- At a glance
- Conflict setting
- Capacity Development and Mediation Processes for Conflict Transformation
- Supporting governmental actors in conflict transformation & introducing a culture of peace
- Support for dialogue & reflection
At a glance
Since 2007, we have supported Bolivian actors in conflict transformation. Our approach covers three areas: first, providing capacity building and setting-up mechanisms for monitoring and dealing with social conflict to ministries, prefectures and municipal governments as well as the ombudsperson’s office. The second area is the development of a culture of peace in the education system for governmental and social actors. The final area is the provision of analysis and options for dialogue support for and with a range of actors across the political and social spectrum.
Bolivia is deeply fragmented: opposing paradigms of political, social and economic development of the country have led to deep divisions. Clashes around the provision and sale of water as well as use of revenues from gas have led to wider violence since 2000. After Evo Morales and his Movement toward Socialism (MAS) came to power in 2006, he has aimed at changing the set-up of access to land, natural resources and power, which also touches on the fault lines of ethnicity and central versus regional power.
These changes and the way they were implemented provoked massive resistance from opposition parties and the traditional social, political and economic elite. The fundamentally different ideologies and massive mobilizations have fuelled outbreaks of politically motivated violence between 2007 and 2008.
After a difficult process of constitution making and negotiations on autonomy and electoral regime, the elections in late 2009 and early 2010 cemented the majority of MAS. This also marked the challenges ahead: namely, continuing the envisioned reforms in an inclusive way and agreeing on the legal framework for the constitutional provisions while respecting the rule-of-law.
In this polarized and fragmented setting, we are contributing to constructive approaches for conflict transformation through concrete communication, monitoring mechanisms, capacity building on conflict transformation and culture of peace, process-oriented dialogue and reflection on the long-term visions for Bolivia. Our efforts are channelled through two lines: in collaboration with the German Society for International Cooperation – GIZ (formerly GTZ) and through direct involvement of Berghof Foundation (formerly BPS) in specific dialogue-support activities with local change agents specifically in dialogue-support activities.Top
Capacity Development and Mediation Processes for Conflict Transformation
Capacity Development and Mediation Processes for Conflict Transformation of Social and Political Conflicts in Bolivia
Berghof Foundation (BF), in a consortium with the Catholic University (Universidad Católica Boliviana San Pablo – UCB) and the Centro Internacional de Toledo por la Paz (CITpax) with funding of the European Union will work 2012-2014 with social organizations in order to enhance their competencies in treating conflicts related to Autonomy. The project will identify previous experiences and select and form dialogue facilitators; furthermore, the experiences will be shared within Bolivia, the region and with the European Union.Top
Supporting governmental actors in conflict transformation & introducing a culture of peace
Between 2007 and 2011, BPS – in a consortium with COMO Consult and GOPA – has advised public institutions in Bolivia. The framework for these activities is the implementation of one component of the PADEP Programme for GIZ. This programme has been running since 2001 and will close in December 2011. The responsibility is currently being handed over to the Bolivian counterparts, such as the Bolivian Ministry of Education, the Presidential Ministry, the Ministry of Public Works, Services and Housing, the Governmental Ministry, the Government of the Autonomous State of Tarija, the Government of the Community of Tarija, the Statal Educational Service of Tarija, the Government of the Province of Cercado, the Directory of Education of the Community of Llallagua, the Directory of Education of the Community of Cercado, the Special Unit of Continuous Education (UNEFCO), the School of Public Plurinational Administration (EGPP), the Autonomous University Juan Miguel Saracho (UAJMS) and the Juan Miguel Saracho School.
The advisory and consulting activities of the team included:
- Contributing to strengthen a culture for peace through helping to build the societal bases for dealing constructively with conflicts in a diverse and deeply divided society. Schools and authorities in two regions have elaborated education material and modules on peace education, as well as curricula development that mainstream these issues within primary and secondary schools. Currently, the programme supports curricula for the training of teachers and provides material to the Ministry of Education thereby supporting their efforts to implement the new constitution’s mandate for enhancing a culture of peace within Bolivian society.
- Working with governmental entities to enhance their capacities for conflict transformation is crucial for shaping the necessary mechanisms to prevent and deal constructively with conflicts in the administrative and executive sphere. We support selected ministries and regional and local governments in monitoring conflicts and analysing the options to deal with them. We work to build capacities around specific mechanisms, including a software-based monitoring tool of social demands, conflicts and negotiation results. Furthermore, mechanisms for inter-institutional exchange are supported in order to improve the public administration’s ability to deal with social conflicts.
- Training and provision of advice, concurrent with the above, on conflict sensitivity are provided to other PADEP components, the working group State and Democracy of the German development cooperation, as well as for the coordination of international donors.
Support for dialogue & reflection
In partnership with Servicios y Asesoría para la Paz SERAPAZ, Mexico, BPS has initiated contact with Bolivian stakeholders during and after the tensions between the central government and regional and other opposition forces. While the political situation was highly volatile during this period, the direct political violence has decreased since. However, the tensions and polarizations remain and will affect Bolivia’s development for some time to come. Based on our exploration’s findings that the quality of Bolivia’s transformation will depend on the degree of pluralism and inclusiveness of the process, we aim at fostering the capacity for transforming conflicts and engage in dialogue and reflection beyond negotiations around the immediate political situation.