Local Economic Development in La Guajira
Three of the partner municipalities of CISAL have adopted their Local Economic Development (LED) plan as public policy, which has provided a road map for local governments to formulate and prioritize projects. The LED plans were created in a participatory manner with the local governments, the public and private sectors, associations, and community members. Competitive advantages were identified and 12 value chains were prioritized, including salt, goat sheep, coffee and cocoa. The plans also identify the institutions and actors of civil society that will help implement the plans.
As part of the process of strengthening the LED offices of the municipalities, these are some examples of how local governments are promoting value chains:
Sheep and goats – a priority in Barrancas, where an experimental farm will improve the genetic breed of the animals. The primary beneficiaries will be indigenous communities that raise goats, and will provide them income. The local government has secured funds from the Cerrejon mining company for this project.
Coffee – Fonseca and Hatonuevo are now working with the National Federation of Coffee and Cacao Producers to strengthen small business and farm cooperatives, benefitting women who are victims of the internal conflict.
Handicrafts – Barrancas formalized a large group of indigenous artisans to give them a business license, improve their selling ability, and improve product quality.
The CISAL Fund has been a tool to promote and strengthen value chains such as handicrafts, coffee, tourism and other services. The most important impact for the region was the empowerment of the local government through the Administration Committee of the CISAL Fund, where it promoted a culture of transparency, accountability and inclusion in the region.