De-centralization in Peru

Amb. Brian A. Nichols shared the main accomplishments of 15 years of the de-centralization process in Peru with regional governments, ministers, and representatives from the Presidential Council of Ministers, and delivered a toolkit and lessons learned to government representatives.

Minister of Environment Elsa Galarza represented the Council of Ministers and expressed gratitude to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for its work through the “ProDescentralización” program, which strengthened the capacity of regional and local governments to improve public services in health, education, and the environment.

The de-centralization process in Peru began in 2002.  Since then, USAID has supported the process through its “ProDes” Program.  In the first phase, the focus was on the legislative process.  In subsequent years, the project shifted focus on developing local and regional government capacity, seeking to transfer functions to these local authorities in an effective way and with citizen engagement.  During the third phase between 2012-2017, the project focused on improving the capacity of local and regional governments in the Peruvian Amazon, with the aim of improving public services to reduce chronic infant malnutrition, on the distribution of educational materials, and on solid waste management, with concrete results in each of these areas.

The governments of Loreto and Amazonas regions prioritized improving services related to the monitoring of growth and development of children under age 5, reducing wait time at health centers and chronic infant malnutrition.  The distribution of educational materials in Lamas province, San Martín region, which took 81 days in 2013, took only 10 days this year, ensuring a good start to the school year.  The governments of Ucayali and Madre de Dios regions prioritized public sanitation, increasing the frequency of trash pickups and expanding roads to support greater traffic.