Peacebuilding and rural development require key data to support decisions, projects, investments and their strategic relationships. To this end, PASO Colombia has conducted an annual survey among campesino (rural peasant) and ex-combatant communities participating in Rural Alternative Schools (ERAs) throughout the country. In the first year, 186 surveys were conducted, covering 6 ERAs, and in 2020, the survey was carried out in 17 locations with 586 respondents. These surveys have been conducted and overseen by the independent firm Cifras y Conceptos.
The implementation of the Contingency Plan to Support Ex-Coca Grower Families also included a survey of 1,968 participants in 10 municipalities, conducted by Impact, Learning & Accountability (ILA), department of One Earth Future (the incubating foundation of the Paso Colombia program).
The results have allowed PASO to monitor the impact of its model over the years and make data-driven decisions. To showcase this work, we are sharing a series of articles in which we analyze key aspects of our work in relation to the results of these surveys. In each article, the reader will find information on the lessons learned, experiences with partner communities and perspectives on the future in each target area.
First issue: Rural Alternative Schools (ERAs) as Trust-building Platforms Here we analyze how collaborative work in the productive projects developed in the ERAs, with their distinctive learning-by-doing methodology, proves to be an effective way of building trust between ex-combatants, campesinos, and public and private institutions.
Second issue: Collaborative Work as a Driver of Sustainable Rural Economies The current issue focuses on how collaboration and trust have laid the groundwork for the burgeoning of feasible productive and commercial projects that contribute to promoting the sustainable development of rural territories.