Project Factsheet
Tools for » National capacity-building for intercultural conflict prevention and management in Chile
Project ID:00067218Description:MDGF-1951-F-CHL Cap-bldg Inter
MDG Achievement Fund
Start Date *: 31 Dec 2008
MDGF Conflict Prev Peacebld
End Date*: 31 Dec 2012
Country: Chile Project Status: Financially Closed
  Participating Organization:   Multiple


The report on Measuring the MDGs of the indigenous population in Chile (June 2012) showed important gaps between the development of indigenous populations and the rest of the country, particularly, in the health and education sectors. During the Joint Programme’s implementation, the situation was highly sensitive and complex at the policitical level (2010-2011 two hunger strikes from Mapuche detainees) and affected the implementation of certain programme components. To address the existing gaps the JP was conceived with the aim of creating spaces for interchange and dialogue between indigenous communities and the State, as there exists a historical deficit in the recognition of indigenous populations rights. The JP was structured initially to answer the national priorities as per the government’s agenda of 11 March 2010 around three outcomes and some 13 products across a range of sectors and activities. It realigned its focus in July 2010 with the aim to provide greater knowledge on interculturalism to position the public debate and identify the long-term challenges that derive from it.

The JP achieved several results in a challenging context: the ILO convention 169 was one key achievement. While the consultation process has yet to be completed given political constraints and other difficulties, the indirect results were that indigenous leaders have gained greater awareness of their rights and are committed to furthering the dialogue process (e.g. Big Indigenous Consultation event of Dec. 2012 with 250 delegates that created an expanded consultation round table). In this regard, 166 judges of the Appeals Court and Supreme Court were trained on the rights of Indigenous populations and ILO convention 169. The CUT labour union incorporated a project in line with convention 169 in its workplan, as a pilot.

The media played a key role in providing information and the communication strategy included the development of strategic alliances such as with ICEI from Universidad de Chile, to increase understanding on the media coverage of issues regarding indigenous populations. Interculturalism has been adopted across a number of sectors: education, health, children, economic development and justice. Examples include bilingual intercultural education materials, a proposal that was made from the indigenous communities on recognition and safeguarding the cultural health systems of the original populations of Chile was adopted, etc.

In relation to the third outcome, the JP underestimated the constraints of working in conflict areas, as such efforts focused on capacity development of public service providers and public technicians to incorporate interculturalism in regional and municipal policies, as well as capacity development of indigenous leaders and representatives to reinforce their identity and support the defense of their collective rights.  The total number of beneficiaries for all activities undertaken across the components reached 57,253 persons (not gender disaggregated).


Outcome 1:

Strengthen dialogue and institutional reform.

Outcome achievements:

  • The United Nations has a recognized neutral role and thus a comparative advantage to work with intercultural relations in Chile. The technical support and methodologies applied by the JP stemmed from the team responsible for the Human Development Report, thus adding to the credibility of the process. The JP contributed to the creation of the extended consultation table that includes members of the CONADI (National Corporation for Indigenous Development) to engage on dialogue for indigenous populations.Specific training was given to judges and the judiciary in order to disseminate the contents of the ILO Convention 169 on indigenous populations and ensure that the dissemination of international norms can be used as tools to develop the national jurisprudence.


Outcome 2:

Awareness raising, sensitization and incorporation of multiculturalism in public policies.

Outcome achievements:

  • A communication strategy (Mucho Chile) was launched to reinforce the value of intercultural cohabitation in the country and to recognize the value of cultural diversity. This was done based on very recent products such as the Report on Measurement of MDGs for the Indigenous Population in Chile, and the study on intercultural relations that has yet to be broadly disseminated.
  • The communication campaign was supported by a National Directory Committee and launched since September 2011. It is estimated that the result will be a gradual opening of the media on coverage of indigenous issues, on sociocultural realities and the historical dimension that are present in the on-going conflicts in the country.
  • A key result was to integrate interculturalism in various sector policies – children, education, health, justice, so that they will inform more culturally sensitive policy making. It is noted however that its impact requires a longer time frame to be appraised.  There are some indications that the Ministry of Social Development is willing to incorporate and pursue certain activities, particularly regarding the generation of a quality public information system with development indicators for indigenous populations. 


Outcome 3:

Territorial interventions in conflict areas.

Outcome achievements:

  • This outcome proved most difficult to attain because of the high risks in the region where the interventions were to take place. Also the JP was centrally designed and did not foresee the level of on-going violence that affected the implementation of activities in the target region. 
  • The programme focused therefore on knowledge transfer and capacity development in a mutually reinforcing strategy: on the one hand, civil servants and technical staff were trained on interculturalism, in order to allow a regional and municipal management capacity that is diversity-friendly; on the other hand, through the capacity development of indigenous leaders and representatives using specific tools that allow to strengthen their identity, gain confidence in their advocacy to defend their collective rights.


Best practices:

  • Proper positioning and partnership strategy with media that allows divulging the JP.
  • The use of a “mobile capacity development” approach to ensure that the capacities are being strengthened in situ, in the region when the representatives of the indigenous populations reside.


Lessons learned:

  • Baselines should be done in a participatory manner including local actors in the region where the study is undertaken.
  • The design of an inter-agency intervention at field level requires a local coordination structure.
  • Problems associated with the opportunities for conflict transformation are in constant evolution and require close and constant monitoring.
  • The time frame for the JP implementation in such a complex environment does not allow measuring results until after the end of the programme.
  • The willingness of the national counterpart to budget funds should be evidenced in a letter of commitment or similar, to ensure the continuation of the process.
  • Given the large number of centrally managed institutions that deal with indigenous populations, any future project should link with these structures to obtain their commitment to the intervention. Experience shows that uniting the institutional under the coordination of the regional government is not sufficient to gain the momentum to support the process.
  •  To improve the possibility of getting plans funded, they should be designed in view of the real funding capacity that institutions have over the short and medium term.
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