Our work in Bolivia

Published: Monday, June 15, 2009

Changed: Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Our work in Bolivia continues to run along its previous course. The country’s own strategies for combating poverty will provide a welcome long-term approach in striving towards a fairer society. We help Bolivians succeed in their efforts through support within the areas of democracy, education and management of natural resources with focus on climate change.

Democracy and human rights

The key to Bolivia’s poverty problems is creation of a credible state apparatus. Bolivia’s state institutions have long been among the most fragile ones in Latin America. Major deficiencies in public institutions have led to aggravating the government’s efforts to reduce poverty.

During the present strategy period 2009-2013, Sweden supports reforms that will help build up Bolivia’s public administration. Increased capacity and transparency will strengthen system mechanisms. Extensive support is also given to various programmes aimed at improving human rights of vulnerable groups and strengthening democratic culture.


Sweden has been providing support to Bolivia’s education sector for many years. The overall target is for all Bolivian children to have the right to an adequate education. We are placing a particular focus on this cooperation so that girls and children with indigenous background can complete their elementary education. In addition to our support for elementary schools, we are supporting the programme “Yo Sí Puedo” (“Yes, I can”), which aims to eliminate illiteracy in Bolivia. Through creation of IT centres in rural areas, the programme has reached places that previously did not have any schools available.

Environment and natural resources

Bolivia’s geographic location between the Andean highlands and the areas with springs of tributaries flowing into the Amazon River make the country exposed to climate change. Every year, the already vulnerable people are strongly affected by droughts, forest fires and floods. Sweden offers support for programmes aiming to improve utilisation of natural resources, which promotes sustainable and environment-friendly development. Through other projects and programmes, Sweden has contributed to cleaner water and improved basic sanitation in some of the country’s poorest areas, which in turn helped improve health conditions in general.

Research and Universities

Sweden’s long-term goal is to help partners better plan, implement, and use research for development and economic growth. The purpose is that Bolivia will eventually be able to conduct its own research of international quality in areas that partners have set as priority.

Examples of Swedish support can be found within programmes on masters and doctoral levels done in collaboration with Swedish and international partners, in administrative reform of universities and in investments in university infrastructure such as IT, libraries and laboratories.

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