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ANDA: Creating Sustainable Change for Vulnerable Communities in Colombia

Published 03/12/2014 by Global Communities

ANDA: Creating Sustainable Change for Vulnerable Communities in Colombia

What is the ANDA project?

ANDA (a Spanish word meaning “moving forward”) is a US$28.6 million, five year project that is responding to the sustainable development needs of vulnerable populations including internally displaced persons (IDP) and other economically-disadvantaged people, especially women, youth, afro-Colombians and indigenous persons in the Cordoba region of Colombia and the city of Cartagena.


ANDA is funded by BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities and implemented by Global Communities and commenced in February 2013.

What is the goal of ANDA?

The goal of the ANDA project is to create sustainable change that alleviates poverty and hardship for vulnerable populations making them more resilient i.e. they have access to basic services and earn their livelihoods through formal and sustainable activities; they have the capacity to advocate for their needs; the private sector invests in the economy; and local government is transparent and accountable to its citizens.


The project’s goal will be achieved through the following three objectives:

Increased community capacity to inclusively identify and advocate for needed resources, services, and support with local government and government service agencies;

Improved ability of local governments to access and employ municipal, departmental and national resources to address community prioritized local needs; and

Increased formal, market-driven livelihoods and job opportunities.

Who will benefit from ANDA?

The program focuses on vulnerable populations in the six Colombian municipalities of Montelibano, Puerto Libertador, La Apartada, San Jose de Ure, Buenavista and Planeta Rica in the Department of Cordoba and the cities of Monteria and Cartegena.

ANDA will directly benefit:

38,000 people in the 6 municipalities of Cordoba through the integrated development approach to improving access to basic services and opportunities for economic development; and,

5,320 vulnerable people through vocational training and job placement, and support for micro and small business development in Monteria and Cartagena (with an additional 21,000 family members indirectly benefiting).

What is ANDA aiming to achieve?

The program will result in:

90 per cent of target beneficiaries perceiving an improved quality of life;

90 per cent of people reporting their community being better off than the year before;

A five point reduction in poverty for direct beneficiaries in the 6 municipalities based on the multidimension poverty index used by the Government of Colombia.


Who are ‘internally displaced persons’ and how will ANDA support them?

After 45 years of armed conflict, Colombians continue to suffer from the effects of violence and the traumatic impact of the displacement. While estimates vary, up to 4.3 million individuals may be affected. Internally displaced persons (IDPs) are generally farmers who have been displaced due to violence and threats fuelled by the drug trade. The conflict has hindered development and resulted in a severe lack of sustainable economic opportunities as families have abandoned or lost their homes and businesses. Many of these families have been displaced more than once, further exacerbating their vulnerability and reducing their ability to cope with economic and other shocks.

Over the decades of conflict, the Colombian government has lacked access to many rural and urban poor areas, and because of this families lack access to public services such as health, education, water and sanitation as well as economic opportunities and social safety nets that alleviate poverty.

Much of the international and government assistance that has been provided to IDPs to date has been for emergency support or short-term interventions, rather than for sustainable economic and social development. The ANDA project will aim to create sustainable, long-term change by using participatory methodologies to identify community priorities and encourage engagement in programming, building capacity of local implementers through mentoring and technical assistance, and coordinating closely with the Government of Colombia at all levels to extend the reach of services and assistance to program participants.

Where did the name ANDA come from?

Although the program commenced with the name Colombia Resilience, it was agreed to replace it with ANDA, a Spanish word selected to promote the program among communities and key stakeholders in the region. It means ‘moving forward’, ‘go forward’, ‘advance’ or ‘a positive surprise’. The colours and design in the logo are symbolic of the traditional handicraft fabrics used in northern Colombia.


Who is Global Communities?

Global Communities is an international development organisation (headquartered in the US) that works in conflict-affected and developing countries. It builds the capacity of local partners, organisations, government and communities to be economically, socially and environmentally selfsufficient and able to withstand crises. In doing so, it leaves behind legacy organisations that can continue the work once they are gone.

Global Communities is currently working in more than 20 countries across five continents and many of its programs are large scale development projects that address complex issues in difficult environments.

In Colombia, Global Communities has addressed the needs of more than 1.2 million IDPs and vulnerable persons since 2001, implementing complementary projects in literally hundreds of municipalities across the country, including the region targeted by the ANDA Project.

It is currently implementing a $32 million USAID-funded integrated development approach to support displaced and vulnerable populations in Montes de Maria in coordination with the Government of Colombia; a $23 million Global Fund project to prevent AIDS in 75 municipalities and 20 departments, a $41 million Ministry of Education program to rebuild schools, $2.8 million from the Victims Unit of the Presidential Agency for Social Prosperity for community infrastructure and housing in rural areas affected by conflict, $1.3 million from the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population Refugees and Migration (PRM) for technical assistance and capacity building of the Government of Colombia and Municipal authorities, and a microcredit portfolio of $7.4 million.

To reach the objectives of this program, Global Communities is partnering with the Fundación San Isidro as the principal implementer to manage community mobilisation activities and specific infrastructure and economic development projects under the integrated approach in the 6 municipalities of Cordoba.

In the cities of Monteria and Cartagena, Global communities is working with Diakonia de la Paz (Monteria) and Fundacion Amanecer (Cartagena) to identify market-driven income generation opportunities (both employment and entrepreneurship) and help potential beneficiaries take advantage of these opportunities.

How are BHP Billiton and BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities involved in the Project?

BHP Billiton is a leading global resources company. The company is among the world’s largest producers of major commodities, including copper, iron ore, coal, aluminum, manganese and nickel and it has substantial interests in oil and gas.

Across its global operations, it is committed to working in ways that are true to the BHP Billiton Charter values of Sustainability, Integrity, Respect, Performance, Simplicity and Accountability.

BHP Billiton has a target to invest 1% of its pre-tax profits (on a rolling three year average) in community programming. In May 2009, the BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities (BSC) wasestablished to enable the Company to meet its community target. The ANDA project is funded by BSC.


Cerro Matoso is a BHP Billiton operated nickel mine. It is the world’s second largest producer of ferronickel and one of the lowest cost producers. Located near the town of Montelíbano in northern Colombia, the Asset combines a lateritic nickel ore deposit with a low cost ferronickel smelter.

The San Isidro Foundation was established by Cerro Matoso to deliver its community development projects. Global Communities has contracted the San Isidro Foundation to be a local implementing partner for the ANDA project, leveraging its existing knowledge and relationships in the region.

How does BSC operate?

BSC is a charitable company registered in the United Kingdom. Its goal is to help improve quality of life for people living in regions where BHP Billiton has a business interest, through conservation of the environment, relief of poverty and hardship and developing community resilience and capacity to

advocate for and manage effective change.

In accordance with the UK Charities Act 2011, BSC’s activities must provide public benefit. BSC cannot support activities that are primarily designed to benefit the commercial interests or business requirements of the BHP Billiton Group, fulfil a commitment made by the business or address a negative impact caused by the business.


Trustees must make decisions in the best interest of BSC in the pursuit of its objective. However, the Charity’s activities may be leveraged by opportunities to work with BHP Billiton Group and benefit from the company’s logistics and other support.


Why is BSC investing in Colombia?

BSC proactively researches and identifies social and environmental issues which form the foundation of the projects it supports globally. It works in concert with BHP Billiton’s local operations to validate its research, better understand local context and confirm that projects will complement the community investment being implemented locally. BSC seeks to complement and leverage the community work undertaken by BHP Billiton Assets.


In the case of Colombia, the plight of IDPs was recognised to be a significant social issue. It also is closely aligned with BSC’s focus area of poverty alleviation and with Colombian government priorities and is an issue that presents a major opportunity for community strengthening and personal and institutional capacity building.


BSC identified Global Communities as an active and reputable NGO, delivering programs in Colombia supporting IDPs, with input from and engagement with BSC and Cerro Matoso, Global Communities designed the project.

Location of the 18 communities in the Cordoba District participating in the ANDA project in 2014