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Indigenous Peoples and Development


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  • 1. Indigenous Peoples & Development Judith Morrison Speaker Notes November 19, 2009 Diversity Conference Roundtable 3
  • 2. Indigenous Peoples
    • 40 – 50 million people
    • 8 - 10% of the population
    • Difficult socio-economic conditions – poorest of the poor
    • Represent 50%+ of the population
      • Bolivia, Guatemala, Peru
  • 3. Countries: Large Populations
    • Percentage of Indigenous Peoples by country – percentage of the total national population
    • Bolivia – 71%
    • Guatemala – 66%
    • Peru – 47%
    • Ecuador – 43%
    • Belize – 19%
    • Honduras – 15%
    • Mexico – 14%
  • 4. Gaps
    • Poverty rates for indigenous peoples above 80% in countries such as Guatemala, Mexico, Ecuador
    • Education gaps of 2-4 years in Bolivia, Mexico, Guatemala, and Ecuador (represents some improvement from previous data sets)
    • Indigenous women highest illiteracy rates and lowest enrollment rates
    • Economies could expand their GDPs by as much as 36.7 % with the elimination of indigenous and African descendent labor market exclusion – Bolivia, Guatemala, Peru, Brazil
  • 5. Project Design Considerations
    • Local community processes and governance structures – may impact implementation and planning because of requirements that may be unfamiliar to donors & local communities that are less experienced with international donors
    • Project cycle and notions of time – communities may be thinking about much longer or shorter time frames for implementation and planning based on traditional knowledge and beliefs
    • Language – use of indigenous language, concepts, and terminologies – may be needed to share information with the broader community and guarantee quality implementation
    • Often indigenous communities focus on the minimization of production surplus – and emphasize subsistence – very different from standard development goals
  • 6. Project Design Considerations (continued)
    • Rapid responses to outside factors and some flexibility needed – because of extreme poverty in indigenous communities external factors may profoundly impact a project during the approval and implementation stages (impact of natural disasters disproportionate, land invasions=displacement, extreme poverty=migration)
    • Collaboration with other donors intervening in a community to coordinate actions can identify synergies between projects and strengthen outcomes.
    • Consider working directly with indigenous communities when possible, and when not possible consider capacity building opportunities for indigenous peoples during project implementation. Some concerns about dependency on second-tier civil society organizations – increasing local capacity is a way of establishing a long-term pipeline of potential projects and partners
    • END