Guatemala Launches Decentralization Pilot Programs
July 21, 2017
Since October 2016, the USAID-funded Health and Education Policy Plus (HEP+) project has supported Guatemala's Secretary of Executive Coordination of the President (SCEP) to promote decentralization in the national policy agenda. With HEP+ support, a National Decentralization Plan was approved by President Jimmy Morales in February 2017. On July 21, 2017, with President Morales in attendance, SCEP signed agreements with the Municipal Association of Los Altos in the Quetzaltenango Department to launch decentralization pilot programs in three municipalities.
From the event, local media reported that Morales allotted 1,200 million quetzals (just over US$164 million) for local government spending, announcing that, "decentralization is the perfect route for consolidating local power and democracy…"
HEP+ will provide ongoing support for the decentralization pilot programs, including the creation of operational and monitoring and evaluation plans, and the development of a National Decentralization Agenda (to be launched later this year). This work is part of ongoing efforts by HEP+ and its predecessor projects to promote equity in and expand access to health in Guatemala, most recently by supporting efforts to comprehensively reform the health sector by increasing domestic resources for health, expanding financial protection, and decentralizing the planning, financing, and provision of social services.
Update as of January 2018: Guatemala's National Decentralization Agenda was launched in September, validated in November, and officially presented in December 2017.