Over the last decades, the focus on sustainable purchasing and the inclusion of socio-environmental aspects in public contracting procedures have become more and more relevant at a global level and, in particular, in Latin America. The purpose is that companies engender greater socio-environmental impacts. In this context, a study elaborated by the Spanish Agency for International
Development Cooperation. In this context, a study elaborated by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) in cooperation with Eptisa, aims to offer a view of the main points of convergence between public and private sector regarding the reach of a series of social and environmental objectives, in the framework of bids for public investment’s projects.
The study has been produced through the analyze of the inclusion of social and environmental aspects in tenders’ procedures of seven countries of Latin America and Caribbean (Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, and Mexico) selected for their geographical representativeness, their level of Spanish investment and for being priority countries of Spanish cooperation in the region.
Regarding the methodology applied, an analysis and comparison of 9 tenders from each country have been carried on, reaching a total of 63 projects of great impact and 651 clauses including socio-environmental contents, coming from bidding and awarded public investment projects’ companies.
The comparative analyze has allowed drawing conclusions of great interest, among them: the significant differences between the seven countries analyzed regarding the thematic of the aspects, the existence of different patterns for the use of different normative modalities as well as the lack of a common pattern in the use of standard aspects, a clear correlation between the scope of the investment projects and their socio-environmental contents, and lastly the presence of major socio-environmental contents in projects supported by international funds.
The information analyzed is highly relevant for the companies established or with potential interest in investing in the 7 countries analyzed, and also for the public Spanish agencies with permanent representation in these countries which can play a determinant role in terms of support and information to private business sector regarding areas of development promotion.
The study has enabled the identification of a series of possible areas of collaboration between Spanish Cooperation and private business sector.
Concretely, the study has enabled the identification of a series of possible areas of collaboration between Spanish Cooperation and the private business sector organized around three different stages of the public investment project cycle: the preparatory stage, the diagnostic stage and the execution stage.
It has also allowed setting up levels of priority per countries, since they don’t emphasize uniformly the different social and environmental elements of bidding and awarded companies of public projects.
It is important to stress on the study’s pertinence in a context of increasing concern for environmental and social development issues, which are at the center of the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development.
The report allows illustrating the evolution of young people in terms of human development in El Salvador
Eptisa, as leader of the consortiums in charge of the technical assistance for the Programme Projóvenes I (whose specific purpose was: “The number and quality of opportunities for 50.000 young people at risk between 10 and 25 years old, in the metropolitan area of San Salvador, making easier their integration in the social and economic development of the country”), and Projóvenes II (whose specific purpose was: “strengthening capacities for the rehabilitation and social prevention of violence in 14 municipalities from the metropolitan area of San Salvador”), had the opportunity to take part
and witness the temporary development experimented by young people beneficiaries of the Programme along a vital path of almost 10 year. In this context, after an intervention which took place between 2003 and 2008 for its first stage, and between 2009 and 2014 for its second stage, Projóvenes has sought to have an impact on the reality of El Salvador’s young people, through the showcase of a strong focus on social prevention of violence.
The purpose is to offer a purely qualitative evaluation of the changes perceived by young people in their social context.
In the framework of these Programmes, Eptisa had the occasion to conduct a reflection about the development of the young people beneficiaries of the intervention, taking as reference a concrete methodology putting at the center of the approach the satisfaction of human needs of these young people, seeking in such way to offer a purely qualitative evaluation of the changes perceived in their social context.
With this purpose, from the Technical Assistance of Projóvenes I in 2003, the Methodology of Development at Human Scale (elaborated by the Chilean economist Manfred Max-Neef and a group of researchers) has been chosen, adapted, and applied through a participative workshop to which actors involved in the youth sector have been invited. From this exercise, a number of principal factors have been extracted showing that, in this moment, they were hindering the human development of young people from El Salvador. Ten years after, in the framework of the project Projóvenes II, the same methodology has been applied, this time through a participating observation process, analyzing which factors had been modified over time after two interventions of the Programme.
As a result of this exercise of analysis based on the application of this methodology in two different moments, Eptisa has elaborated a report titled “The evolution of human development of young people from El Salvador and the factors determining it” that embodies the process of methodology’s application, the comparison of identified factors from different points of view, and the main conclusions extracted after the qualitative analysis realized.
In this way, we have intended to create a product that could be useful to illustrate, under this concrete approach, the evolution of young people in terms of human development, and bringing information oriented to possible future interventions in this sector.
Please click here to consult the complete report (in Spanish).
A study from the Institutional, Economic and Social Development branch of Eptisa analyzes the application of the results based management in several projects implemented.
Results based management is one of the most important trends within the current public administration. More than a concept or unique formula, it intends to be an umbrella to cluster a series of practices aimed to enhance the management process, make it capable of evaluation and to improve the decision making process from public administrators for the creation of public value. More concretely, the Latin American Administrative Board for Development, together with the Inter-American Development Bank have defined it as:
“a conceptual framework whose function is to make easier for public organizations the effective and integrated direction of its creation process of public value, in order to optimize it ensuring the highest efficiency, efficacy and effectiveness of its performance, the achievement of government’s goals and the continuous improvement of its institutions”.
All over the world, governments and institutions have adapted this broad concept to improve their administration. Thus, countries receiving budget contributions or where international cooperation projects operate have acknowledged the importance of using this approach as a framework on which are designed interventions.
Eptisa has also appropriated and deepened in the application of results based management through the derived experience of several of its projects. As a part of the effort of the company to improve and update the value added of technical assistance, a process of deep review has been raised as well as an analyze of the results based management’s application in three emblematic projects of the Institutional, Economic and Social Development (IESD) branch: the Institutional Support Program for the Development Policies in Nicaragua (POFI), the Financial Management Support Project in Guatemala (AGEP) and the Institutional Strengthening Programme in Support of the Government of Nicaragua for the Establishment of a Mid-Term Expenditure Framework.
The purpose of the study is to review how the approach has been adapted to each case, which results have been reached and what are the lessons learned for other projects.
The purpose of the study is to review how the approach has been adapted to each case, which results have been reached and what are the lessons learned for other projects. Three projects have been picked up with a geographical and thematic affinity (public finance) guaranteeing in this way that keeping a distance it is possible to compare the cases and the form in which the focus has been adapted to the own conditions of each country or group of countries.
The results of the study, that will be released soon, show how the approach improves the appropriation of the project, encourages the understanding of the objectives and has in general a relevant weight on sustainability and impact of the projects since it creates not expected beneficial results and accompanying the development of expected results of the project. These “extra” results are the fruit of the interest and set of knowledge acquired by public administrators facing this new planning system.
This study is embedded in the internal initiative of the IESD branch of Eptisa, which seeks to enhance its capacities of implementation and create value from its own experience in order to bring it into other projects and regions where we work.
Some time ago, Eptisa started a reflection about how to transfer the capacity building approach to the professionals who perform a punctual work and travel directly to the countries where are conducted the activities. To respond to these needs, we have designed and launched in June 2012 an online tool as guiding and training platform that could be used as a support to professionals about to realize activities in each project. Due to the new capacity approach, which emphasizes more the accompanying role to processes and less the character of direct executor, it is necessary to review the way
Technical Assistance activities are implemented. The role of these professionals is thus transferred from “executor” to “facilitator” of local processes. From this new perspective, we highlight the knowledge and experience advising and bringing talent in the framework of processes led and executed by local staff. That is why it has been considered necessary to provide tools such as the e-learning to these new “facilitators” professionals allowing them to share it and assimilate this vision.
This e-learning tool is available on-line in different languages and enables professionals to receive in a controlled and interactive way, before to start their activities, information about capacity building and practical examples; they can in turn show their point of view on different related aspects. The tool has several functions that enable receiving email alerts, inform about the finalization, insert images and/or videos, consult and store in an individualized way the results generated, etc.
In other words, this tool permits to develop an individual reflection about the vision of each professional when time comes to provide services in the framework of the Technical Assistance activities. The e-learning module includes several specific questions trying to answer to two general inquiries related to the application of the capacity building approach to the services that will be provided: “why does the capacity building approach appear?” and “what are the aspects to bear in mind to put in practice the capacity building approach?”.
The main purpose of the exercise is to ensure the quality of the services provided by the professional and its appropriate orientation to demand.
After several years of implementation, the results have been very positive; it has been extensively used and received a wide acceptation among professionals. Data from the first three years reflect that more than 200 professionals could enter the tool and that more than 70% of them have successfully finalized the module. We can highlight the fact that 60% of professionals completed the exercise during the first 5 days after having entered, showing a high degree of acceptation and utility of the tool.
The main purpose of the exercise is to ensure the quality of the services provided by the professional and its adequate orientation to demand. That way, it is possible to review some concepts and principles to be taken into account and that should be contextualized by the professional during the activities conducted. For this reason, the module includes questions and leaves spaces for the professional to issue his opinion. Once finalized the exercise, a summary is generated with the answers and evaluations, available for the headquarters staff of Eptisa who will review it and will be able to answer to doubts or comments that have been raised, and for the professional for his posterior review or consultation.