Strengthening territorial development and local management mechanisms in Paraguay
Paraguay is a country with high levels of political and administrative centralization. Its population is unequally distributed, with both highly congested and sparsely populated regions. The territorial organizational model was hindering further development, so in 1990 a new law allowed for autonomous management of municipalities. In 1991, mayors were elected for the first time and local governments were mandated to develop local development plans, but this has rarely occurred. Local governments have extremely weak management capacity and municipalities only administer 6% of the total national budget.
In collaboration with local partner Desarollo, Participación y Ciudadania (Development, Participation, and Citizenship), a policy research institution, IDRC seeks to address the weak capacity of the country's municipalities and departments in the area of territorial development and management. The project will analyze how territorial development and management mechanisms operate at the local and departmental levels in Paraguay. It will also share best practices from other regional experiences to identify and promote new and better territorial development practices and policies. To strengthen the capacities of Paraguay's Asociación de Juntas Municipales (Association of Municipal Governments), the project will also support discussion and presentation of results in capacity building workshops for government employees, production of information booklets, an international seminar, and various tools to foster the dissemination of studies.