Tetra Tech strengthens the capacity of rural, conflict-affected communities in Colombia to effectively partner with public and private sectors to implement social and economic development activities.

Five decades of civil war have left many rural communities in Colombia economically and socially debilitated. To strengthen civic engagement and promote rule of law, Tetra Tech is implementing the Community Development and Licit Opportunities Activity (CDLO) on behalf of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). CDLO supports community organizations, provides small infrastructural improvements, and helps create new economic opportunities. The project aims to strengthen local democratic governance by promoting policy dialogue and community participation in 51 conflict-affected municipalities and improving the reliability of state institutions and private organizations by building trust, fostering citizen participation, and providing economic opportunities.

Tetra Tech is supporting the Government of Colombia’s (GOC) efforts to promote and expand rural economic development and well-being by supporting community capacity and organizational development, enhancing public service provision, and supporting the active participation of rural citizens. The project plays a key role in helping establish conditions for territorial alternative economic and rural development, including private sector investment in rural communities.

Based on local social capital and natural resources, Tetra Tech identifies and incorporates development strategies and emphasizes non-traditional activities, such as agrotourism, gastronomy, artisanal handicrafts, and youth entrepreneurship. By identifying non-traditional economic activities and relating them back to traditional productive processes, Tetra Tech is helping promote new business models. Tetra Tech also assists in mapping potential partners in each territory, promoting roundtables with governmental institutions and the private sector through local chambers of commerce. Tetra Tech also is fostering the creation of public private partnerships throughout the territories in agriculture value chains.

Tetra Tech is working to rebuild the social fabric in selected conflict-affected rural communities throughout Colombia by supporting effective engagement and partnerships with government and private sector stakeholders, accelerating the provision of public services, improving sustainable infrastructure, and bolstering economic opportunities.

Citizens are less likely to participate in community organizations, municipal affairs, or in democratic processes after 52-years of armed conflict. Tetra Tech is working to promote open dialogue between rural communities and local government institutions to increase confidence and trust between citizens and government officials. Tetra Tech is tailoring training activities to meet the needs of each organization. Activities include hands-on exercises to engage public institutions (at local, municipal, regional, and national levels) and territorial dialogue events between local governments and communities to discuss shared visions for the territory and development strategies. The project will further improve the lives of rural citizens and building their trust in government through the construction of improved infrastructure, public services and connectivity, Tetra Tech will strengthen legal frameworks to foster economic growth and improve the lives of rural citizens.

Tetra Tech is working to improve the socio-economic status of conflict-affected communities by strengthening community organizations. Tetra Tech provides on-site assistance on strategic and operational planning, ensuring technical assistance will result in operational sustainability. The project will further improve the lives of rural citizens, building their trust in government through the construction of improved infrastructure, public services, and connectivity. Tetra Tech also will strengthen legal frameworks to foster economic growth and improve the lives of rural citizens.

CDLO complements the GOC’s efforts by promoting the active participation of rural citizens in the design, delivery, and monitoring of rural development policies and activities intended to help their communities. CDLO aims to build trust, foster citizen participation in local affairs, and promote licit and sustainable economies that will allow rural Colombians to live in dignity and peace.

This support comes at a critical time as the GOC is focusing on broad-based regional development. For the GOC to be successful, communities must come together, trust their local government, and participate in their own development. CDLO will play a key role in helping establish these conditions to rebuild the economic and social fabric in rural Colombia.