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Continued Support for Sustainable Peace in Colombia

In a country undergoing transformation, we continue to foster positive community-level change

Through the first and second phases of Transforma, we’ve worked to build trust and confidence with remote communities in Colombia affected by conflict, increase capacities, demonstrate the tangible benefits of peace through the delivery of small infrastructure and rehabilitation projects, and provide much-needed services. 

Despite the signing of the historic peace agreement with the FARC guerrilla group in November 2016 which ended over 50 years of internal conflict, the country continues to face complex challenges. Remaining armed criminal groups compete for control of territories where the FARC left power vacuums and Government of Colombia (GOC) agencies have yet to fully establish their presence. Upsurges in coca cultivation and the Venezuelan migration crisis have impacted Colombians and sparked international concern.

From 2015 to 2019, we supported Colombians and their government during the first phase of peace agreement implementation, demonstrating rapid progress during this critical time. Our Transforma program, implemented on behalf of USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives, awarded over 650 small grants activities reaching over 600,000 beneficiaries in 26 departments across Colombia.

Due to the success of Transforma’s first phase, we are now implementing a second phase that will work with the GOC, citizens in strategic territories and USAID to help make gains made under the first phase of the peace process irreversible. 
This second phase program is a key component of USAID/Colombia’s development strategy to support the GOC and is paving the way for USAID and the GOC to enter former red zones, target resources and engage communities to catalyze the structural changes at the territorial level that will help consolidate sustainable peace. Through the delivery of well-timed, small grant activities, the program provides flexible and rapid response capacity that enables the GOC to expand quick wins and citizen confidence in new zones.

Program activities have included support to the Truth Commission, the High Council for Stabilization, and community organizations and municipal governments to advance key components of the Peace Agreement. Program support has also included information campaigns on peace progress, critical small infrastructure in conflict-impacted communities to provide essential services and bring stakeholders together (such as schools, health clinics, and community centers), and local and regional development planning using roundtables to incorporate peace priorities. Regardless of the activity, Transforma works quickly and flexibly to establish linkages that build peace with GOC and community representatives through iterative and collaborative design and implementation.

MSI, and its parent company, Tetra Tech, have been strong development partners of Colombia for many years. Through a series of impactful projects focused on strengthening monitoring and evaluation capacities, local governance and building citizen participation, MSI has used innovative and inclusive approaches with its Colombian partners to support the transition from conflict to peace in Colombia since 2007.