Honduras—Local Governance Activity (HLG)

Client: U.S. Agency for International Development

Duration: 2016-2025

Region: Latin America and the Caribbean

Country: Honduras

Solutions: Governance

Despite great economic stability since 2000, and historic high rates of irregular migration, Honduras has yet to significantly improve living conditions or reduce poverty for much of its citizenry. In 2019, more than 250,000 Honduran migrants were apprehended by U.S. Customs and Border Control, the highest rate yet. In 2021, the White House addressed this crisis in its Root Causes Strategy, which identifies corruption, democratic governance, combating gender-based violence, amongst other areas, as root causes of irregular migration.

The inability of local governments to provide effective public services to their citizens remains a key barrier to tackling the inter-related challenges of economic insecurity, lack of trust in the government, social inclusion, and high rates of violence and migration… In this climate, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) designed the Honduras Local Governance (HLG) Activity to enhance basic service delivery provision through increased citizen influence and improved governance in western Honduras and urban areas. The Activity ensures that health, education, and other critical services are expanded, deepened, and made sustainable as part of a holistic effort to promote local governance.

The Activity strengthens governance actions at the national, subnational, and local levels, where basic services are delivered and where most Honduran citizens interact with their government. In addition, HLG works to contribute to the increase in citizen security and access to health services for vulnerable populations in high-crime urban areas. This is achieved through capacity development of local government and service providers to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic while continuing to strengthen the essential capacity of civil society groups, local governments, and service providers to provide citizens with improved services. In alignment with USAID’s goal of “A more prosperous, democratic and secure Honduras where citizens, especially youth, are inspired to stay and invest in their future,” the Activity will also contribute to the reduction of irregular migration and reintegration of migrant returnees, while adopting Positive Youth Development approaches.

Sample Activities

  • Bring together disparate local agencies responsible for health, education, and water to improve coordination of services.
  • Improve engagement and advocacy processes to better empower and involve vulnerable populations, including women, youth, and indigenous persons.
  • Assist municipalities in creating user-friendly tools to increase transparency and accountability, and train Citizen Transparency Committees on transparency and accountability.
  • Work with local governments and citizen oversight stakeholders to update municipal transition and transfer manuals to prepare for overturn in personnel after local and national elections.
  • Collaborate with the Secretary of Health to equip hospitals, triage centers, and laboratories with COVID-19 prevention and care equipment, and support COVID-19 prevention and awareness-building activities.

Select Results

  • Helped the Nueva Suyapa Women’s Network from Tegucigalpa to hold its first advocacy event, enabling the network to successfully secure service provider commitment to improve sexual, reproductive, and mental healthcare for women and survivors of gender-based, domestic, and intrafamilial violence.
  • Supported the Tela and La Ceiba local governments to raise the LGBTQI+ and transgender flags in front of their municipal buildings for the first time, a symbol of respect for LGBTQI+ human rights.
  • Trained 160 civil society groups on the barriers to social inclusion affecting vulnerable groups and preventing their participation in local decision-making.
  • Empowered civil society organizations to lead 11 forums to promote citizens’ role in service provision, in which 1,689 people participated.
  • Trained 500 young people on the social oversight process, and 35 percent of the 69 social audits completed were conducted directly by youth organizations, with HLG support, promoting citizen oversight and reducing the risk of corruption.
  • Supported three municipalities to initiate the drafting of a Municipal Transparency Plan for the first time, coached civil society groups on their role in the process, and, with the Secretaría Técnica de la Carrera Administrativa Municipal, carried out four workshops, training 88 municipal servants and civil society members to reinforce municipal officials’ obligations.
  • Delivered 350 student desks, eight cabinets, 17 chairs, 17 white boards, and 17 desks to the Centro de Educación Básico Tiburcio Carías Andino in Jesús de Otoro, Intibucá.
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