Small Grants for Big Solutions in Northeast Argentina

Soledad Olivera holds her young son in front of her new bathroom, whose toilet and running water replaced an improvised latrine next to her house in a settlement in Bonpland, in the northern Argentine province of Misiones. Credit: Fabiana Frayssinet/IPS
  • by Fabiana Frayssinet (bonpland, argentina)
  • Inter Press Service

In return for the aid, the recipients – whether individuals or institutions – provide labour power, training or machinery (in the case of municipal governments).

In Argentina, the SGP is involved in 52 projects in the provinces of Misiones, Corrientes, Entre Ríos, Formosa, Santa Fe and Chaco, for a total of 1.8 million dollars in grants.

Diana Vega, a representative of Argentina's Secretariat of the Environment and Sustainable Development, explained to IPS that the SGP was not hurt by the global drop in development aid.

"We staked our bets on this programme because change at a local level is essential for generating real change," she said.

"We realised that national policies often fail to reach the grassroots or community level. On the other hand, initiatives applied at a more local level, closer to the community, are the ones that can be replicated tomorrow at a provincial or national level."

Silvia Chalukian, the chair of the SGP's national committee of directors, said "One of the things I like the most about the SGP is that it is structured in such a way that all of the money reaches the ground level. It isn't lost in office expenses or administration."

Furthermore, because it involves small amounts of financing, "there is less red tape and fewer communications problems for the people managing it…people gradually learn to handle the financing during the nearly two years of the project."

Edited by Estrella Gutiérrez/Translated by Valerie Dee

© Inter Press Service (2014) — All Rights ReservedOriginal source: Inter Press Service