After 50 years of civil war, Colombians are beginning to contemplate a peaceful future. Our research support in the country has contributed to the peace process in several ways, notably in understanding key issues such as land restitution, avenues for rural development, and access to justice for victims of violence. IDRC has also made a positive impact on Colombia’s agriculture, economic growth, gender equality, and health care.
Healing social wounds
IDRC has offered long-term support for research activities promoting reconciliation. One study encouraged the Colombian National Commission on Reconciliation and Reparation to create a permanent working group that studies the experiences of disadvantaged groups, such as indigenous communities. Another study contributed to provisions in the 2011 law on victims and land restitution to include measures ensuring that women — often excluded from formal procedures — can access the land they lost during the conflict.
In a post-conflict Colombia, policies to promote social and economic inclusion will be key to the country’s future. Current IDRC-funded research is providing the crucial knowledge needed to foster citizens’ involvement, provide more opportunities for smallholder farmers, and create more jobs for women and youth.
Meeting needs in rural areas
Research in agriculture, food security, and rural development has generated significant results. For example, a Canadian-Colombian research collaboration increased disease resistance in potatoes. Families in Nariño, in southwestern Colombia, are obtaining higher yields and more nutrition from new varieties of this staple crop.
IDRC-supported research on rural development is inspiring change. Based on these studies about poverty reduction and the promotion of economic growth and equality in rural areas, a group of Colombian researchers, business leaders, and civil society representatives is advising government policy to enhance territorial development. The group helped to develop a new land and rural development law that addresses the needs of people who were displaced by the country’s internal conflict.
285 activities worth CA$51 million since 1971
Our support is helping to:
- improve coffee growers’ efficiency and international competitiveness
- support students with the integration of information and communication technologies
- improve crops, increase food security, and alleviate malnutrition
- address urban violence, poverty, and inequities
- enhance the well-being of 900,000 people in rural-urban territories