Improving durable solutions and peacebuilding in Colombia

UNHCR and UNDP supporting economic recovery, reconciliation and peacebuilding in post-Peace Agreement Colombia
Jobs & Livelihoods

Improving durable solutions and peacebuilding in Colombia

UNHCR and UNDP supporting economic recovery, reconciliation and peacebuilding in post-Peace Agreement Colombia

The project in brief

Implemented by

United Nations Development Program UNDP and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR - Colombia




2019 - 2021


The joint project helps internally displaced, Venezuelan refugees and host communities advocate for their rights with institutions and the private sector, promotes employment, strengthens local government to promote income generation and protection, and it also analyses and disseminates knowledge. 

Project aims

The project strengthens development and peace through stakeholder platforms with the private sector, a network of universities and an IT platform for sharing training, information and opportunities for investment.

Resources used

  • Government of Colombia’s Territorial Development Plans (PDET)
  • Peace Agreement between the Government of Colombia and FARC, 2016

Main activities of the Good Practice

Colombia has almost 8 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) due to conflict. There are also approximately 1.7 million Venezuelans now in the country. Both Venezuelans displaced abroad and IDPs increase pressure on services, job opportunities and social cohesion.

The project’s objective is to improve human security conditions through strategic partnerships between multiple actors and the private sector, in order to promote durable solutions for vulnerable populations (victims, internally displaced persons, host communities, refugees and migrants, and ex-combatants) in the context of peacebuilding in Colombia.

All interventions revolve around 4 specific components: I) Fostering communities in how to dialogue with institutions and the private sector to advocate for their rights; II) To develop and support initiatives that improve economic security through employment opportunities and innovative business solutions; III) Strengthening of local government institutions to promote income-generation opportunities and protection mechanism for communities; IV) Promote the analysis and dissemination of knowledge of the human security partnerships framework linking actively the academy into the search of the sustainable solutions.

The project has created territorial multi-stakeholder platforms to strengthen development and peace-building agendas in targeted municipalities. This governance model allows direction and strategic monitoring of activities, as well as the alignment of priorities with the government.

At the national level, the project has developed a private sector advisory group, a network of universities to promote the human security approach, and one virtual IT platform to allow all actors to connect, be trained, find information and seek opportunities for collaboration or investment in the prioritized territories.


  • Victims Unit (UARIV)
  • Agency for the Renewal of Territory (ART)
  • PeaceStartup
  • London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
  • Escuela Taller de Tumaco,
  • Family Welfare Funds (Ex. Comfenalco)
  • Antioquia University, Conciudadania NGO
  • Tumaco Chamber of Commerce
  • Departmental and local governments. 

Challenges and how they were overcome


The COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions.

How they were overcome

Responding to the COVID-19 emergency, the project will reactivate local markets and support supply, distribution and marketing schemes for local product. The project will also support tracking of the pandemic in the community.

Results of the Good Practice

  • The ‘Río Tapaje Prodefensa’ Community Council granted IDP families access to training for subsistence livelihoods, benefiting 120 people;
  • An expo in Tumaco benefited 25 entrepreneurs with seed capital and technical assistance, prioritizing vulnerable groups;
  • In four municipalities, a committee made up of institutions, private sector, academics and international cooperation was established to prioritize value chains;
  • Around 15 sessions of the Territorial Roundtable of Guarantees for the Work of Human Rights Defenders,
  • Leaders and Social Leaders of Antioquia were held;
  • The creation of an academic network has been launched to promote research and reflections on how to improve partnerships to improve the peace.

Edwin Cobo Cárdenas from Tumaco is an advisor to the Center for Employment and Entrepreneurship Orientation, which carried out an expo for the economic reactivation of the most vulnerable people. 

“We focused on innovation, on reducing gaps, on the environment and on the most vulnerable communities. It helped people to have their own business and to generate employment,” he said. 

The partnerships created between institutions, private sector, academy, civil society and international cooperation are fundamental for the reduction of poverty, unemployment and violence. We are taking people away from violence. 


How the project meets the GCR Objectives

Objective 1: Ease the pressures on host countries

Improving socio-economic development and integration, human rights and support peace and social cohesion.

Objective 2: Enhance refugee self-reliance

Socio-economic integration and social cohesion for Venezuelan refugees and migrants and host communities

Next steps

Support local authorities to ensure that human security agendas are incorporated in their development plans including victims plans, reintegration plans, substitution of illicit crop plans. 

Ensure an integrated income generation strategy that includes a short-term response but also a medium and long-term strategy that aims to strengthen value chains and support commercialization and linkage strategies with the private sector.

A digital livelihood strategy has been launched seeking to link the ventures to digital marketing and e-commerce strategies.