 2:    Actors of the fishing value chain improve competitiveness and the generation of sustainable employment and income.

Outcome 3:    Indigenous communities, the mancomunidad and the central government are all active participants in the Mosquitia Development Platform, facilitating conflict resolution and promoting local economic development initiatives. 

Results

Expected results:  

-    3 local governments and 3 Territorial Councils (TC) develop a territorial policy that guarantees food security based on local production, sustainable natural resources management and according to the life plans of the TC.

-    5 TC and the Pech de Las Marías federation improve production and adopt new production practices that are resilient to climate change.

-    The Fishery Value Chain Committee has agreed on a competitiveness strategy with a rights-based approach.

-    Value chain actors gain access to financial education in order to develop skills and attitudes to manage their economic resources. 

-    Fishing companies and communities improve their business volume while respecting the environment and indigenous norms.

-    The Governance Platform is agile in the implementation of the agreements reached at the roundtables and provides efficient knowledge management in the territory.


Results from previous phases:  

PRAWANKA developed a strategy focused on inclusive governance in order to lay the basis for the territory's economic development; the strategy’s central elements are negotiation, dialogue, conflict sensitivity, peace-building, human rights and inclusion; it relies on research and the development of strategic alliances between the public and private sector, promoting institutionalism and, therefore, the sustainability of actions.

-    PRAWANKA linked 3,426 families from 46 communities to productive processes, creating 2,832 net jobs (51% women and 49% men).

-    The government has developed a reconstruction and sustainable development plan for the Mosquitia (2021-2024), and continues to implement the "Alliance for the Mosquitia" initiative, signed in April 2016 by donors, including SDC. 

-    Based on the principle of inclusive governance, framework conditions for institutional articulation were established and SDC elaborated jointly with the government and other donors a baseline for the monitoring of the Sustainable Development Goals. 


Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign NGO
Private sector
  • Other international or foreign NGO North
  • Foreign private sector North


Other partners

The program will be implemented through a contractor, under the modality of a consortium, integrated by the two NGOs Ayuda en Acción and CASM. The consortium’s local partners are:

-    The five Territorial Councils: Tawahka, Bakinasta, Bamiasta, Batiasta and Katainasta;

-    Mancomunidad of Gracias a Dios;

-    Government, through the Secretariat of Agriculture and Livestock, General Directorate of Fisheries and MiAmbiente;

-    National University of Agriculture.

Coordination with other projects and actors

SDC programs: ProJoven, PROCACAHO, FDHAS, Seguridad Ciudadana, EMPODERAT.

Government initiatives: Alliance for the Development of the Mosquitia. Programs of other donors: IDB-GOAL fisheries program, Pana-Pana of the German Cooperation (GIZ), Artisanal Fisheries Support Program of the World Bank. 

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    4’600’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    1’700’000
Project phases Phase 2 01.08.2021 - 30.06.2024   (Current phase) Phase 1 01.03.2016 - 31.08.2021   (Completed)