UNCDF Nicaragua Local Economic Development

Client: United Nations Capital Development Fund
Faculty: Paul Smoke and David Winder
Team: John Bozek, Catalina Villegas, Yvonne Martinez, Marissa Gutierrez, Antonieta Collazos, Grace Gabala, Susan Hamilton, Eric Steiner
Year: 2009
The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) engaged a Capstone group to assess interim strategic planning outcomes of PADETOM, a UNCDF program in Nicaragua. The program's objective is to build the capacity of municipalities in the Rio San Juan region to promote and support local economic development (LED) strategies and initiatives. The Capstone team conducted a document review, academic research on current methodologies and approaches to LED, and field interviews with program partners, beneficiaries, stakeholders, and other agencies. Its findings include an analysis of the municipal planning process for the program, the larger framework under which it will be executed, and the expected effect on focus towns. The team also made recommendations for a future planning model for LED projects and for UNCDF's work in particular, including the recognition of the need for a multi-faceted approach linking it to rural economic development efforts.