October 17, 2007

Bolivian Government Issues Decree Increasing Control of NGOs

MABB © ®

The Morales government has issued decree number 29308 to increase state control over the financing of NGOs.

This decree, among other things, will require NGOs to register and make available to the government their source of financing. It also prohibits the financing of projects with ideological or political conditions. Also, it states that no government official will be able to take a leading post in any of these NGOs until two years after they stop working for the government.

Two counter arguments are put forward. The first is that as a result of the decree, the amount of foreign aid or international cooperation will diminish. The second argument cites the right to work that citizens have when leaving government posts.

According to the graph, there are 434 NGOs operating in Bolivia. Of those, 183 in La Paz and 76 in Cochabamba. The countries where these organizations come from are: Germany, Belgium, Canada, Spain, USA, France, Great Britain, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, and Venezuela. The areas in which they are active are: agriculture, education, strengthening of institutions and health.


Gringo said...

Off topic, but still deals with Bolivia. You might be interested in the Comments section of this article from the Venezuelan blog Devil’s Excrement: Getting something for nothing for revolutionaries in Bolivia

miguel (mabb) said...

Thanks for the tip!

It is curious to see that those people have Bolivia already split in two, Chavez and Morales in a long-standing love affair and the alliances in the region all sorted out. Interesting opinions.

Anonymous said...

Interesting opinions, indeed. There seems to be a lot of imagination, bordering on paranoia, in those scenarios for the splitting of Bolivia, but little factual basis and even less understanding or knowledge.

It's actually difficult to say who's more inept: Chávez or the opposition. It's a hard choice for the Venezuelan people.

CNASD said...

This story is interesting as the reporting for ngos in the United States requires much more verification and intrusion from the federal and state levels if not also the local gov having requirements too.

Regualtion is not undemocratic.......

miguel (mabb) said...

In general, I agree. I guess we would have to define what kind of regulations..., but in general, yes.

I was more worried about the kind of impact this decree would potentially have on the international cooperation Bolivia receives.

I would guess, that most ngos won't have problems with that, since (I am assuming) their interest is to help, and therefore they would do it anyways. But, I can see that other ngos might not want to deal with the hurdles the decree might impose. I might even think that some other ngos might not be able to carry on their work due to legal reasons.

A reduction in the number of projects will definitely have an direct impact on the people the government wants to help.

Now, if those are just seen as necessary losses in order to implement the government's agenda, that is another thing.

Btw, cnasd, I hope you don't mind. I might link to your blog sometimes, in my effort to bring balance to the argument.