Our main partners in Bolivia are the National Indian Farmers Movement, including the Peasant Women's Movement, and the regional departments of Cochabamba and Santa Cruz. Cooperation is related to organizational development, with particular emphasis on leadership development and political education. Many leaders in the social movement have gone into local, regional and national policies and management and there is a need to develop new ones. It is also a great desire and need for political education for members at various levels on how the political system is built up and how you can participate politically and influence political processes.
Bolivia is a country with great economic and social inequality and discrimination which particularly affects indigenous people, the majority of the population. Over the last decade the country has been marked by major changes. It started around the millennium with social mobilization, marches and road blocks demanding national control over natural resources and a new and equitable economic policies. In 2006, the Indian farmers' movement and the labor movement contributed to give the country its first elected Indian president, Evo Morales.
Great political changes
The following year work began to develop a new constitution and in January 2009 it became the adopted by a referendum. Thus, an important foundation was set for widening social participation and democracy. The constitution consolidates indigenous rights and national control over natural resources.
The country is in the midst of a challenging political and economic reform process. The National Indian Peasant Movement, Norwegian People's Aid partners, are active participants and supporters of government policy. Meanwhile, the relationship between the social movements and the government periodically are strained because the government does not provide enough room for genuine participation and influence. There is also disagreement between various social organizations on government policy, particularly in relation to natural resource management and allocation of land, where some organizations are in direct opposition to the government.
The political changes in recent years have provoked the traditional power elite in Bolivia, both because they lose their privileges and they dislike that the country has an Indian president. But the political opposition in the country is weak.
Norwegian People's Aid worked in Bolivia for the period 1983-1993 and started up again in 2005.