For close to three decades, Canada has funded modest-scale development assistance projects in over 120 countries through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI). The Program is unique within the array of Canada’s international assistance programs as most of the decisions are made at missions and the projects are conceived and designed locally, making the CFLI highly responsive to local needs and interests.
Over the years, the CFLI has not only provided significant assistance to people in the developing world, but also helped to forge Canada’s relationships with those people, their civil societies and their institutions.
In 2012-2013, the Embassy funded a total of seven CFLI projects in Argentina and seventeen in Paraguay. This was a record for the modest development fund, amounting to over $450,000.
The 2013-14 CFLI awards will focus on the following 5 themes:
Thank you for your interest in the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives. Please note, the 2013-2014 anticipatory appeal for projects has now closed. We expect to inform those organizations which have applied for CFLI funding as to the status of their application by mid-June.
Civic Participation Promoted by Community Radio: With this project, the Asociación de Radios Comunitarias y Medios Alternativos del Paraguay (VOCES) helped contribute to the strengthening of democracy by creating opportunities for citizens to engage in dialogue over electoral issues at 16 community radio stations from across Paraguay. The first phase of the project saw the production of a broadcaster kit to help frame community radio formats and ensure factual discussions. The kit provided detailed information on the politics of Paraguay leading up to the April 21, 2013 elections, and proposed issues of interest to discuss with listeners. The VOCES project also saw the delivery of capacity-building workshops for broadcasters, helping train those operating the stations on how best to encourage active participation in the promotion of democracy.
Active Citizenship for Access to Public Information: This project of the Federación de Entidades Vecinalistas del Paraguay (FEDEM) helped strengthen citizen participation in the democratic process through the delivery of capacity-building workshops, as well as through the delivery of an awareness campaign. Both were designed to ensure citizens were aware of their rights and obligations under the Constitution and the laws of the Republic of Paraguay, including the Ley Municipal that was introduced in 2010. Workshops were held in the capital, Asunción, as well as in the Central Department and the Department of Caazapá. The project targeted local authorities, community organizations and municipal officials. Approximately 100 community leaders benefitted from these projects, and in turn were able to reach other people in their communities.
Economic and Social Inclusion for Recyclers of San Antonio in Encarnacion City: With this project, the Organización de Investigación y Promoción Interdisciplinaria para el Desarrollo (SAVIA) contributed to the improvement of socioeconomic conditions for recyclers and their families in a poor neighbourhood of the city of Encarnación. The project involved the active participation of recyclers as members of the Mesa de Recicladores to carry out actions to strengthen group organization, public policy advocacy, negotiation and marketing.
Democratic Governance and Gender Perspective – Organizational Capacity Building and Advocacy for Rural and Indigenous Women: The Coordinadora Nacional de Organizaciones de Mujeres Trabajadoras Rurales e Indígenas (CONAMURI) implemented this project, which helped organize and strengthen rural and indigenous women in Paraguay. Capacity-building workshops were designed to help strengthen leadership in the communities and to encourage effective participation in democratic practices. The project sought to build partnerships between civil society and the government sector, and specifically to raise awareness on issues of importance to rural and indigenous women in the country.
Helping in the Fight Against Drug Addiction: This innovative project, by the Centro de Análisis y Difusión de la Economía Solidaria (CADES), supported mothers of drug addicts by providing them with training on human rights and addiction issues. The women were members of “Madres luchadoras por la salud de sus hijos”, a support group which was formed to help find solutions to their children’s drug addictions. The project was the first in Paraguay to address the issue with relatives of drug addicts, and saw an increase in the membership of the group, and helped to raise awareness on drug issues, both within the community and in view of helping to promote public health policies to more effectively deal with this issue.
Strengthening Democratic Participation in Bañado Norte, Asunción: This project, implemented by Asociación Hay un Niño en tu camino (HUNETC) with the assistance of Servicio Paz y Justicia (SERPAJ), helped strengthen democratic participation in the Tablada Nueva area of Bañado Norte in Asunción through the delivery of capacity building training on human rights. The project trained both adults and children, and made use of radio and theatre as tools to spread knowledge beyond the immediate target group.
Contribution to the Formation of Citizenship: This project, implemented by the Comité de Gestión de la Reserva de Biosfera del Bosque Mbaracayú, was delivered in five rural districts of Paraguay, with the goal of promoting greater participation of women in the electoral process, as well as helping to strengthen the capacity and effectiveness of 29 different neighbourhood committees. In these areas, where women account for 68% of the population, they traditionally represent only 10% of the vote and are under-represented in the community decision-making process. The project worked with more than 100 women in the districts of Corpus Christi, Curuguaty, Itanara, Ype Jhu and Villa Ygatimi, to deliver capacity-building training in view of stimulating a greater participation of women in civic life. Participants learned about the municipal political process, as well as about their rights and responsibilities as citizens.
Impact of Public Policy on Children and Adolescents in the District of Itá: This project consolidated open spaces of organization and participation for youth in order to impact local bodies of the Itá Council on Children and Adolescents. The implementing organization, Tape'a, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting social research for the benefit of society, focused the project on strengthening youth organizations by increasing youth’s knowledge about their rights. The project also sought to influence public policy making.
Local Public Policy for Democratic Governance in the District of Eugenio A. Garay: In this project, the Centro Paraguayo de Cooperativismo (CPC) worked with people from 30 community organizations in the design and implementation of an active participatory structure. The project concentrated on public policy advocacy and efficiency, using a process of capacity and skill-building in the area of democratic consolidation and development. The project benefitted approximately 450 families.
Youth Dialogue on Public Policy: The project conducted by the Fundación Comunitaria Centro de Información y Recursos para el Desarrollo (CIRD) worked to enable the effective participation of youth in political parties. The project created democratic spaces for dialogue between young people and community leaders in order to encourage the development of public policies for youth. Social media allowed the project to reach beyond those immediately involved, thus increasing the impact of the project.
Sustainable Development in Kurusu de Hierro: This project was implemented by Mennonite Economic Development Associates-Paraguay, helping to better the socio-economic development of 40 families in the community of Kurusu de Hierro through capacity-building and community organization. The project provided training in agro-livestock production in order to achieve better yields and consequently higher incomes, as well as training in the design and use of gardens, and the storage and preparation of food, helping families to lower expenses and increase the food security level in the community.
Election in April 2013 - Tools for Dialogue with Candidates: This project conducted by the Asociación de Organizaciones No Gubernamentales del Paraguay (POJOAJU), provided NGO networks with a methodological tool to enhance experiences with candidates who were seeking to be elected to Congress. The project identified relevant electoral issues, and developed and validated a methodological booklet in order to support the advocacy actions with the candidates. The booklet was then printed and disseminated to 200 communities through the use of the NGO’s network of member organizations.
Raising Human Rights Awareness among Youth in Asunción: The Centro Paraguayo de Estudios Canadienses (CPEC) implemented this project to support and encourage the practice and teaching of humanitarian and democratic values. The project directly increased the human rights knowledge among Paraguayan teachers, and indirectly to Paraguayan youth. This was attained through the creation and production of a methodological guide, which was used in workshops given to approximately 150 teachers from some 20 schools in the capital, as well as in Great Asunción. The initiative was also supported by the Ministry of Education and Culture, ensuring the addition of the material to school curricula.
Political and Collective Participation of Women in the Department of San Pedro: The Coordinadora Departamental de Mujeres de San Pedro was formed in 2011 to enable women to work together to defend their rights. All members of the organization were farmers and lived off of agricultural production. Many were single mothers. The goal of this project was to strengthen democracy through working with women's organizations in view of promoting a culture of support for and defense of human rights. Organizations provided capacity-building trianing and a public education campaign on human rights was designed and delivered seeking to encourage greater women's participation in upcoming elections.
Intercultural Dialogue on the Right to Childhood and Adolescence of Indigenous People: This initiative was implemented by the Tekoha con los Pueblos Indígenas, an organization which addresses situations affecting indigenous children and adolescents in three communities, Filadelfia and Loma Plata in Boquerón Department, and Luque in Central Department. The project identified strategies and actions designed to help clarify guidelines and criteria for the care, prevention and promotion of children’s rights within the Sistema Nacional de Niñez y Adolescencia.
Capacity-Building of the Citizen Organization of Carapeguá for the Development and Monitoring of the Citizen Agenda Leading up to the 2013 Elections: In this project, the Centro de Estudios Ambientales y Sociales (CEAMSO) worked with the Citizen Organization of Carapeguá (Contraloría Ciudadana de Carapeguá) on the design and implementation of a work plan leading up to the April 21, 2013 elections. The project sought to make citizen demands more visible to candidates and successfully created strategic alliances with the Contraloría General de la República and the Public Ministry (Ministerio Público).
Organizational Strengthening of the Indigenous Association "Pai Tavytera Jopotyra": This project, implemented by the Grupo SUNU de Acción Intercultural, promoted the participation and empowerment of the Pai Tavytera people in national, local and departmental public policies. The project delivered capacity-building training to the Pai Tavytera Joptyra association in order strengthen the association’s capacities with respect to human rights issues, as well as with respect to the functioning of the State. The project was particularly important given the Pai Tavytera have traditionally had low levels of participation in democratic activities, due to a lack of familiarity with the functioning of the government.
Strengthening the Support Center for the Prevention of Gender Violence and Human Trafficking: This project, implemented by Casa del Encuentro, provided assistance to women and children who were victims of domestic violence. Through the provision of coordinated professional services offered by lawyers, social workers and psychologists, the beneficiaries became active agents of positive change, allowing them to work towards a full recovery and effective reintegration into society. The project also saw the design, production and dissemination of a publication on the systematization of experiences which contributed positively to the eradication of violence against women throughout the country.
Combatting Violence against Women in Prisons: Institutional violence and human rights violations in female detention centres in the province of Buenos Aires was examined through this project. The Asociación Amigos de la Comisión Provincial por la Memoria was the implementing NGO, who, working with provincial authorities, psychologists, social workers and other professionals, helped strengthen cooperation with respect to the monitoring of females in detention centres, a topic which had often been ignored. The main outcomes of the project were improved access to justice for victims of violence, and the development, publication and dissemination of a manual addressing this important issue.
Intensive Campaign to Prevent Violence Against Women: Mujeres en Igualdad is a civil society organization dedicated to fighting all forms of discrimination against women. This project advocated for a life free of violence for women through an intensive campaign promoting violence prevention, advocacy and counselling for victims. Among the many activities undertaken were an active social media campaign and various awareness sessions, including at public secondary schools in the Greater Buenos Aires area.
Promotion of Transparent Judiciary Selection Procedures: This project, conducted by the Asociacion Civil por la Igualdad y la Justicia (ACIJ), worked to improve the quality and accessibility of information related to selection process of judges. Using synthetized data from previous analyses, ACIJ was able to identify the key challenges in the monitoring process of judge selection in the City of Buenos Aires. Key guidelines were developed to promote transparency in this process and were published in a manual of best practices, as well as through a virtual platform which was created to help bring together initiatives at different levels. The platform, which continues to exist, allows for the sharing of successes in the hopes that they can be replicated at other levels. Civil society actors interested in using open data to promote transparency in the judicial system were also provided with training and technical assistance, so they could become a reference for those seeking to apply this model in their own jurisdictions.
Open Government for the Americas: The project by the Argentine Canadian Studies Association (ASAEC), raised awareness on Open Government and how it facilitates an active presence of social sectors which are traditionally absent from the public sphere. The project was hosted on a virtual platform and successfully promoted best practices with respect to open governance with an emphasis on strengthening vulnerable groups. While much of the activity was done online, the project also supported the printing of a manual highlighting the best practices of Open Governance, and citing several Canadian examples.
Coordinating Efforts to Combat Human Trafficking: This project followed up on previous work of Fundación Directorio Legislativo (FDL), effectively strengthening the capacity-building of civil society organizations that are dedicated to combating human trafficking. The project brought together several organizations working in this field, and coordinated efforts related to the promotion of the amended law of human trafficking, which was adopted on December 19th, 2012. The project then focused its efforts on the promoting the implementation of the law.
Reducing Maternal Death Rates Through Awareness: Maternal death rates continue to be a serious public health problem across Argentina. While the deaths themselves are the results of multiple factors, they stem from extreme poverty, social and gender inequality. This project, by the Centro de Estudios de Estado y Sociedad, improved access to more accurate information on the matter and was successful in giving a higher visibility to the issue. The project used the communities in the Matanza Riachuelo Basin as a sample, and promoted the sharing of information through the use of innovative tools, including an online platform.