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MIF and Oxfam-Quebec will give indigenous youth in El Alto, Bolivia the opportunity to obtain new and better jobs

Apr 8, 2015

The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, has recently approved a US$950.000 grant for a project that will be implemented by Oxfam-Quebec and will seek to increase formal employment opportunities for 800 El Alto youth. The youth served by the project will be between the ages of 17 and 29 years old, of indigenous ancestry, and have experienced recent migration. The project will also work with 100 firms to strengthen their human resource management, adopting intercultural practices to improve their businesses’ workplace environment and productivity. 

The city of El Alto has high cultural diversity: 54% of residents self-identify with an indigenous nation and 63% of its population is under 30 years of age. Young people in El Alto are exposed to the influence of many different social practices, some of which can be difficult to distinguish. Examples might include urban values associated with different manners of dress, consumption habits, forms of entertainment, or lack of understanding of life in rural areas, which may be regarded as conflicting with nonurban customs and values. In this social context, young people face difficulties successfully adapting and integrating to the city and its labor market. This is especially true for those involved directly or indirectly (through their parents) in recent migrations, who do not always have the tools, strategies, and intercultural skills required in an urban context of high cultural diversity. For their part, employers and business owners in the urban formal sector often lack tools, strategies, and intercultural skills to apply to their human resource management.

The project will address the lack of intercultural tools that heightens the workplace disconnection between El Alto youth and business owners, making it hard for young people to get and keep quality jobs in the formal sector. In order to achieve this, it will work with young people, strengthening their technical and intercultural skills; and with firms, raising awareness, providing advisory support, and encouraging them to incorporate intercultural human resource management into their operations. The project will first conduct labor market studies and develop training methodology and content, and will recruit and select young people to participate. The young people will then receive training, taking their technical and intercultural skills into account. Finally, the young people will be placed in jobs, supporting them and the businesses that employ them.

This project will be implemented by Oxfam-Quebec. Also, it will have three strategic partners: the INFOCAL La Paz Foundation and two cultural centers (Producers Community Foundation of Arts/ COMPA) and Wayna Tambo Foundation); and one key partner: the  Private Employers Federation of La Paz (FEPLP).

About the MIF

The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, supports private sector-led development benefiting low-income populations and the poor—their businesses, their farms, and their households. The aim is to give them tools to boost their incomes: access to markets and the skills to compete in those markets, access to finance, and access to basic services, including green technology. A core MIF mission is to act as a development laboratory—experimenting, pioneering, and taking risks to build and support successful micro, small and medium business models. More information can be found at

About OXFAM-Quebec

Oxfam-Quebec is a member of Oxfam’s international confederation of 17 organizations working together with partners and local communities in more than 90 countries toward its mission of achieving a fairer world without poverty.Oxfam has worked in Bolivia since 1988 with local partners, facilitating participatory processes, coordinating projects with applied research, strengthening its partners’ organizational capabilities, and performing knowledge management, monitoring, and evaluation tasks. It has experience with economic empowerment of young people in Bolivia and Peru through its work in the areas of cultural assertion, employability, and entrepreneurship among vulnerable youth, and support of initiatives to empower Aymara, Quechua, and Guaraní youth, especially in urban settings. More information can be found at:

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