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Strengthening Local Capacities

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Facing the processes of decentralization and the challenges of participative local administration in which we have been living in the last few years, there exists the need to strengthen the capacities and develop tools to drive forward processes of decentralization both in public organizations as well as civil society actors. In 2008, Fundacion Futuro Latinoamericano (FFLA), created the Strengthening Local Capacities Strategic Initiative to contribute to capacity building in municipalities and civil society, promoting administrative modalities for local development in three cantons in the Azuay province of Ecuador.

Our objective
To consolidate systems of innovative and participatory good governance systems, between local governments and civil society organizations, fomenting a dialogue culture for sustainable local development.

How do we work?
To date, the Initiative has worked promoting participation, dialogue and organization for the management of the Forest Area and Vegetation Protector of El Collay (AVBP) in the south of Ecuador. The Initiative has supported, advised and coordinated different activities for the strengthening and consolidation of the El Collay community through different strategies and methodologies such as: permanent technical assistance to the different instances of the good governance system, communication, capacity building, generation of knowledge and driving alternative methods of production that are respectful to the environment.

Through this approach, the Initiative looks to consolidate participation and decision-making between state, social and community stakeholders that form part of the community in order to achieve its strategic and technical planning, based on the conservation and protection of natural resources in the El Collay Forest in order to ensure water provision.

Results
• As a result of this intervention the El Collay Community was formed as a governance system to conserve the ABVP of El Collay, with the participation of 20 state and community stakeholders from three cantons: Gualaceo, El Pan and Sevilla de Oro. The formation of the El Collay Community has been part of a sustained process of dialogue and participation between state, community and civil society actors.
• The beneficiary population made up 93,114 people, habitants of the six cantons of the Azuay province, who benefit from the water sources of the ABVP of El Collay for domestic and agricultural use.
• The Initiative has helped to directly strengthen the technical, political and dialogue capacities of the local stakeholders made up of 10 local authorities (including mayors and presidents of local councils; 6 municipal staff and 50 leaders of community organizations.
• The Community has technical instruments including: a Strategic Plan, Multi-Year Plan, a participative system for monitoring and evaluation, a Management Plan for the extended area and a bank of projects that are managed within local, national and international organizations. The municipal members of the Community have also assigned an annual amount of their budget to guarantee its sustainability.
• The system of permaculture has been strengthened as an alternative method of production.
• The Environment Ministry is in the process of approving the Management Plan for the extended geographic area (from 7 to 29 thousand hectares) of the El Collay ABVP.
• The governance systems gained legitimacy and recognition amongst local and national private institutions according to the multiple agreements signed by the Community.

Where do we work?
Mapa Fort Local






















Glossary


Capacity building.- A process of support, advice, knowledge-sharing and creation of new capacities for the exercise of citizenship (rights and duties), that contribute to sustainability. It is carried out through spaces of social knowledge exchange, processes of action, reflection and on site accompaniment.