PADF Signs New Agreement with the Colombian Government to Improve Local Institutional Capacity

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 14, 2014) – The Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) announces a new agreement with the Colombian government’s Ministry of Labor that will improve the institutional capacity of 26 departments with the goal of supporting initiatives that generate employment for low-income and vulnerable populations.

This program, which began in 2011 and is now in its third phase of development, seeks to expand on PADF’s earlier work of encouraging state governments to incorporate employment generation in their objectives, strategies and policies. The agreement with the Department of Labor (formerly known as Ministry of Social Protection) will also serve to raise additional matching funds from public and private organizations and existing programs that will be generated from goods and services.

“PADF will continue to work closely with the Colombian government to carry out initiatives that ultimately benefit some of most vulnerable populations in the country, including youth, persons with disabilities, and women," said Soraya Osorio, Country Director for PADF in Colombia.

This latest program phase will focus on policy execution and region-specific measures that can benefit their citizens for many years.

The main activities will include:

  • Provide technical assistance and related support to 26 departments to assist them implement their labor market policies;
  • Deliver technical support to further develop 10 employment centers in major cities to improve access to employment;
  • Develop more effective market-based guidelines that local employment agencies can use for improved recruitment;
  • Collaborate with Colombia’s National Training Center (SENA) to improve vocational training and provide complementary support to the departmental  employment centers

The initial pilot phase launched in 2011 focused on 16 local municipalities, and it was effective in establishing local capacity to analyze the supply and demand of labor, as the basis for developing policies to increase employment and income opportunities based on local needs and comparative advantage. During the second phase in 2012-2013, the Government of Colombia worked with PADF to target 26 departmental governments instead, which are now the focus of the third phase.

About PADF

PADF is the non-profit foundation of the Organization of American States, established in 1962 to implement integral socio-economic development programs for disadvantaged people, to strengthen civil society and community groups in support of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, and to aid victims of natural disasters and humanitarian crises. In 2013, it helped more than 10 million people in 23 countries. Headquartered in Washington DC, PADF has field offices in Haiti, Colombia, Suriname and Honduras, and projects throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.