Tetra Tech provided technical, capacity building, and engineering services to support programs that strengthened the licit economy in Colombia.

After decades of war and instability in Colombia, the Consolidation and Enhanced Livelihood Initiative–Central Region (CELI-Central) project, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), aimed to reduce the potential for armed conflict and improve licit economic activities in areas with a traditionally limited state presence. USAID selected Tetra Tech to provide implementation support for the project and develop community-driven, private sector initiatives and institutional strengthening activities to improve stabilization, increase economic growth, and encourage peace in Colombia. Tetra Tech supported CELI-Central social and economic development activities and initiatives in 20 Colombian municipalities in four target regions.

To reach this goal, Tetra Tech focused on several areas of activity, including licit farming practices and private sector investment, public-private partnerships (PPPs), and the empowerment of youth and other vulnerable populations. The multiple components of the program and its activities helped support the Government of Colombia in its effort to advance rural development and the ongoing peace process.

I just wanted to send a quick email to thank you and your team for all of your efforts on the field visit to Chaparral. The Ambassador walked away with a clear understanding of our programming and how we are already collaborating with the GOC to prepare for a potential post-conflict scenario--we have you and your team to thank for that. This visit was a success because of your passion, professionalism and teamwork.

Preston Sharp, USAID/Colombia Program Officer

CELI-Central’s participative and community-based implementation directly benefitted more than 21,000 households and families. As part of CELI-Central, Tetra Tech ensured that more than 100 local producer associations were operational, including providing technical assistance for commercialization for their members.

To complement these capacity-building efforts, Tetra Tech created and promoted PPPs, which benefitted more than 40 local producer associations in the rubber, cacao, pineapple, coffee, and aquiculture sectors. In addition, we provided design and construction management expertise to improve tertiary road networks, which resulted in 1,500 kilometers of roads that now have the essential infrastructure to provide year-round access to markets and services for rural communities.

CELI-Central also accounted for representation of and impact on vulnerable populations including women, Afro-Colombians, indigenous groups, victims of conflict, and youth. To support improving stability and rural development by strengthening social ties and institutional presence, the program incorporated women and vulnerable groups into all interventions. CELI-Central supported youth programs in schools through series like the School and Coffee (Escuela y Café) initiative, which linked coffee-related topics to formal schooling to create a relevant educational model for young farmers, providing valuable training and a sense of belonging. The initiative provided training, technical assistance, supplies, and entrepreneurial guidance to improve quality and productivity for coffee growers. Escuela y Cafe also provided each participant and their family one hectare of land to practice using a modernized production model. Nearly 4,000 youth from grades 8 through 11 from 29 schools were the main beneficiaries. Of these, 500 established a business project on their farms.

Through the CELI-Central program, Tetra Tech-supported activities produced key achievements including:

  • 220 rapid response projects focused on immediate community needs such as school and health clinic supplies distribution; community buildings and small-scale road improvements; and sewage and drainage system upgrades
  • More than USD$67 million in CELI-Central investments through the activity fund, which generated more than USD$187 million in public sector spending and more than USD$35 million in private sector spending
  • 490 community projects fully designed or in development as a result of dialogue and collaboration between local actors
  • More than 28,000 persons trained through community workshops and various training activities
  • 105 operative and oversight committees, whose main role was to monitor public policy and engage local representatives, created or strengthened

Tetra Tech, carried out a total of 430 vereda (neighborhood communities) workshops with 20,261 participants, identifying 7,151 community needs. The project implemented activities related to 707 priority needs, benefitting more than 21,000 households. Through CELI-Central, Tetra Tech helped build social capital and strengthen the relationship between civil society and government institutions in a sustainable and replicable manner.