oversight

Foreign Assistance: U.S. Democracy Programs in Six Latin American Countries Have Yielded Modest Results

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 2003-03-18.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

             United States General Accounting Office

GAO          Report to Congressional Requesters




March 2003
             FOREIGN
             ASSISTANCE
             U.S. Democracy
             Programs in Six Latin
             American Countries
             Have Yielded Modest
             Results




GAO-03-358
             a
Contents



Letter                                                                                              1
                                                                                                    3
                         Purpose                                                                    3
                         Results in Brief                                                           4
                         Background                                                                 6
                         GAO’s Analysis                                                             6
                         Recommendations for Executive Action                                      13
                         Agency Comments                                                           14


Chapter 1                                                                                          15
                         Background                                                                15
Introduction             Objectives, Scope, and Methodology                                        23


Chapter 2                                                                                          26
                         Criminal Justice Reforms Were Established but Not Fully
Rule of Law Assistance     Implemented; Sustainability Will Require Stronger Host
                           Government Commitment                                                   27
                         USAID Has Helped Increase Citizen Access to Justice, but
                           Sustainability and Expansion of Services Will Require Greater
                           Host Country Support                                                    33
                         U.S. Police Assistance Supporting Criminal Investigations and
                           Management of Police Operations Has Had Mixed Results                   38
                         Conclusions                                                               45


Chapter 3                                                                                          46
                         Legislatures Initially Increased Their Planning, Infrastructure,
Governance                 Analytical, and Outreach Capacities, but Gains Have Eroded over
Assistance:                Time                                                                    47
                         Local Governance and Citizen Participation Were Enhanced in
Legislatures, Local        Target Municipalities, but Broader Impacts Are More Difficult to
Government, and            Achieve                                                                 52
Anticorruption           Anticorruption Policies and Procedures Have Been Implemented in
                           Some Countries, but the Long-term Impact Is Not Yet Evident             59
                         Conclusions                                                               62


Chapter 4                                                                                          64
                         U.S. Human Rights Assistance Has Increased Awareness and
Human Rights               Government Accountability                                               65
                         Conclusions                                                               72




                         Page i                                        GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
                             Contents




Chapter 5                                                                                             73
                             The United States Has Primarily Targeted Three Countries with
Elections                      Assistance in Election Administration, Voter Access, and
                               Electoral Observation                                                  73
                             U.S. Assistance Has Helped Ensure Free and Fair Elections, but
                               Nicaragua May Still Need Additional Assistance                         76
                             Conclusions                                                              78


Chapter 6                                                                                             79
                             Poorly Coordinated Program Management Limits Effectiveness of
Management Issues              U.S. Democracy Assistance                                              79
Hinder Impact and            Limited Evaluation and Sharing of Lessons Learned among Program
                               Implementers                                                           83
Sustainability of U.S.       Conclusions                                                              85
Democracy Assistance         Recommendations for Executive Action                                     86
                             Agency Comments and Our Evaluation                                       86


Appendixes
               Appendix I:   U.S. Democracy Assistance to Six Latin American
                             Countries                                                                89
                             Bolivia                                                                  89
                             Colombia                                                                 90
                             El Salvador                                                              91
                             Guatemala                                                                92
                             Nicaragua                                                                94
                             Peru                                                                     95
              Appendix II:   Comments from the Department of State                                    97
                             GAO Comment                                                             101
             Appendix III:   Comments from the Department of Justice                                 102
              Appendix IV:   Comments from the U.S. Agency for International
                             Development                                                             106
                             GAO Comments                                                            115
              Appendix V:    Quality of Life and Economic Indicators for Selected
                             Countries                                                               117
             Appendix VI:    Freedom House Scores for Individual Countries, Fiscal Years
                             1992 through 2002                                                       120
             Appendix VII:   GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments                                   126
                             GAO Contact                                                             126



                             Page ii                                      GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
          Contents




          Staff Acknowledgments                                                     126
                                                                                    127


Tables    Table 1: Freedom House Ratings for the Six Countries Studied,
                   Fiscal Years 1992 and 2002                                        16
          Table 2: U.S. Rule of Law Assistance in the Six Countries
                   Studied                                                           27
          Table 3: USAID Legislative Strengthening Assistance                        47
          Table 4: USAID Local Governance Assistance                                 52
          Table 5: USAID Anticorruption Assistance                                   59
          Table 6: U.S. Human Rights Assistance in Three Countries                   65
          Table 7: USAID Election Assistance in the Six Countries                    74
          Table 8: Quality of Life and Economic Indicators for Selected
                   Countries                                                        118


Figures   Figure 1: Average Freedom House Democracy Scores for the Six
                     Countries Studied, Fiscal Years 1992 through 2002               15
          Figure 2: Distribution of U.S. Democracy Assistance among Six
                     Countries, Fiscal Years 1992 through 2002                       19
          Figure 3: Distribution of U.S. Democracy Assistance to Six
                     Countries by Key Agencies, Fiscal Years 1992 through
                     2002                                                            20
          Figure 4: Four Elements of the U.S. Democracy Assistance
                     Program                                                         21
          Figure 5: Distribution of U.S. Democracy Assistance to the Six
                     Countries Studied, for Fiscal Years 2000 through 2002, by
                     Element                                                         23
          Figure 6: Public Hearing Room Constructed with U.S. Government
                     Funding in Manizales, Colombia                                  32
          Figure 7: Justice House in Manizales, Colombia, Constructed with
                     U.S. Government Funds                                           34
          Figure 8: Free Legal Consultation Provided by Colombian Official
                     at a Justice House Constructed with U.S. Government
                     Funds                                                           35
          Figure 9: Forensics Equipment Donated by the U.S. Government to
                     Improve Criminal Investigative Capacity of Bolivian
                     National Police in La Paz, Bolivia                              39
          Figure 10: U.S.-Funded Crime-Scene Management Training for Law
                     Enforcement Officials in San Salvador, El Salvador              40
          Figure 11: The Nicaraguan Legislature’s Office of Citizen
                     Participation, Established with USAID Assistance                51



          Page iii                                       GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
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Figure 12: Acting Mayor of Leon, Nicaragua, One of the
           Municipalities That Received USAID Assistance to
           Strengthen Local Governance                                     54
Figure 13: A Meeting Organized by USAID's Office of Transition
           Initiatives to Educate Citizens from Rural Peru about the
           Country's New Decentralization Program                          55
Figure 14: Nicaragua’s Integrated Financial Management System
           Was Developed with Assistance from USAID Funds                  60
Figure 15: USAID-supported Victims Assistance Center Managed by
           the Attorney General’s Office, Guatemala City,
           Guatemala                                                       69
Figure 16: Coffins used by USAID-supported Foundation for
           Anthropological Forensics to Reinter Remains Exhumed
           from Mass Graves in Guatemala                                   70
Figure 17: Human Rights Units Using Forensics Equipment
           Provided by the Justice Department to Investigate a
           Crime Scene in San Jose de Apartado, Colombia                   71
Figure 18: Poll Workers Organizing Voting Materials before Opening
           a Polling Station in Lima, Peru, during the April 2001
           National Elections                                              76
Figure 19: Voters Waiting to Enter Polling Station in Lima, Peru,
           during the April 2001 National Elections                        77
Figure 20: Freedom House Democracy Scores for Bolivia, Fiscal
           Years 1992 through 2002                                        120
Figure 21: Freedom House Democracy Scores for Colombia, Fiscal
           Years 1992 through 2002                                        121
Figure 22: Freedom House Democracy Scores for El Salvador, Fiscal
           Years 1992 through 2002                                        122
Figure 23: Freedom House Democracy Scores for Guatemala, Fiscal
           Years 1992 through 2002                                        123
Figure 24: Freedom House Democracy Scores for Nicaragua, Fiscal
           Years 1992 through 2002                                        124
Figure 25: Freedom House Democracy Scores for Peru, Fiscal Years
           1992 through 2002                                              125




Page iv                                        GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
Contents




Abbreviations

ARI         Andean Regional Initiative
GDP         Gross Domestic Product
ICITAP      International Criminal Investigations Training and Assistance
            Program (Department of Justice)
IDB         Inter-American Development Bank
INL         Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
            (Department of State)
OAS         Organization of American States
USAID       U.S. Agency for International Development




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Page v                                                  GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
Contents




Page vi    GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
A
United States General Accounting Office
Washington, D.C. 20548



           March 18, 2003                                                                                                 Leter




           The Honorable Henry Hyde
           Chairman
           The Honorable Tom Lantos
           Ranking Minority Member
           Committee on International Relations
           House of Representatives

           The Honorable Cass Ballenger
           Chairman
           The Honorable Robert Menendez
           Ranking Minority Member
           Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere
           Committee on International Relations
           House of Representatives

           In response to your request, this report discusses the nature, impact, and factors that affect U.S.
           democracy assistance to Bolivia, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Peru as well as
           the overarching management issues that have affected program planning and implementation. We
           include recommendations to the Departments of State and Justice and the U.S. Agency for
           International Development. We recommend that these agencies develop more comprehensive
           strategic plans at the regional and country level to address cooperation among agencies and other
           major donors; develop a strategy to periodically evaluate democracy assistance projects; and develop
           a mechanism to share information on development approaches, methods, materials, and results
           among U.S. agencies and implementers.

           As agreed with your offices, unless you publicly release its contents earlier, we plan no further
           distribution of this report until 30 days after its date. At that time, we will provide copies to interested
           congressional committees, the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Administrator of the U.S.
           Agency for International Development, and the President of the Inter-American Foundation. We will
           also provide copies to others upon request. In addition, this report will be available at no charge on
           the GAO Web site at http://www.gao.gov.




                                       Page 1                                            GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
If you or your staff has any questions on this report, please call me on (202) 512-4128. Other major
contributors to this report are listed in appendix VII.




Jess T. Ford
Director
International Affairs and Trade




                          Page 2                                          GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
Executive Summary



Purpose      Nearly all countries in Latin America have seen their systems of
             government shift from dictatorships, military regimes, and other forms of
             authoritarian rule to democratically elected governments. Supporting this
             transition has been a formal part of the U.S. foreign aid program since at
             least 1985. During fiscal years 1992 through 2002, the U.S. government has
             provided more than $1 billion to help Latin American and Caribbean
             nations develop sustainable democratic institutions. This assistance has
             focused on promoting the rule of law,1 transparent and accountable
             government institutions, respect for human rights, and free and fair
             elections. Assistance activities have been largely implemented by the U.S.
             Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Departments of
             State and Justice and have been funded primarily by appropriations
             authorized under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961.

             Since the early 1990s, GAO has assessed the implementation and
             effectiveness of democracy-related programs worldwide, particularly in
             Latin America and the Caribbean and the Former Soviet Union (see Related
             GAO Products). In these reviews, GAO has found that helping to strengthen
             democracy can be a difficult and long-term challenge that requires
             sustained political support from key host country leaders. When this
             political support wavers, hard-won gains can be quickly lost.

             The Chairmen and Ranking Minority Members of the House Committee on
             International Relations and the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere
             requested that GAO assess the effectiveness of U.S. democracy assistance
             programs in six Latin American countries—Bolivia, Colombia, El Salvador,
             Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Peru. These countries, which are located in
             both Central and South America, have been particularly important to U.S.
             interests and face persistent social, economic, and political challenges. In
             response to this request, GAO (1) assessed the impact of the four main
             elements of U.S. democracy assistance—rule of law, governance, human
             rights, and elections—and the factors that affected the outcome of these
             programs and (2) analyzed the overarching management issues that have
             affected program planning and implementation.



             1
              According to the U.S. Agency for International Development, the rule of law embodies the
             basic principles of equal treatment of all people before the law and is founded on a
             predictable and transparent legal system with fair and effective judicial and law
             enforcement institutions to protect citizens against the arbitrary use of state authority and
             lawless acts.




             Page 3                                                    GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
                   To address these objectives, GAO reviewed documentation on democracy-
                   related assistance projects that were implemented from fiscal years 1992
                   through 2002 and interviewed knowledgeable officials from USAID and the
                   State and Justice Departments and other agencies that implement this
                   assistance. GAO conducted fieldwork in the six countries previously
                   identified, where it interviewed U.S. and senior host country officials,
                   representatives of many nongovernmental organizations, and project
                   implementers and beneficiaries. Appendix I provides an overview of the
                   U.S. democracy assistance programs by country.



Results in Brief   Overall, U.S. programs and efforts to strengthen democracy in the six Latin
                   American countries GAO reviewed have had a modest impact to date. U.S.
                   assistance programs have supported a variety of reforms and have
                   introduced innovative practices in justice, governance, human rights, and
                   elections. For example, GAO found that these programs have helped five of
                   the six countries reviewed (Bolivia, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and
                   Nicaragua) adopt and begin implementing new criminal procedures codes
                   that allow justice to be dispensed with more efficiency and openness. In all
                   six countries, U.S. programs have supported improving the capacity of
                   some municipalities to budget and plan public expenditures more
                   effectively and with greater citizen participation, according to USAID data
                   and reports. Host country and U.S. officials stated that U.S. programs also
                   have contributed to some increased government attention to protecting
                   human rights in countries where this assistance has been provided. U.S.
                   assistance has been instrumental in supporting elections that electoral
                   observation groups have considered to be free and fair.

                   Despite these successes, considerable work remains and U.S. democracy
                   programs often have had a limited impact due to various factors, and in the
                   countries GAO visited, questions remain regarding the sustainability of the
                   gains made with U.S. assistance. In particular, these countries still have
                   work remaining to fully put into practice the roles and responsibilities
                   contained in their new criminal procedures codes. In many cases, the size
                   and scope of U.S.-supported programs have been relatively limited, and
                   countries have not adopted them on a national scale. The inability or
                   unwillingness of host governments to provide the necessary financial,
                   human, and political capital has often negatively affected democracy
                   program outcomes in these countries. GAO found cases in which U.S.-
                   funded training programs, computer systems, and police equipment had
                   languished for lack of resources after U.S. support ended. Political changes
                   in host governments have also undermined U.S.-supported programs. Of



                   Page 4                                         GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
the legislative strengthening programs begun in the 1990s in four of the
countries GAO visited (Bolivia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua),
only the program in El Salvador appears to have received sufficient host
government political support to operate as intended with a positive impact
on governance. Consolidating many of the gains that these countries have
achieved in building democratic institutions is likely to require increased
host country commitment and continued assistance from the United States
or other donors.

Since host country resources for sustaining democracy programs are
difficult to mobilize, it is crucial that the U.S. government and other donors
manage available international resources as efficiently as possible for
maximum impact and sustainability. Although promoting democracy
abroad is a strategic goal of the U.S. government, USAID and the State and
Justice Departments do not take a strategic, coordinated approach to
providing democracy assistance, disrupting the long-term planning,
implementation, and continuity of U.S. law enforcement programs in some
countries. The agencies’ strategic plans also do not identify how U.S.
agencies and other foreign donors will coordinate program planning and
implementation, as required by the Government Performance and Results
Act of 1993. USAID and the State and Justice Departments have conducted
few formal evaluations on the results of these activities to inform the
ongoing debate about how to best provide and manage democracy
assistance. Information sharing among U.S.-funded program implementers
also has been limited, both within and among countries where these
programs exist. These agencies do not always take advantage of the
lessons learned from their democracy-related programs to ensure that
funds are spent in a cost-effective manner.

The six chapters of this report address background information on U.S.
democracy assistance programs; the four elements of democracy
assistance, rule of law, governance, human rights, and elections; and the
overarching management issues affecting program planning and
implementation.

In this report, GAO makes recommendations to the Secretary of State, the
Attorney General, and the Administrator of USAID, who together
administer nearly all U.S. democracy assistance, to improve program
management. Specifically, GAO recommends that these officials (1)
develop more comprehensive strategic plans at the regional and country
level to address cooperation among agencies and other major donors, (2)
establish a strategy for periodically evaluating projects, and (3) establish a



Page 5                                           GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
                              systematic mechanism to share information among U.S. agencies and
                              project implementers.



Background                    Under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, since 1992, the United States has
                              provided about $580 million to support democracy programs in the six
                              countries GAO reviewed for this report. Colombia received the largest
                              amount of democracy assistance ($149 million), followed by El Salvador
                              ($146 million), Nicaragua ($88 million), Guatemala ($70 million), Peru ($65
                              million), and Bolivia ($63 million).

                              Democracy assistance has four major components: rule of law,
                              governance, human rights, and elections. USAID generally implements
                              governance, human rights, and elections projects and develops rule of law
                              institutions and processes, while the State and Justice Departments focus
                              on the law enforcement component of rule of law efforts. In fiscal years
                              2000 through 2002 in the six countries GAO reviewed, rule of law and
                              governance programs received 39 and 29 percent, respectively, of the $221
                              million total allocated for democracy assistance by the U.S. government. In
                              addition to the United States, other countries and institutions provide this
                              type of foreign aid. The World Bank, the Inter-American Development
                              Bank, and the Organization of American States all provide democracy-
                              related assistance to these six countries, as do several bilateral donors.



GAO’s Analysis

U.S. Rule of Law Assistance   U.S. rule of law assistance encompasses support for criminal justice
Has Supported Some            reform, greater access to the justice system for poor and marginalized
                              populations, and strengthened capacity of law enforcement agencies to
Promising Reforms but         investigate crimes. Although U.S. programs have helped almost all of these
Many Have Not Yet Been        countries begin implementing critical justice sector reforms, it remains
Institutionalized             unclear whether the countries can and will provide the necessary political
                              and financial support to fully implement these reforms.

                              In supporting criminal justice reforms, the United States has helped
                              introduce fundamental changes and new roles and responsibilities for
                              judicial and law enforcement institutions. U.S. assistance has included
                              training for judges, prosecutors, and others who implement new criminal




                              Page 6                                         GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
codes and has supported computerized case management systems to
increase justice system efficiency and transparency. The countries GAO
reviewed are in different stages of carrying out reforms. El Salvador has
made the most progress in reforming its justice sector, while Nicaragua and
Bolivia have only recently enacted and begun implementing new criminal
procedures codes. Colombia and Guatemala, which enacted reforms in the
early 1990s, have made limited progress in implementing them, according
to U.S. officials GAO interviewed. For example, Colombia, which
established oral trials in 1991, has only 26 operational courtrooms to serve
that nation’s 2,000 municipal, circuit, and special jurisdiction judges.

USAID’s access-to-justice programs have helped several countries establish
public defense services to assist poor criminal defendants. USAID also has
supported decentralized justice centers and alternative dispute resolution
mechanisms. In Colombia, for example, USAID has helped establish 18
justice houses (casas de justicia) that provide dispute resolution and other
legal services and help reinforce the presence of the Colombian
government in poor, marginalized areas. USAID plans to construct 40
justice houses in Colombia by 2005, but the sustainability of many of the
justice houses already built is uncertain due to precarious municipal
government finances. Colombian officials also said that, due to severe
funding constraints, the government does not currently plan to build
additional justice houses.

U.S.-supported police assistance, which the Justice Department primarily
provides, has focused on developing criminal investigations capabilities
and strengthening police management, accountability, and operations. The
results and impact of this assistance have varied across the countries GAO
reviewed. Of the six countries GAO reviewed, U.S. police assistance
appears to have had the greatest impact in El Salvador, where the Justice
Department has helped implement a new policing model characterized by
active, visible police patrols in high-crime areas. In other countries, U.S.
assistance has provided extensive training and supported the development
of training centers for criminal investigators, but impact has been more
limited. In Bolivia, Justice Department officials said they have frequently
had to repeat training courses due to high turnover in the criminal
investigations unit. Bolivian police officials also told GAO that they lack the
resources to maintain and use U.S.-donated materials, including forensics
equipment and a computerized case-tracking and management system.
USAID, State, and Justice officials also stated that section 660 of




Page 7                                           GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
                             the Foreign Assistance Act of 19612 hampers the effectiveness of justice
                             sector assistance because it prohibits some types of police assistance.3
                             Officials GAO interviewed in Washington, D.C., and overseas said that the
                             section 660 prohibition makes it difficult to plan and implement
                             comprehensive justice sector programs because it often precludes
                             involving the police fully in reform efforts. For example, in Nicaragua,
                             USAID could not invite police force representatives to conferences at
                             which criminal justice reform approaches were being discussed and
                             debated. Police officers were similarly excluded from human rights
                             training that USAID was providing to other host government agencies.



U.S. Governance Assistance   U.S. governance assistance seeks to improve the administrative, analytical,
Has Had a Modest Impact      and outreach capacity of legislatures; strengthen the administrative
                             capacity and accountability of municipal governments and increase citizen
                             participation; foster greater awareness about corruption; and help
                             governments become more transparent and accountable. In most of the six
                             countries GAO visited, U.S. governance assistance has had an initial impact
                             on making government institutions more effective, responsive, and
                             accountable, according to USAID staff, contractors, and host country
                             officials. However, some programs have not been sustained or replicated
                             and have been hindered by a lack of political support from host country
                             governments. Elsewhere, institutional weaknesses and lack of human and
                             financial resources have made it difficult for government counterparts to
                             implement or expand U.S. programs.

                             In its legislative-strengthening programs, USAID-supported programs
                             initially increased the outreach capacities of legislatures, according to U.S.
                             and host country officials. For example, in Bolivia, USAID helped create a
                             congressional research center and budget office to assist legislators. With
                             the exception of El Salvador, however, host governments have not
                             generally sustained these programs. Because legislative programs have
                             been perceived to be associated with particular parties, these programs


                             2
                             22 U.S.C. 2420.
                             3
                              This provision restricts the use of foreign assistance funds for training and financial
                             support for police or other law enforcement forces of foreign governments. Specifically, the
                             provision states that, with a variety of exceptions, these funds may not be used “to provide
                             training or advice, or provide any financial support, for police, prisons, or other law
                             enforcement forces for any foreign government or any program of internal intelligence or
                             surveillance on behalf of any foreign government.”




                             Page 8                                                   GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
have lost credibility when competing parties took control. In Guatemala,
for example, newly elected legislators attempted to use USAID-supported
legislative institutions for partisan ends, according to U.S. officials working
there. Despite the difficulty in sustaining these programs, USAID funding
has helped leverage financial support from other donors for legislative-
strengthening programs in several countries, according to bilateral and
multilateral representatives.

GAO found that USAID’s programs to support local governance have had
an impact in target municipalities, but the programs have been less
successful in influencing and reforming policies and practices at the
national level. In target municipalities where USAID has worked, municipal
governments have become more effective and responsive, and citizen
participation has increased in municipal affairs, according to USAID
contract staff, host country officials, and local citizens. For example,
according to data that a USAID project implementer provided, more than
4,400 citizens in rural Colombia have participated in the development,
implementation, and oversight of 67 municipal-level social infrastructure
projects, such as building schools, bridges, and sewers. In Bolivia and El
Salvador, where these programs have been operating since 1993 and 1996,
respectively, municipalities have begun to adopt USAID-supported
practices; however, there has been less success in Guatemala and
Nicaragua disseminating these programs outside of target municipalities.
Host government and USAID officials attributed difficulties in
disseminating innovative practices to limited municipal resources and
skills. For example, local government officials in Guatemala said it was
difficult to use USAID’s participatory planning methods, since limited funds
were available to implement projects. Representatives of national
municipal associations, such as the National Association of Municipalities
in Nicaragua, said that USAID’s policy assistance has helped develop
national laws and regulations to decentralize government functions, but in
some cases, limited government support has hindered these efforts.

USAID has helped to develop and implement anticorruption policies and
procedures in five countries GAO reviewed, focusing on developing
anticorruption legislation and regulations, helping government institutions
become more transparent and accountable, and informing citizens of the
need to become more aware of the cost and consequences of corruption. In
Colombia, for example, USAID provided support for a presidential decree
to establish standards for a national system of internal controls in
ministries and other national agencies. Citizen awareness of corruption has
increased in several countries, as has citizen oversight at the national and



Page 9                                           GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
                            municipal levels, according to USAID officials, contract staff, and
                            representatives of local governments and nongovernmental organizations.
                            For example, according to a study by a USAID contractor,4 Nicaraguans
                            have become better informed about corruption issues as a result of a
                            national campaign supported by USAID. However, the lack of consistent
                            political support in host governments has impeded anticorruption projects.
                            In Nicaragua, according to a former high-ranking government official, in
                            2001 the Ministry of Finance fired experienced staff who had been working
                            on the USAID-assisted Integrated Financial Management System, resulting
                            in lost institutional memory and expertise. These efforts face long-term
                            challenges because these countries are in the early stages of addressing a
                            widespread and deeply rooted problem, and the public is skeptical about
                            anticorruption efforts.



U.S. Human Rights           Three of the countries that GAO studied have human rights assistance
Assistance in Three         programs. Host government officials and project implementers stated that
                            this assistance has had a positive but limited impact in the countries GAO
Countries Has Helped
                            visited. In Colombia, Guatemala, and Peru, current U.S. human rights
Increase Public Awareness   projects have (1) increased citizens’ awareness of their rights and have
and Government              helped governments take on greater responsibility for protecting those
Accountability              rights, (2) protected threatened individuals and prevented future abuses,
                            and (3) helped governments address past abuses. In some instances,
                            political and logistical problems have hindered these projects, and serious
                            problems remain. Furthermore, host government officials said some long-
                            term projects might be difficult to sustain due to budgetary constraints.

                            USAID’s human rights projects have attempted to increase citizen
                            awareness of human rights through education and community participation
                            in information networks. One such network is Colombia’s “Early Warning
                            System.” This system relies on citizen and nongovernmental organizations
                            to alert authorities to human rights threats (such as massacres and other
                            violent acts against civilians) from the armed groups involved in that
                            country’s ongoing conflict. U.S. and Colombian officials told GAO that
                            coordination and communication problems hinder the smooth flow of



                            4
                             Mitchell A. Seligson, Nicaraguans Talk about Corruption: A Follow-Up Study of Public
                            Opinion (Arlington, Va.: Casals and Associates for USAID, 1999).




                            Page 10                                               GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
                             information in this project and compromise the ability of Colombian
                             security forces to prevent violence by insurgent groups.

                             GAO found that these human rights projects also have enabled host
                             governments to become more responsible and accountable to some degree.
                             In each of the six countries GAO visited, USAID has been instrumental in
                             supporting the creation of a Human Rights Ombudsman Office, which
                             provides a legal channel for complaints and allegations of human rights
                             violations. In some countries, this office ranks high in public opinion polls,
                             while in others, according to the State Department, allegations of
                             corruption and funding problems have eroded the office’s credibility.

                             In addition, USAID assistance has fostered greater justice for victims and
                             their families. USAID support for national reconciliation efforts, including
                             exhumations of clandestine cemeteries in Guatemala and Peru, has helped
                             resolve questions about the fate of victims and bring guilty parties to
                             justice, according to project officials and published reports. Justice
                             Department data indicate that special human rights investigative units
                             created in Colombia have enabled the government to prosecute 167 human
                             rights cases. There are currently not enough of these units to investigate
                             cases throughout the entire country, and the Justice Department plans to
                             help the Colombian government expand the number and the size of these
                             units in fiscal years 2003 and 2004.

                             Despite the positive impact of U.S. human rights projects in these
                             countries, serious problems remain with some governments’ respect for
                             human rights, particularly in Guatemala and Colombia. For example, police
                             and military forces in these countries continue to be implicated in human
                             rights abuses but are rarely prosecuted, according to State Department
                             human rights reports.



U.S. Electoral Assistance    The United States has strived to help governments in Latin America
Has Been Instrumental in     establish a tradition of free and fair elections. U.S. electoral support efforts
                             have been designed to help improve election administration, enhance voter
Helping to Ensure Free and   access, and legitimize election results. Since 1990, this assistance has
Fair Elections               supported host country efforts that have resulted in elections considered
                             generally free and fair by the Organization of American States and other
                             electoral observation groups in the six countries GAO reviewed. USAID has
                             provided about $66 million in elections assistance. Most of this assistance,
                             about $60 million, went to three countries: $27 million to Nicaragua, more
                             than $20 million to Peru, and about $13 million to El Salvador. Assistance



                             Page 11                                           GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
                           projects have strengthened the capacity of electoral authorities, improved
                           voter access through voter registration and education and electoral
                           reforms, and supported electoral observation by domestic and
                           international groups. According to U.S. officials, Nicaragua is the only
                           country GAO visited that is expected to require significant international
                           support before it holds its next major election because it continues to
                           experience problems in election administration and voter registration.



Program Planning and       The effectiveness of U.S. democracy assistance programs in the six
Coordination Are Lacking   countries GAO reviewed has been limited by the lack of a strategic
                           interagency management approach.

                           Without a strategic plan that coordinates and leverages U.S. government
                           resources and those of multilateral donors that receive U.S. funds,
                           opportunities to sustain or expand democracy assistance gains may be
                           missed. Furthermore, organizations implementing U.S. assistance projects
                           have not routinely evaluated the results of their efforts or widely shared
                           reports, materials, and other important information.

                           The State Department and USAID identify the promotion of democracy
                           abroad as a strategic goal for their agencies. The Government Performance
                           and Results Act of 1993 requires U.S. government agencies to develop
                           annual plans for achieving their goals. As GAO has previously reported in
                           its work relating to this act, such plans should identify how similar
                           programs that different U.S. government agencies conduct will be
                           coordinated to achieve their common objectives.5 However, neither
                           USAID’s or State’s plans nor the subordinate regional or country-level
                           planning documents GAO reviewed specifically address the role of other
                           U.S. agencies and donors in ensuring that U.S.-funded democracy programs
                           leverage and coordinate domestic and international resources.

                           Not addressing the role of other organizations in their strategic plans is a
                           significant oversight, since it represents the risk that the U.S. government is
                           not maximizing the use of available resources. Interagency coordination on
                           rule of law assistance has been a long-standing problem, as GAO noted in a




                           5
                            U.S. General Accounting Office, The Results Act: An Evaluator's Guide to Assessing
                           Annual Agency Performance Plans, GGD-10.1.20 (Washington, D.C.: Apr. 1, 1998).




                           Page 12                                                GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
                      1999 report.6 According to U.S. officials, the relationship among
                      implementing agencies has often been characterized more by competition
                      than by cooperation, which has led to fragmented programs that are not
                      always mutually supportive in achieving common goals. For example, in
                      Bolivia, poor communication and disagreement among USAID, State, and
                      Justice on their respective roles disrupted efforts to assist the development
                      of that country’s national police. Furthermore, by not addressing and
                      building on potentially complementary programs of other international
                      donors—some of which receive considerable funding from the United
                      States—agencies risk overlooking critical resources that can be used to
                      meet the strategic goal of democracy promotion.

                      U.S. agencies implementing democracy assistance projects have also not
                      consistently evaluated project results, thus missing opportunities to
                      highlight lessons learned and to share best practices and information.
                      Although USAID has conducted evaluations on an ad hoc basis, the State
                      and Justice Departments have sponsored few formal reviews of their
                      projects. Consequently, GAO found few project reviews that were useful
                      for transferring knowledge about the impact and sustainability of projects
                      in different countries.

                      USAID also has not taken steps to compile and disseminate detailed
                      information on the results of its various projects. Although U.S. democracy
                      assistance activities across the six countries GAO visited were often very
                      similar, USAID has no centralized documentation on these activities to
                      determine whether some approaches and materials were more effective
                      than others. For example, although USAID missions fund projects to
                      educate local municipal officials in the six countries, the comprehensive
                      set of handbooks and manuals developed in Bolivia are not part of any
                      central repository at USAID or at the USAID intranet site. Lessons learned
                      are a potentially powerful method of sharing ideas for improving work
                      processes, program design and implementation, and cost-effectiveness.



Recommendations for   To ensure that key U.S. agencies that implement programs to support and
                      strengthen democracies in Latin America make better use of available
Executive Action      resources, GAO recommends that the Secretary of State, the Attorney
                      General, and the Administrator of USAID

                      6
                       U.S. General Accounting Office, Foreign Assistance: Status of Rule of Law Program
                      Coordination, NSIAD-00-8R (Washington, D.C.: Oct. 13, 1999).




                      Page 13                                               GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
                  • develop comprehensive strategic plans for democracy assistance at the
                    regional and country level that address how U.S. agencies will cooperate
                    with each other and other major donors to achieve greater impact and
                    sustainability in these programs;

                  • establish a strategy for periodically evaluating democracy assistance
                    projects that is consistent across agencies, countries, and types of
                    programs; and

                  • establish a systematic mechanism to share information on development
                    approaches, methods, materials, and results from democracy assistance
                    projects among U.S. agencies and implementers.



Agency Comments   GAO received comments on a draft of this report from the State and Justice
                  Departments and USAID, which are reprinted in appendixes II to IV. These
                  appendixes also contain GAO responses to the agencies’ comments.
                  Overall, the agencies generally agreed with the thrust of our
                  recommendations for how the management of program assistance could be
                  improved. They also noted that in some cases activities are either planned
                  or under way that would address our recommendations.




                  Page 14                                       GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
Chapter 1

Introduction                                                                                    Chapte1
                                                                                                      r




Background     The countries of Latin America have a long history of political change,
               including dictatorships, autocratic rule, military juntas, and various forms
               of democracy.

               According to Freedom House, a U.S. research organization that tracks
               political developments around the world, these countries have, since the
               1980s, gradually progressed toward stronger democracies, as measured by
               the extent to which the citizens of these countries enjoy political rights and
               civil liberties (see fig. 1). Of the six countries in our study (Bolivia,
               Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Peru), all but Colombia
               and Nicaragua experienced a strengthening of democracy by these
               standards between 1992 and 2002 (see table 1 and app. VI for more
               information). Appendix V provides further information on the quality of life
               and selected indicators for the selected countries.



               Figure 1: Average Freedom House Democracy Scores for the Six Countries Studied,
               Fiscal Years 1992 through 2002




               Page 15                                          GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
Chapter 1
Introduction




Table 1: Freedom House Ratings for the Six Countries Studied, Fiscal Years 1992
and 2002

                              1992 Freedom            2002 Freedom
Country                        House score             House score           Change
Bolivia                                    2.5                       2       Better
Colombia                                     3                       4       Worse
El Salvador                                3.5                     2.5       Better
Guatemala                                    4                     3.5       Better
Nicaragua                                    3                       3       Same
Peru                                         4                       2       Better
Average for all six
countries                                  3.3                     2.8       Better
Source: Freedom House.

Note: Freedom House scores are ranked from 1 (more free) to 7 (less free).


In September 2001, the 34 democratic members of the Organization of
American States (OAS)1 unanimously adopted the Inter-American
Democratic Charter, declaring that “the peoples of the Americas have a
right to democracy and their governments have an obligation to promote
and defend it.” This commitment goes beyond preserving elections to
ensuring the defense of human rights and fundamental freedoms, popular
participation in government, the rule of law,2 the separation of powers, and
transparent and accountable government institutions. Despite this
commitment, many Latin American nations have yet to fully achieve these
conditions. According to the OAS charter, the hallmarks of democracy
include




1
 Active member countries are Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, The Bahamas, Barbados,
Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, the Dominican
Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica,
Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent
and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, the United States, Uruguay, and
Venezuela. Cuba is not active and is the only nondemocratic member.
2
 The U.S. Agency for International Development defines the rule of law as embodying the
basic principles of equal treatment of all people before the law; it is founded on a
predictable and transparent legal system with fair and effective judicial and law
enforcement institutions to protect citizens against the arbitrary use of state authority and
lawless acts.




Page 16                                                       GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
Chapter 1
Introduction




• respect for the rule of law on the part of all institutions and sectors of
  society;

• constitutional subordination of all state institutions to the legally
  constituted civilian authority;

• access to and the exercise of power in accordance with the rule of law;

• transparency in government activities and probity, responsible public
  administration on the part of governments;

• participation of citizens in decisions relating to their own development;

• separation of powers and independence of the branches of government;

• a pluralistic system of political parties and organizations;

• freedom of expression and of the press;

• respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; and

• periodic, free, and fair elections based on secret balloting and universal
  suffrage.

Although the national governments of all six countries we visited have been
democratically elected since the 1990s, they face serious social, economic,
and political challenges that have made strengthening key democratic
institutions a difficult and long-term endeavor.3 In South America,
Colombia continues to struggle with the escalation of a nearly 40-year
campaign to overthrow the government, with attendant economic and
social disruptions that affect thousands of its citizens each year, while Peru
is emerging from the shadow of authoritarian rule and the violent actions of
insurgent guerillas. Bolivia, which has had a relatively more stable political
environment, must now deal with a host of economic challenges and an
increasingly disillusioned and vocal indigenous class. In Central America,
El Salvador’s and Guatemala’s Peace Accords were signed in 1992 and 1996,
respectively, providing a framework for rebuilding those societies after
decades of civil war. Nicaragua, one of the poorest nations in the


3
 Appendix VI provides a statistical overview of selected social and economic indicators for
the six countries we visited and comparative data for Latin America and the United States.




Page 17                                                  GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
Chapter 1
Introduction




hemisphere, still confronts political polarization and corruption, according
to U.S. officials.

The United States has provided assistance to many of the countries of Latin
America and the Caribbean to aid in strengthening democracies. From
fiscal years 1992 to 2002, the six countries in our study, Bolivia, Colombia,
El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Peru, received about $580 million
in assistance (see fig. 2 for distribution of funding among these six
countries). Almost all U.S. funding for democracy assistance, authorized
under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, is appropriated to the U.S.
Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Department of
State. A significant amount of assistance has been allocated to the
Department of Justice through interagency fund transfers from USAID and
State. From fiscal years 1992 through 2002, USAID has administered $479.3
million of program funding for democracy activities in this region, while
the Justice Department has administered $101.3 million. The State
Department also administered democracy-related programs during this
time period. However, the department could not readily provide
disaggregated data on the bulk of its democracy-related programs, such as
funding provided by the Bureau for International Narcotics and Law
Enforcement Affairs (INL). Figure 3 shows the distribution among the
major implementing agencies of democracy assistance funding to the six
countries we reviewed. Other organizations with democracy-related
assistance activities funded by the U.S. government include the National
Endowment for Democracy, the Inter-American Foundation, and the
Department of the Treasury.




Page 18                                         GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
Chapter 1
Introduction




Figure 2: Distribution of U.S. Democracy Assistance among Six Countries, Fiscal
Years 1992 through 2002




                                   11% •                                Bolivia
                                                                        $63.3 million
             • 26%
                                          11% •                         Peru
                                                                        $64.6 million

                                            12% •                       Guatemala
                                                                        $69.5 million
                 25%
                  •
                                      15% •                             Nicaragua
                                                                        $88.3 million


                                                                        El Salvador
                                                                        $145.8 million

                                                                        Colombia
                                                                        $149.1 million
Sources: GAO (analysis) and U.S. Agency for International Development
and Department of Justice (data).




Page 19                                                                       GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
Chapter 1
Introduction




Figure 3: Distribution of U.S. Democracy Assistance to Six Countries by Key
Agencies, Fiscal Years 1992 through 2002
Dollars in millions
150
                       37.9
                                    38.2



120

                      111.2
                                    107.6

                                                                 1.7
 90
                                                               86.6

                                                                         0.03
                                                  13.6
 60        9.9                                                           64.6
                                                  55.9
         53.4


 30




  0
          ia




                       bia




                                      r




                                                     la



                                                                 ua



                                                                        ru
                                      do
        liv




                                                  ma




                                                                        Pe
                                                             rag
                    lom




                                  lva
      Bo




                                               ate



                                                            ca
                                 Sa
                  Co




                                             Gu




                                                          Ni
                               El




       Latin American recipients


                 Department of Justice
                 U.S. Agency for International Development


Sources: GAO (analysis) and U.S. Agency for International Development
and Department of Justice (data).




These agencies provide assistance through a variety of means, primarily in
the form of goods and services to governmental and nongovernmental
organizations and individuals. For some projects, such as law enforcement
training, U.S. government agencies provide the assistance directly, or with
contract assistance, as needed. For other projects, such as institutional
development projects, the agencies distribute aid to beneficiaries primarily
through grants, cooperative agreements, and contracts with
nongovernmental organizations, private voluntary organizations, and firms
located in the United States or overseas. Cash disbursements are generally
not provided directly to foreign governments.




Page 20                                                                      GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
Chapter 1
Introduction




Democracy assistance efforts, if successful, can influence political stability
and economic growth. Economists have long demonstrated that countries
with stronger democratic institutions are more likely to experience
sustained economic growth. For example, the positive relationship
between the respect for property and contractual rights and the rate of
economic growth has been found to be especially strong. Law-respecting,
accountable governments tend to provide conditions that encourage long-
term investments and innovation. As the standard of living improves, the
probability of further democratization of political institutions over time
increases substantially.

Many other foreign donors have also provided democracy assistance to the
countries covered in our review. Multilateral donors, including the Inter-
American Development Bank (IDB), the World Bank, the United Nations,
and OAS have been active in funding democracy-related activities. In
addition, many Western European countries, the European Union, and
private international donors have also financed projects similar to those
funded by the United States. We did not attempt to determine the total
amounts of funding and the outcomes associated with this assistance,
given the difficulty in identifying many different efforts, their costs, and the
paucity of studies documenting program outcomes.

The United States has taken a broad approach to providing democracy
assistance. The assistance approach generally incorporates four elements:
(1) rule of law, (2) governance (3) human rights, and (4) elections. (See fig.
4 for an illustration of these elements.)



Figure 4: Four Elements of the U.S. Democracy Assistance Program




Page 21                                           GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
Chapter 1
Introduction




Rule of Law: These projects support constitutional and criminal code
reforms to make criminal justice more swift, transparent, and
participatory; establish new institutions and enhance existing ones to
improve management of the justice sector and to help safeguard the legal
rights of citizens; provide technical assistance, training, and management
information systems for judges, prosecutors, public defenders, and law
enforcement agencies to improve their capabilities and increase their
efficiency, effectiveness, and fairness; increase access to justice through
mediation, alternative dispute resolution, and other mechanisms; and
reform law school curricula to reflect modern methods and necessary skills
for practicing law.

Governance: These projects seek to improve the administrative, analytical,
and outreach capacity of legislatures; strengthen the administrative
capacity and accountability of municipalities and increase citizen
participation in local government; and foster a greater public awareness
about corruption and implement strategies to enable government
institutions to become more transparent and accountable.

Human Rights: These projects are intended to prevent human rights
abuses through greater public awareness, protect citizens against abuses,
and respond to past violations through legal action and public
reconciliation processes.

Elections: These projects are designed to improve election administration,
enhance voter access, and legitimize election results by supporting
domestic and international observers.

USAID and the State and Justice Departments have not traditionally
accounted for funding data according to the four elements previously
described but have provided this information for fiscal years 2000 through
2002, as shown in figure 5. While assistance to civil society appears to be
relatively small in figure 5, important civil society support is also included
through the four programmatic areas we focus on in this report.4




4
 Civil society includes the general population and nongovernmental organizations, such as
associations, trade unions, and interest groups.




Page 22                                                 GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
                         Chapter 1
                         Introduction




                         Figure 5: Distribution of U.S. Democracy Assistance to the Six Countries Studied,
                         for Fiscal Years 2000 through 2002, by Element

                                                                                                 3%
                                                                                                 Civil society/general
                                                                                                 Other

                                                             5%                                  Elections
                                                                                                      


                                                                    7%

                                   39%
                                                                  17%                            Human rights




                                                 29%                                             Governance




                                                                                                 Rule of law



                         Sources: GAO (analysis) and U.S. Agency for International Development
                         and Department of Justice (data).



                         While USAID funds and implements assistance projects in all areas covered
                         by this report, the State Department provides funding to the Justice
                         Department for law enforcement assistance. The State Department’s
                         Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor also provided a relatively
                         small amount of democracy-related assistance to some of the six countries
                         covered in our review, as did the department’s Western Hemisphere public
                         diplomacy program.



Objectives, Scope, and   To assess the nature, impact, and sustainability of U.S. assistance programs
                         to strengthen democratic institutions in Bolivia, Colombia, El Salvador,
Methodology              Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Peru, we first interviewed headquarters
                         officials in Washington, D.C., at the departments and agencies providing
                         rule of law, governance, human rights, and election assistance, including
                         USAID, the State and Justice Departments, the National Endowment for
                         Democracy, and the Inter-American Foundation. We also interviewed



                         Page 23                                                                          GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
Chapter 1
Introduction




experts at nongovernmental organizations, including the National
Democratic Institute, the International Republican Institute, the
Washington Office on Latin America, and Human Rights Watch. For all six
countries, we reviewed Mission Performance Plans, USAID country and
regional strategic plans and other planning documents, funding
agreements, contracts, and project evaluations. We obtained funding
information for fiscal years 1992 through 2002 from USAID headquarters
and country staff and the Justice Department (the Justice Department
administers funding provided by the State Department). The State
Department could not readily differentiate most of its democracy-related
assistance funding during this period from counternarcotics-related
funding, which we did not include in the scope of our review. We also
reviewed our prior reports on democracy assistance to Latin America.5

We conducted fieldwork in each of the previously identified six countries
between March and September 2002. In each of these countries, we met
with the U.S. Ambassador; the USAID Chief of Mission; political and
economic officers; senior U.S. officials representing agencies with rule of
law, governance, human rights, or elections programs; and numerous
program staff, including contractors responsible for implementing the
projects. We interviewed host country officials at supreme courts; law
enforcement organizations; legislatures; national ombudsmen; and
ministries covering justice, police, local governments, government
oversight, and elections. We visited training schools for judges,
prosecutors, and police; local justice centers; local government pilot
projects; and legislative outreach offices, as appropriate. We also met with
numerous representatives from nongovernmental organizations and other
groups representing a broad spectrum of civil society, including local
citizen groups involved with rule of law, governance, human rights, and
elections programs.

To analyze the overarching management issues that have affected program
outcomes, we analyzed project documentation, interviewed knowledgeable
officials, and reviewed assistance activities on field visits to the six
countries. We then analyzed and synthesized information across the six
countries. To look for broader themes, we also interviewed experts in the
field, including those from nongovernmental organizations and academia,
and attended USAID’s annual democracy officers’ conference in 2001.



5
See Related GAO Products at the end of this report.




Page 24                                               GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
Chapter 1
Introduction




We performed our work from August 2001 through December 2002 in
accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.




Page 25                                     GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
Chapter 2

Rule of Law Assistance                                                                         Chapte2
                                                                                                     r




              Reforming the criminal justice sector has been a critical area of concern in
              Latin America. Nontransparent legal processes, corruption, and
              incarceration of prisoners for months or years before trials can undermine
              confidence that justice is being dispensed fairly. Surveys done in the region
              have shown that high levels of crime and citizens’ lack of trust in justice
              institutions are positively correlated with reduced public support of
              democracy. In the six countries we reviewed, USAID and the State and
              Justice Departments have sought to (1) reform criminal justice systems by
              helping establish new legal frameworks to make criminal procedures more
              efficient and transparent and by strengthening the capabilities of justice
              sector institutions, (2) increase the public’s access to the justice system by
              establishing public defense services for poor defendants and by supporting
              construction of justice centers in poor communities, and (3) help law
              enforcement institutions conduct criminal investigations and manage their
              operations more efficiently and effectively. We found that although the U.S.
              assistance had contributed to noteworthy progress in these areas in most
              of the countries we reviewed, concerns remain about whether gains will be
              sustained. Due to resource constraints and other implementation
              difficulties, judicial and law enforcement institutions in these countries
              continue to rely to a large degree on U.S. and other international assistance
              for implementing justice sector reforms. U.S. officials also stated that
              legislative restrictions on law enforcement assistance restrict their ability
              to plan and carry out comprehensive justice sector reform programs
              because they prohibit many types of police assistance.




              Page 26                                          GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
                        Chapter 2
                        Rule of Law Assistance




                        As seen in table 2, U.S. rule of law assistance has been provided to five of
                        the six countries we visited since the mid-1980s, beginning first with El
                        Salvador in 1984.



                        Table 2: U.S. Rule of Law Assistance in the Six Countries Studied

                        Country                                                 Assistance dates
                        Bolivia                                                 1986 - present
                        Colombia                                                1986 - present
                        El Salvador                                             1984 - present
                        Guatemala                                               1986 - present
                        Nicaragua                                               1993 - present
                        Peru                                                    1986 - present
                        Sources: USAID and Justice Department.




Criminal Justice        A key component of U.S. rule of law assistance in five of the six countries
                        we reviewed has been support for criminal justice sector reforms
Reforms Were            establishing new roles and responsibilities for judicial and law enforcement
Established but Not     institutions and introducing oral procedures and public trials.1 Support for
                        criminal justice reforms has been provided primarily by USAID and the
Fully Implemented;      Justice Department and has focused on
Sustainability Will
Require Stronger Host   • facilitating constitutional and criminal code reforms,
Government              • helping to create and strengthen justice sector institutions, and
Commitment
                        • improving legal training for justice sector professionals and reforming
                          law school curricula.




                        1
                         While Peru adopted a new criminal procedures code in 1991, it has still not entered into
                        force. Peru has yet to initiate similar reforms of its criminal justice system. Following then
                        President Fujimori’s 1992 unconstitutional takeover of political power from the legislature
                        and judiciary, USAID devoted most rule of law assistance to civil society and access-to-
                        justice programs in the mid-1990s.




                        Page 27                                                    GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
                              Chapter 2
                              Rule of Law Assistance




Constitutional and Criminal   The United States has helped five of the countries we reviewed establish
Code Reforms Have Been        new legal frameworks for their criminal justice systems, supporting the
                              drafting of new criminal codes and developing political consensus for
Enacted but Not Fully         criminal justice reform, both within the government and among civil
Implemented                   society. Although the reforms each country has enacted have varied, U.S.
                              assistance has supported the necessary legal frameworks for oral,
                              adversarial criminal procedures and training for justice sector actors to
                              implement these procedures. The United States has assisted Latin
                              American countries’ transitions from inquisitorial to adversarial systems to
                              help increase the transparency and efficiency of the judicial process.
                              Benefits of the adversarial system include shortened pretrial detentions,
                              the presumption of innocence, and the right to a defense.

                              Host country officials commented that U.S. support has been critical to
                              building consensus for the development and enactment of these reforms.
                              USAID has supported constitutional and criminal procedures code reforms
                              that went into effect in Colombia (1991), Guatemala (1994), El Salvador
                              (1998), Bolivia (2001), and Nicaragua (2002).2 In Bolivia, for example,
                              USAID’s rule of law assistance since 1997 has focused primarily on support
                              for the passage and implementation of a new criminal procedures code.
                              USAID’s assistance, provided in close coordination with the German
                              government, has supported reforms that provide the basis for oral,
                              accusatory procedures and public trials, which significantly changed the
                              roles and responsibilities of judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and the
                              police. In addition, U.S. and German assistance has supported
                              disseminating information on the code to the public, mainly through
                              nongovernmental organizations.3

                              Despite achievements in passing criminal justice reforms, these countries
                              have had varying degrees of success in implementing the reforms in
                              practice, and each has work remaining to fully put into practice the new
                              roles and responsibilities contained in the reforms. For example, Nicaragua
                              and Bolivia have only recently begun implementing newly enacted criminal
                              procedures codes, while reforms for criminal sentencing codes have not

                              2
                               In Nicaragua, the new criminal procedures code went into effect for felonies in December
                              2002 and will go into effect for misdemeanors in December 2003.
                              3
                               For cases carrying a sentence of more than 4 years, Bolivian citizens are required to
                              participate in criminal trials, as “citizen judges,” in a role similar to that of jurors in the
                              United States. Sentencing courts include a panel of three citizen judges and two
                              professional judges.




                              Page 28                                                        GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
Chapter 2
Rule of Law Assistance




yet been enacted. The Nicaraguan legislature also passed an administrative
litigation code in 2000, which created a mechanism for citizens to bring
legal cases against the government.4 This code has not been implemented
because, according to a USAID official, the Supreme Court has raised
constitutional objections to them.

Colombia and Guatemala enacted criminal justice reforms in the early
1990s but have made limited progress in implementing them. Colombia, for
example, has made little progress in establishing an adversarial criminal
justice system, including oral trials, despite enacting its constitutional
reform in 1991. Colombia’s reforms established a legal structure for oral
trials and modernized criminal investigation and prosecutorial functions,
and the reforms were developed through a coordinated approach that
involved key justice sector institutions.5 Following this promising start,
however, political support for these reforms waned during the 1990s, and
oral, adversarial procedures are still rare in Colombia, according to USAID
officials.

Although Guatemala’s reforms provided the basis for transitioning to an
adversarial criminal justice system in 1994, and Guatemala reorganized and
created the necessary justice institutions for implementing the reforms, the
Guatemalan justice system is still plagued by problems, particularly the
courts, prosecutor’s office, and the police. During our visit to Guatemala,
the prosecutor’s office and the police were still trying to resolve profound
differences in the roles that their respective institutions would have in
carrying out criminal investigations. U.S. assistance provided by the State
and Justice Departments and USAID has helped justice institutions
introduce important enhancements to their organizations and operations.



4
 Before the passage of this law, the only option for citizens to bring a case against the
government was to submit a case directly to the Supreme Court.
5
 In a 1992 report, Foreign Assistance: Promising Approach to Judicial Reform in
Colombia, GAO/NSIAD-92-269 (Washington, D.C.: Sept. 24, 1992), we commented positively
on the commitment of Colombian justice sector officials for reform. An interagency working
group, led by the Minister of Justice, agreed to and designed a constitutional revision that
included provisions to increase the judiciary’s independence and established an
independent prosecutor’s office to investigate and prosecute criminal cases. In a 1999
report, Foreign Assistance: U.S. Rule of Law Assistance to Five Latin American
Countries, GAO/NSIAD-99-195 (Washington, D.C.: Aug. 4, 1999), we found that Colombia
had not fully implemented many of its criminal justice reforms and, despite the training and
assistance provided to justice officials, few of these officials were implementing new
procedures for conducting investigations or holding trials.




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                              Despite these improvements, the Guatemalan criminal justice system still
                              faces serious challenges in its efforts to fully implement these reforms.

                              El Salvador appears to have made the most progress in reforming its justice
                              sector; for example, the Attorney General has instituted sweeping
                              personnel changes in the prosecutor’s office to improve the quality and
                              integrity of its workforce. However, the judiciary in El Salvador has yet to
                              institute similar reforms, according to U.S. officials.

                              According to the State Department’s most recent human reports, the
                              judiciaries in each of the six countries we reviewed are continuing to face
                              problems, including inefficiency, corruption, and a climate of impunity. In
                              Bolivia, for example, State reported that judicial corruption and inadequate
                              case-tracking mechanisms are contributing to the incarcerations of persons
                              for months or years before their trials. In Colombia, State reported that
                              Colombia’s large backlog of over 3 million cases has overburdened the
                              judicial system, and that prosecutors and judges are struggling to transition
                              from traditional, written procedures, to an oral, adversarial system.



Justice Sector Institutions   U.S. assistance also has supported the creation and strengthening of new
Were Established and          institutions to implement the new codes and other reforms, such as judicial
                              councils that participate in selecting, training, and disciplining judges and
Strengthened, but Pilot       independent prosecutor’s offices to manage investigations and bring
Programs Have Not Been        criminal cases to trial. For example:
Widely Replicated
                              • In Bolivia, USAID assistance supported creating a judicial council in
                                1998 that reviews the qualifications of judicial candidates, evaluates the
                                performance of sitting judges, and manages a training center for judges.

                              • In Nicaragua, USAID has supported establishing a prosecutor’s office
                                that is independent of the executive branch that will implement the new
                                criminal procedures code.

                              The United States also has provided assistance to strengthen and
                              modernize justice sector institutions’ operational capabilities. For example,
                              USAID support helped establish a clerk of courts office in Guatemala City
                              that centralized case intake and management in one location for the city’s
                              11 criminal courts. A USAID study showed that after this office was
                              established in 1999, the annual number of cases that were unaccounted for
                              decreased from more than 1,000 to 2. USAID and the Justice Department
                              also have assisted in the publication of operations manuals for judges,



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prosecutors, and other legal operators to help clarify roles and
responsibilities and ensure uniform implementation of legal codes.

Judicial and law enforcement institutions that the United States has
assisted face resource constraints that make it difficult to sustain or
expand U.S-supported pilot projects. For example, in Bolivia, the
government lacked the resources to maintain or replicate a U.S.-funded
model prosecutor’s office, and the project ended with little impact. Also in
Bolivia, USAID supported a pilot case intake and management system for
judges. This system was designed to provide information on case
assignments and their progress through the judicial system. Originally
implemented in 1996, use of this system continues to be uneven due to
resource constraints, and the system has not been implemented on a
national level.

In Colombia, USAID had funded 13 oral trial courtrooms, in addition to 13
such courtrooms opened by Colombia’s judicial council. However, these
are the only oral trial courtrooms currently operating in the country, and a
major challenge will be to build similar courtrooms for the country’s more
than 2,000 municipal, circuit, and special jurisdiction judges. In one
regional court we visited in Colombia, USAID had built an oral hearing
room and equipped it with new recording equipment to facilitate this
transition. Although judges were holding regular oral hearings in this room,
this equipment was not used because the court could not afford audiotapes
(see fig. 6).




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                         Figure 6: Public Hearing Room Constructed with U.S. Government Funding in
                         Manizales, Colombia




New Legal Training Was   In five of the six countries we visited, USAID and the Justice Department
Introduced but Has Not   have provided extensive legal training to judges, prosecutors, investigators,
                         and public defenders on new criminal procedures codes, either directly or
Been Institutionalized   through support to training centers in host government institutions. For
                         example:

                         • In Bolivia, these agencies trained more than 5,000 justice operators on
                           the country’s new code through a variety of courses, seminars, and
                           “train-the-trainer” activities.

                         • In Colombia, USAID has assisted a training academy for judges by
                           supporting restructuring the school and its curriculum. The school has
                           trained 600 judges to be trainers, allowing the training to be replicated




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                            throughout the country. The Justice Department also has provided
                            extensive training to prosecutors and law enforcement personnel.

                         However, training centers for judges, prosecutors, and public defenders
                         have faced severe budgetary constraints, and in most cases do not operate
                         independent of U.S. assistance. For example, in Colombia, the director of
                         the judges training academy told us that its budget has been eliminated,
                         and the future operation of this center is uncertain. Similarly, a USAID-
                         supported training center within Colombia’s Public Defender’s Office lacks
                         a training budget. In Bolivia, the Attorney General told us that, without
                         international assistance, he could not afford to staff and adequately equip
                         his academy to train prosecutors to implement the country’s new criminal
                         procedures code.

                         USAID also has worked with some law schools in Bolivia, Colombia, El
                         Salvador, and Guatemala to revise their curricula to reflect new reforms
                         and provide more practical training in oral, public trials. For example,
                         USAID helped Guatemala’s National University implement a revised
                         curriculum for new law students with greater emphasis on ethics and
                         including courses on constitutional law and human rights.

                         Nonetheless, U.S. and host country officials in the countries we visited also
                         stated that legal education remains a major concern. Although law schools
                         in these countries have proliferated, officials stated that many schools do
                         not provide adequate legal training. In El Salvador, the validity of the
                         degrees and academic credentials of judges and attorneys has come into
                         question, as the Supreme Court has initiated an extensive review of justice
                         officials’ academic backgrounds. Host country officials in El Salvador
                         commented that poor quality legal education requires that lawyers and
                         judges be retrained once they enter the justice sector.



USAID Has Helped         USAID has supported efforts to increase citizens’ access to justice through
                         programs to provide legal services to poor citizens and communities (see
Increase Citizen         figs. 7 and 8). USAID’s access-to-justice assistance has focused on
Access to Justice, but
                         • establishing and strengthening public defender’s offices and
Sustainability and
Expansion of Services    • supporting decentralized justice centers and alternative dispute
Will Require Greater       resolution mechanisms.
Host Country Support

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Figure 7: Justice House in Manizales, Colombia, Constructed with U.S. Government
Funds




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Figure 8: Free Legal Consultation Provided by Colombian Official at a Justice House
Constructed with U.S. Government Funds




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Public Defenders              USAID has assisted in establishing or strengthening professional Public
Established for Poor, but     Defender’s Offices in five of the six countries we reviewed by helping build
                              political consensus for the creation of these offices and by providing
Availability and Quality of   operational support. USAID also has provided training and operation
Legal Defense Are Still       manuals and has supported computerized information systems for Public
Limited                       Defender’s Offices. The number of public defenders and the services they
                              provided has also increased, due in part to USAID contributions. For
                              example:

                              • In El Salvador, the number of public defenders increased from 25 in
                                1991 to over 300 in 2002, and USAID contributed to this increase by
                                initially paying public defender salaries. El Salvador’s Public Defender’s
                                Office now also has local and national coordinators, investigators, and
                                legal aids. This office handles an average of 35,000 cases per year, which
                                is approximately 95 percent of El Salvador’s criminal cases.

                              • In Guatemala, USAID supported creating an independent public
                                defender’s institute, as called for in the 1996 Peace Accords. In 2001, the
                                institute provided services to approximately 20,000 Guatemalans.

                              These newly created Public Defender’s Offices have faced severe budgetary
                              constraints and in some cases are not able to provide adequate services to
                              poor defendants nationwide. For example:

                              • In Nicaragua, the Public Defender’s Office, created in 1999, had only 13
                                attorneys when we visited, all of whom were located in the capital,
                                Managua. Since then, according to USAID 23 additional offices have
                                been established throughout Nicaragua, and the total number of public
                                defenders has increased to 47.

                              • Colombia’s public defenders work on a part-time contractual basis.
                                According to USAID’s justice contractor, these defenders have large
                                caseloads and are paid a low, fixed salary. Furthermore, Colombia’s
                                approximately 1,200 public defenders handle less than 10 percent of the
                                cases involving poor defendants. Private attorneys appointed by the
                                court to work on a pro bono basis handle the rest of the cases.

                              • In Bolivia, host country officials told us that the USAID-supported Office
                                of Public Defense, established in 1995, has not been adequately funded.
                                The office depends on external financing to fund the relatively low
                                public defender salaries. Bolivian officials stated that they have not been
                                able to adequately replace staff who left for higher salaries, and that in


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                                  criminal trials, public defenders are at a substantial disadvantage to
                                  prosecutors because they lack resources and support services.

                               The State Department’s most recent reports on human rights cited the
                               Public Defender’s Offices in four of the six countries as being
                               overburdened by large caseloads and not always able to provide qualified
                               attorneys for indigent defendants. In Nicaragua, State also cited public
                               defenders’ complaints that judges were continuing to sentence poor
                               defendants without the presence of a public defender, despite these
                               defendants’ right to legal counsel.



Justice Houses and Centers     In four of the six countries we reviewed, USAID has provided funds to
Bring Legal Services to Poor   support the creation of decentralized, community-based houses and
                               centers to provide greater access to the justice system and mediation to
Communities, but It Is Not
                               resolve domestic disputes.
Clear How the Centers Will
Be Sustained or Expanded       • In Colombia, “justice houses” (casas de justicia) have been built in
                                 poor, marginalized areas to provide dispute resolution and other legal
                                 services and help reinforce the presence of the Colombian government.
                                 Since 1995, 18 justice houses have been built, and USAID plans to
                                 expand this number to 40 by 2005. National institutions provide the
                                 staff, including prosecutors, public defenders, police inspectors, social
                                 workers, and mediators, while municipalities are expected to maintain
                                 the facilities.

                               • In Guatemala, 11 justice centers were built outside the capital along
                                 with 16 complementary mediation centers to serve indigenous
                                 communities near these centers. U.S. and Guatemalan officials stated
                                 that the centers have facilitated coordination of services and have
                                 improved local citizens’ experiences with the justice system.

                               • In Peru, the Ministry of Justice has established 32 conciliation centers
                                 and 31 legal aid clinics in poor communities.

                               • In El Salvador, a pilot project plans to open 6 justice houses by the end
                                 of 2003. These justice houses will focus on providing mediation services.

                               Despite the positive impact that the justice houses and centers appear to
                               have had, it is not clear how these projects will be supported by host




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                         governments or whether they will be able to operate without U.S.
                         assistance. Greater host country commitment of resources will be required
                         to make them more sustainable and to have a wider impact. For example:

                         • While Colombia’s Ministry of Justice and Interior has supported the
                           justice houses, it has not made a commitment to build more or take over
                           existing ones from USAID. Further, many Colombian municipalities face
                           severe resource constraints and may not be able to maintain and
                           support existing justice houses.

                         • Guatemala has had some success in expanding an aspect of the justice
                           center model from secondary cities to its capitol, Guatemala City,
                           improving officials’ ability to track criminal cases. However,
                           Guatemala’s justice centers are not currently sustainable without U.S. or
                           other donor support, according to USAID and contractor officials, and
                           the Guatemalan government has no plans to fully expand this justice
                           center model to the national level.

                         • In Peru, USAID funded pilot conciliation and legal aid centers by
                           nongovernmental organizations and municipalities as well as
                           government-operated centers in several major cities. USAID also has
                           helped the Peruvian government build its capacity to train, license, and
                           regulate a growing number of private conciliators. However, most pilot
                           centers that USAID helped create are now closed for lack of funds,
                           according to project officials. The Minister of Justice also told us that
                           the government lacks the resources to expand the number of
                           government-operated conciliation centers or provide meaningful
                           oversight to privately run centers.



U.S. Police Assistance   U.S. assistance to develop and strengthen the capacities of the police in the
                         six countries we reviewed was provided primarily by the Justice
Supporting Criminal      Department’s International Criminal Investigations Training and Assistance
Investigations and
Management of Police
Operations Has Had
Mixed Results




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Program (ICITAP).6 ICITAP’s assistance in these countries has focused
primarily on

• developing criminal investigations capabilities by providing training and
  equipment and

• supporting police management, accountability, and operations (see figs.
  9 and 10).



Figure 9: Forensics Equipment Donated by the U.S. Government to Improve
Criminal Investigative Capacity of Bolivian National Police in La Paz, Bolivia




6
 The State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
has also provided assistance to these six countries, primarily to specialized police units
focusing on counternarcotics crimes. We did not focus on counternarcotics assistance in
this report.




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                              Figure 10: U.S.-Funded Crime-Scene Management Training for Law Enforcement
                              Officials in San Salvador, El Salvador




Criminal Investigations       Five of the countries we reviewed have ICITAP police assistance
Capacities Are Supported      programs.7 A key focus of this assistance has been to strengthen police
                              criminal investigations capabilities by providing direct training to
through Training and          investigators in crime-scene management and coordinating with
Equipment, but                prosecutors, among other areas, and helping investigator schools prepare
Sustainability Is a Concern   to take over these functions. ICITAP also has provided equipment for
                              analyzing forensic evidence and has assisted in developing computerized
                              case management systems. In Guatemala, for example, ICITAP has




                              7
                              ICITAP is not currently operating in Peru.




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provided assistance to strengthen the criminal investigations unit within
the National Civilian Police, including training in investigative,
administrative, and case management skills, and supported an automated
case-tracking system.

In Colombia, ICITAP also has focused on providing training in criminal
investigations, developing internal training capabilities, and strengthening
forensics capabilities. Currently, ICITAP is providing assistance under Plan
Colombia and the Andean Regional Initiative, which is a more than $2
billion effort to assist the Colombian government in fighting illicit crop
production and improve its judicial and law enforcement capabilities.
ICITAP, with the Justice Department’s Office of Overseas Prosecutorial
Development, Assistance, and Training, has helped establish and
strengthen specialized investigative units that focus on money laundering,
human rights, anticorruption, and antinarcotics. In an effort to improve
interinstitutional coordination, these units include prosecutors, judicial
police, and other investigative personnel. In addition, ICITAP is
strengthening Colombia’s forensics capabilities in the country’s four
laboratory systems through standardized procedures, protocols, and new
equipment.

In El Salvador, USAID also is working in the criminal investigations area by
providing courses on joint crime-scene management as requested by El
Salvador’s Attorney General and Chief of Police. Prosecutors, police
investigators, and forensic specialists have attended this course to improve
police-prosecutor coordination in protecting and managing evidence.

U.S. assistance to strengthen criminal investigations capabilities has
provided extensive training and supported the development of internal
training centers. However, the impact of this assistance has been limited, in
some cases, due to the lack of political will for change and resource
constraints. In Guatemala, for example, U.S. officials stated that
corruption, funding problems, and the lack of political will for reform have
limited the impact of U.S. assistance to strengthen criminal investigations.
According to U.S. officials, key barriers to improving the police’s
investigative capabilities have been the lack of continuity of police
leadership and coordination problems between prosecutors and police,
including an inability of these institutions to agree on their roles. U.S.
officials in Guatemala further stated that the police-prosecutor dispute has
impeded effective crime-scene management and evidence handling, and




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the two institutions developed criminal laboratories with overlapping
functions.8

In Bolivia, ICITAP has supported training and provided equipment for the
criminal investigation unit, but the ICITAP program manager stated that
courses had to be repeated multiple times because of a high turnover of
officers within the unit. In addition, U.S. and Bolivian officials stated that
the Bolivian police are facing significant resource constraints that have
impeded their ability to operate and expand an ICITAP-supported case
management system that would link police units and records in different
cities. Originally designed as a nationwide system when it began in 1997,
ICITAP is now supporting implementation in five cities, and even in these
locations use of the system has varied. According to ICITAP officials, in
some cases, police have not paid telephone bills, causing service to be cut
off, which has been a major obstacle. Bolivian police officials told us that
resource constraints also have prevented them from purchasing fingerprint
powder and toner for printers, thus precluding full use of ICITAP-donated
equipment. ICITAP officials stated that Bolivia’s centralized administration
and management of the police have not been responsive to the resource
needs of departmental police units. In August 2002, the State Department’s
Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs defunded ICITAP’s police assistance
program in Bolivia. A State Department official said that the decision was
made on the basis of dissatisfaction with ICITAP headquarters’
management of the program. This official also stated that future U.S. police
assistance in Bolivia would be taken over by the State Department’s INL
and USAID. A Justice Department official said that State’s decision was a
reflection of a continuing disagreement between the State and Justice
Departments over the role of each agency in implementing and managing
criminal justice programs. The official noted that ICITAP headquarters had
provided the same management assistance throughout the region,
including to the successful program in El Salvador.

According to the State Department’s most recent human rights reports, the
police in each of the six countries continue to be involved in illegal
activities and were not always investigated for these activities. In
Guatemala, for example, State reported that there were credible allegations

8
 The U.S. embassy withheld $500,000 of assistance until the Attorney General and Director
of the Police signed an agreement that the two institutions would develop a single, unified
forensics lab. After a year’s delay, ICITAP has begun to disperse this assistance following the
signing of this agreement in 2002. However, the two institutions have yet to agree on which
institution will house and manage this laboratory.




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                             of the involvement of police officers in kidnappings, and that impunity for
                             police who commit criminal offenses remained a problem. In Bolivia, State
                             cited credible allegations that police were involved in abuses, including
                             excessive force, extortion, and improper arrests. State also reported that
                             investigations of these abuses were slow.



Police Management,           In addition to supporting criminal investigations, ICITAP also has provided
Accountability, and          assistance in police management, accountability, and operations. This
                             assistance has included training in police administration and management
Operations Were Supported,   and training to strengthen internal oversight. In Bolivia, ICTAP has
with the Most Positive       supported a new disciplinary code and Office of Professional
Results in El Salvador       Responsibility. ICITAP also has supported curriculum improvements for
                             Bolivia’s 4-year, university-level police academy. In addition, ICITAP has
                             provided technical assistance to draft a new police organizational law that
                             would decentralize operational and administrative decision-making
                             authority and assign resources to operational units, rather than through a
                             centrally controlled budget. To date, this legislation has not been passed
                             into law.

                             Among the countries we visited, ICITAP’s assistance appears to have had
                             the greatest impact in El Salvador. ICITAP has helped El Salvador’s
                             National Civilian Police by developing a strategic plan, supporting
                             standardizing and centralizing record keeping and reporting, and providing
                             a management course to command-level officers. ICITAP also has
                             supported development of the Police Academy since its inception in 1993
                             and has been able to scale back its assistance to the academy because
                             Salvadorans are now managing its operations and teaching most of its
                             courses. In addition, in an effort to address the country’s serious crime
                             problem, ICITAP has helped develop a new policing model, characterized
                             by increased use of crime statistics and the deployment of police patrols
                             with greater community visibility. Modeled on U.S. programs, this project
                             seeks to establish a permanent and highly visible police presence in urban
                             areas facing crime and involves greater community outreach. The national
                             police have implemented such patrols in 174 of El Salvador’s 262
                             municipalities, covering approximately 80 percent of the country’s
                             population. Police statistics show that certain crimes have been
                             significantly reduced in areas where these patrols have been deployed. For
                             example, these statistics show a 30 percent drop in overall crime, a 32
                             percent decrease in homicides, and a 25 percent drop in armed robberies.
                             The program also is being coordinated with an ICITAP-supported “9-1-1”
                             system that covers approximately 65 percent of the country’s population.



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Legislative Restrictions on   An additional factor related to implementation of police assistance is
Law Enforcement               section 660 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, which restricts the use of
                              foreign assistance funds for training and financial support for police or
Assistance May Inhibit Rule   other law enforcement forces of foreign governments. Specifically, the
of Law Programs               provision states that that these funds may not be used “to provide training
                              or advice, or provide any financial support, for police, prisons, or other law
                              enforcement forces for any foreign government or any program of internal
                              intelligence or surveillance on behalf of any foreign government.” This
                              prohibition was put in place in 19759 in response to human rights violations
                              committed by nondemocratic regimes receiving USAID public safety
                              assistance. USAID and the State Department have funded police assistance
                              programs in Latin America, implemented by the Justice Department, under
                              a series of exemptions that have subsequently been added to this provision.
                              For example, an exemption allows for U.S. assistance to support police in
                              the areas of investigative and forensic functions, the development of
                              academic instruction, and programs to improve the administrative and
                              management capabilities.10 The Justice Department’s program supporting
                              community-oriented police patrols in El Salvador has been permitted under
                              an additional exemption allowing assistance to strengthen civilian police
                              authority and capability in postconflict countries.

                              U.S. officials from the State and Justice Departments and USAID have told
                              us that section 660 is a barrier to developing, or planning effectively, for a
                              comprehensive, coordinated, and integrated justice sector assistance
                              program that includes the police. Under the prohibition on law
                              enforcement assistance, U.S. agencies may not be able to fully incorporate
                              law enforcement organizations into their programs supporting justice
                              sector reform. For example, a USAID official in Nicaragua stated that due
                              to this restriction, the agency could not include the police in its human
                              rights promotion programs or invite police officials to seminars and other
                              forums where their participation was considered to be critical to a
                              productive dialog on implementing justice sector reforms. These officials
                              stated that U.S. assistance providers should be able to plan their rule of law
                              assistance strategies on the basis of local country situations and not on
                              whether an exemption from the law can be justified. For example, the
                              USAID-funded assistance for community-oriented police patrols,
                              implemented by the Justice Department, was scheduled to terminate in

                              9
                              P.L. 93-559, sec. 30 (a).
                              10
                                   U.S. counternarcotics assistance is also exempted from the section 660 prohibition.




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              2003 because USAID’s General Council determined that the postconflict
              exemption permitting this program no longer applies in El Salvador.



Conclusions   U.S. rule of law assistance to Latin America supports criminal justice
              reforms, increased access to justice, and police investigative and
              management capabilities, and U.S. assistance has had an impact in each
              area. Due to budgetary constraints and other implementation difficulties,
              judicial and law enforcement institutions in the six countries we visited
              continue to rely to a large degree on U.S. and other international assistance
              to implement judicial reforms and other projects. U.S. and Latin American
              officials we interviewed stated that criminal justice reform in these
              countries is likely to be a long-term process, and it will likely take a number
              of years before these reforms are fully institutionalized. It is thus unclear at
              this time whether the initial results of U.S. assistance will be sustained or
              expanded to have greater impact. However, if U.S.-supported reforms are
              to become sustainable and have a larger impact, it appears that a long-term
              U.S. commitment and presence in providing rule of law assistance in these
              countries will be necessary.

              The State Department indicated that the Executive Branch should develop
              and propose to the Congress new legislation on law enforcement
              assistance that could be used to modify section 660 of the Foreign
              Assistance Act, to provide a clear statement of authority for providing law
              enforcement assistance abroad. The Justice Department stated that it
              would work with the State Department and USAID to consider whether
              changes to section 660 would be appropriate. This could be an important
              step in providing the Congress with options when considering how to
              better provide police assistance abroad.




              Page 45                                           GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
Chapter 3

Governance Assistance: Legislatures, Local
Government, and Anticorruption                                                                 Chapte3
                                                                                                     r




               Latin American governments have historically been highly centralized, and
               local governments have lacked authority and resources. In addition, the
               legislative branch of government has usually been weaker than the
               executive branch, and public sector corruption remains a serious problem.
               To address these conditions, U.S. assistance activities, implemented
               primarily by USAID, have focused on (1) strengthening legislatures by
               improving their planning, analytical, and citizen outreach capabilities; (2)
               improving democratic local governance by building the administrative
               capabilities of municipalities and promoting effective decentralization of
               government functions; and (3) combating corruption by raising citizen
               awareness of this problem and establishing laws, regulations, and internal
               control structures to enhance government accountability. Overall, we
               found that U.S. governance assistance has enabled all six countries to
               develop and adopt reforms to make government institutions more
               effective, accountable, and responsive to the needs of the people. Despite
               the initially positive results, the sustainability and scope of many of these
               programs is uncertain because of inconsistent political support and lack of
               resources.




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                               Government, and Anticorruption




Legislatures Initially         USAID’s legislative strengthening programs have aimed to

Increased Their                • improve legislative planning and infrastructure,
Planning,
                               • enhance legislative analytical and technical capabilities, and
Infrastructure,
Analytical, and                • increase citizen knowledge of and input into congressional activities.
Outreach Capacities,
                               As shown in table 3, U.S. legislative strengthening assistance has been
but Gains Have Eroded          provided to five of the six countries we visited, starting in the early 1990s
over Time                      and continuing off and on to the present.



                               Table 3: USAID Legislative Strengthening Assistance

                               Country                                      Assistance dates
                               Bolivia                                      1992 - 1996, 2001 - present
                               Colombia                                     Under discussion
                               El Salvador                                  1990 - present
                               Guatemala                                    1997 - 2000
                               Nicaragua                                    1991 - 2001
                               Peru                                         2001 - present
                               Source: USAID.




Legislative Planning and       USAID has provided support to help legislatures function more effectively
Infrastructure Strengthened,   and professionally by improving their planning and infrastructure in all five
                               countries where there are or have been legislative strengthening programs.
but Not All Improvements
                               USAID has generally done this by supporting the formation of
Have Lasted                    modernization committees, which have developed plans to improve
                               legislative infrastructure and processes, to encourage reform.

                               • In Nicaragua, modernization committee projects included upgrading the
                                 voting system, strengthening the legislature’s budget oversight
                                 capabilities, and creating a Web site to publicize legislative information.
                                 The Web site received 35,000 hits within the first 6 months that it was in
                                 operation.




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• In El Salvador, the legislature developed a master plan for
  modernization that has helped to facilitate a consensus across political
  lines regarding public participation in the legislative process.

In addition, USAID’s efforts to upgrade legislative infrastructure helped
create more professional and transparent working conditions.

• In El Salvador, semiprivate offices were constructed for all legislators,
  thereby enabling some members to work more professionally and some
  to increase the number of constituents they met with.

• In Nicaragua, according to USAID officials, a conference room for the
  National Assembly was equipped, and an electronic voting board was
  also provided to display and record individual members’ votes.

However, not all of these modernization committees are functioning today,
and the infrastructure improvements have not always been well
maintained. According to USAID and host government officials, there have
been problems in three of the five countries where USAID has had
legislative strengthening programs.

• In Nicaragua, former members of the modernization committee
  reported a decrease in the committee’s influence since the 2000
  elections and noted that the committee no longer has the administrative
  or political support of the legislature. Also, the Nicaraguan legislature
  invested its own funds to upgrade the electronic voting board, the
  technician responsible for operating it told us that he no longer had
  adequate funds to maintain or improve the voting board. Lastly, the
  conference room that USAID had helped to equip in Nicaragua is now
  being used solely by one party.

• In Bolivia, the modernization committee no longer functions.

• In Guatemala, after the 1999 elections the new majority party cut back
  staffing of the modernization program, thereby causing the program’s
  offices to decrease their operations.




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Legislative Analytical        USAID has supported efforts to establish and strengthen analytical
Capabilities Bolstered        capabilities in three of the five countries that have legislative strengthening
                              programs, thereby enabling them to develop laws and regulations in a more
Initially, but Most Gains     informed fashion and to improve their oversight of the executive branch.
Were Not Maintained
                              • In Bolivia, USAID helped establish a congressional research center and
                                a budget office to analyze the executive branch’s proposed budget. This
                                office identified approximately $43 million in errors in 1995.

                              • In Guatemala, assistance was provided to the Unit for Technical
                                Support, which produced about 150 studies. According to the former
                                manager of this unit, legislators now consider such reports necessary
                                before presenting a proposal to the legislature.

                              • In El Salvador, a unit was created to provide analytical studies to
                                legislators, staff, and committees.

                              In two of these countries, USAID’s efforts to provide analytical support to
                              legislatures have faced challenges due to changes in political support.

                              • In Bolivia, despite several years of positive impact, after the 1997
                                elections legislative branch institutions that USAID had supported,
                                including the congressional research center, lost credibility as neutral
                                entities and became ineffective, according to a 2001 USAID-sponsored
                                evaluation.

                              • In Guatemala, after the 1999 elections, the new majority party cut 18 of
                                24 legislative technician positions, drastically curtailing the legislature’s
                                analytical capacity.



Citizen Input into Congress   USAID also has assisted legislatures in increasing their constituent
Increased, but Outreach       outreach in all five countries with legislative strengthening programs and
                              has worked to provide more opportunities for citizens to have input into
Efforts Were Hindered by a
                              congressional activities.
Lack of Legislative Support
                              • In Peru, USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives provided assistance for
                                four congressional committees to hold public hearings. To inform
                                people about the congress, USAID supported seminars and a play that
                                was performed in 45 public high schools in Lima, Peru.




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• In El Salvador, three legislative outreach offices were built outside the
  capital. At one center we visited, representatives from three different
  political parties shared these offices. They stated that the presence of
  these offices has helped decrease partisanship. According to a USAID
  official, the legislature has been actively involved in setting program
  priorities and has paid for the outreach offices’ recurring costs.

• In Guatemala, three constituent outreach offices were established that
  implemented civic education initiatives, organized public hearings, and
  handled constituent casework.

In two countries, these outreach activities have not been sustained, owing
to a lack of consistent political support and in some cases politicization of
the project.

• The head of the Nicaraguan Office of Citizen Participation, which
  USAID helped to create, noted that her office has received little financial
  or political support from the legislature. In visiting the office, we
  observed that its location on the 10th floor of an office building in
  central Managua makes it less accessible and visible to citizens outside
  the capital (see fig. 11).

• USAID ended its legislative strengthening program in Guatemala after
  the 1999 elections when the constituent outreach office staff came
  under undue political pressure. Today the majority party runs the
  offices, and opposition legislators are not permitted to work there,
  according to USAID officials.




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                            Figure 11: The Nicaraguan Legislature’s Office of Citizen Participation, Established
                            with USAID Assistance




Some USAID Legislative      Some of USAID’s programs have helped leverage funding from other major
Programs Have Leveraged     donors for legislative strengthening programs.
Funding from Other Donors   • The Salvadoran congressional modernization plan helped the legislature
                              secure a loan from the IDB to support new information systems and
                              infrastructure.

                            • The current USAID program in Bolivia encouraged investment from the
                              World Bank, the IDB, and two private German foundations.

                            • In Peru, USAID expects that its project will complement a planned $10
                              million IDB technical assistance project.




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Local Governance and     U.S. programs to strengthen local governance, primarily implemented by
                         USAID and to a lesser extent by the Inter-American Foundation, aim to
Citizen Participation    increase the effectiveness, responsiveness, and accountability of municipal
Were Enhanced in         governments and to enhance citizen participation in local government.
Target Municipalities,   USAID’s local governance assistance has focused on
but Broader Impacts
Are More Difficult to    • strengthening municipal administrative, budgetary, and outreach
                           capabilities and increasing citizen participation in local government and
Achieve
                         • supporting national-level policy reform and institutions for
                           strengthening local governments.

                         As shown in table 4, local governance assistance has been provided in all of
                         the six countries we visited, with starting dates ranging from 1993 in El
                         Salvador to 2001 in Peru and Colombia.



                         Table 4: USAID Local Governance Assistance

                         Country                                      Assistance dates
                         Bolivia                                      1996 - present
                         Colombia                                     2001 - present
                         El Salvador                                  1993 - present
                         Guatemala                                    1998 - present
                         Nicaragua                                    1994 - 2001
                         Peru                                         2001 - present
                         Source: USAID.


                         In the late 1980s, Latin American governments began to make efforts to
                         decentralize their countries both fiscally and politically. Countries are
                         undertaking various decentralization activities, including developing a
                         nationwide decentralization program, addressing issues of financial
                         transfers and taxation, and focusing on municipal accountability and
                         citizen oversight.

                         With limited funding for local government, USAID has focused on a small
                         number of municipalities in each country, with the general aim that the
                         host country government, other donors, and other municipalities would
                         replicate the programs’ concepts. For example, in El Salvador, USAID is



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                               currently assisting 28 of 262 municipalities. In Colombia, USAID’s
                               democratic local governance program, run by several contractors, is
                               working intensively in 62 of 1,080 municipalities and is also providing
                               training to members of 226 city councils.



Administrative, Budgetary,     USAID’s local governance programs have helped many target
and Outreach Capabilities of   municipalities operate more effectively and responsively (see fig. 12).
Target Municipalities
                               • In El Salvador, target municipalities increased financial resources by 72
Strengthened                     percent between 1996 and 1999 by improving tax records and tax
                                 collection.

                               • Colombia’s program aims to help increase local tax resources by
                                 improving local land records and also partially funds small-scale social
                                 infrastructure projects, such as the installation of water meters designed
                                 to generate revenue to make local water systems sustainable. Mayors
                                 we met with noted that these projects helped enhance local government
                                 planning, budgeting, project design, implementation, and evaluation.

                               • In Bolivia, according to yearly surveys done by a USAID contractor
                                 between 1998 and 2000, citizens in USAID-assisted municipalities rated
                                 their local governments more highly on responsiveness than citizens in
                                 other municipalities.




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Figure 12: Acting Mayor of Leon, Nicaragua, One of the Municipalities That Received
USAID Assistance to Strengthen Local Governance




In addition, USAID programs have helped to increase citizen participation
in, and oversight of, municipal activities in target municipalities. Some of
the municipal oversight activities are closely tied in with USAID’s
anticorruption programs.

• In Guatemala, support was provided for municipalities’ efforts to
  disseminate information and organize public meetings to develop
  municipal plans and budgets.

• In Colombia, according to USAID data, more than 4,400 citizens have
  participated in the development, implementation, and oversight of 67
  municipal-level social infrastructure projects.




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On a smaller scale, the work of the Inter-American Foundation also
supports local governance through small-scale, grassroots-driven projects
that often increase and strengthen participation by citizens and civil society
organizations (see fig. 13). For example, in Peru, one Inter-American
Foundation grantee organization described how they helped raise women’s
awareness of their rights, resulting in increased women’s participation in
municipal affairs. The Inter-American Foundation also funded a Bolivian
foundation that helped increase the involvement of small-scale rural
enterprises, cooperatives, and mayors in defining a national poverty-
reduction strategy. From 1997 to 2001, the Inter-American Foundation
estimates it funded $34.3 million of projects that had some effect on local
governance in the six countries we visited.



Figure 13: A Meeting Organized by USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives to
Educate Citizens from Rural Peru about the Country's New Decentralization Program




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Replication Outside Target   According to our observations and discussions with USAID and contractor
Municipalities Was Mainly    staff, the impact of USAID local governance programs projects has mainly
                             extended outside target municipalities in Bolivia and El Salvador.
Limited to Bolivia and El
Salvador                     • In Bolivia, where the government has accepted USAID’s approach to
                               working with local governments to replicate programs, impact has been
                               broad. According to USAID, 175 of 314 municipalities in Bolivia now
                               employ some of these participatory methods. Subnational associations
                               of municipalities and departmental municipal associations have also
                               been trained to replicate aspects of USAID’s programs. An Internet
                               portal has also been funded that would enable municipalities to share
                               best practices, have more transparent procurement, expand their
                               financial base, and pursue advocacy and networking.

                             • The Salvadoran government has made participatory municipal planning
                               a prerequisite for some government disbursements. The Salvadoran
                               National Municipal Association estimated that in 2001, 160 of 262
                               municipalities used some form of citizen participation.

                             In Bolivia and El Salvador, USAID has helped create materials that provide
                             guidelines for municipalities and implementers on strengthening local
                             governance and increasing citizen participation.

                             • In El Salvador, a manual on the basic criteria for participatory municipal
                               planning was developed, in consultation with other donors. The
                               Salvadoran government has begun to use this manual to measure
                               progress in participation and transparency in all municipalities.

                             • In Bolivia, the IDB has funded the publication of manuals, originally
                               developed with USAID support, that were made available to all 314
                               municipalities.

                             While these manuals have helped increase the scope and sustainability of
                             USAID’s programs in individual countries, they have not been widely or
                             systematically shared among USAID missions where there are local
                             governance programs. According to USAID officials in Washington, D.C.,
                             there is no central repository for these materials, which are usually
                             produced by contractors. USAID mission staff we spoke with agreed that
                             materials developed by USAID and its contractors are often not shared
                             across missions.




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                              Other donors have also helped replicate USAID’s projects and expand their
                              impact beyond target municipalities.

                              • A municipal-level integrated financial management system implemented
                                in 4 municipalities in El Salvador will be extended a $2 million IDB
                                project in at least 20 additional municipalities. In addition, the IDB and
                                the Salvadoran government are planning a joint $2 million project to
                                replicate USAID’s methodology of linking participatory development
                                plans to municipal budget support.

                              • In Bolivia, USAID, a German foundation, and the Dutch Embassy have
                                adopted a common methodology for municipal strengthening.



USAID’s Municipal-Level       USAID’s efforts to assist target municipalities have been constrained by
Efforts Were Constrained by   limited municipal resources and skills and by staff turnover. Although these
                              conditions exist in other countries, they were most evident in our visits to
Limited Municipal             Nicaragua and Guatemala.
Resources and Skills and by
Staff Turnover                • According to USAID officials, Nicaraguan municipalities do not have the
                                authority to set local taxes, which have been lowered in some cases by
                                the national government to attract foreign investment.

                              • Representatives from a Nicaraguan institute that works with
                                municipalities expressed concern that local officials may not possess
                                the appropriate skills to handle increased governance responsibilities.
                                USAID officials in Nicaragua and contractor staff in Guatemala said
                                municipal staff turnover has exacerbated this problem, as newly elected
                                mayors have fired existing staff and brought in less experienced
                                personnel.

                              • Municipal staff in Guatemala also stated that they were frustrated about
                                their lack of resources, noting that it was difficult to put into practice
                                USAID’s method of participatory planning since there were few funds to
                                implement projects.




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Policy Reforms Adopted        At the national level in all six countries, USAID has helped develop policies
and Institutions              and institutions that support municipalities, often by working with national
                              municipal associations.
Strengthened at the
National Level, but Results   • In Peru, policy advice has been given to the government for a
Affected by Level of            nationwide decentralization program scheduled to begin in 2003. As part
Political Support for           of this support, the Prime Minister’s office reviewed local experiences
Decentralization                with decentralization and a congressional committee held public
                                hearings to obtain input into its draft decentralization law.

                              • In Guatemala, USAID supported national-level working groups on
                                municipal indebtedness and tax codes.

                              • In Colombia, USAID is helping the Colombian Federation of
                                Municipalities organize meetings among mayors and local leaders at the
                                regional level to discuss areas for policy reform.

                              • In Nicaragua, the National Association of Municipalities, which advises
                                and advocates for municipalities, was established and strengthened.

                              However, USAID’s work in this area has been affected by the level of
                              political support for decentralization, which varies by country.

                              • In Nicaragua, municipal officials and representatives of the national
                                municipal association noted that the past government had provided
                                little political or financial support to municipalities. Subsequent to our
                                visit, the current government passed three decentralization laws in May
                                2002, according to a USAID official. The lack of a municipal civil service
                                law, for example, has posed obstacles to efforts to train local officials.

                              • Although the Bolivian government’s support for decentralization
                                decreased after the 1997 elections, USAID continued to work and have
                                an impact at the municipal level because the key decentralization law
                                was already in place.

                              • In El Salvador, USAID’s program has been assisted by the government’s
                                commitment to implement a supportive policy agenda.




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Anticorruption Policies      USAID anticorruption assistance has focused on

and Procedures Have          • supporting reforms in anticorruption legislation and regulations,
Been Implemented in
                             • introducing programs to make national and municipal government
Some Countries, but            institutions more transparent and accountable, and
the Long-term Impact
Is Not Yet Evident           • fostering citizen awareness and oversight.

                             As shown in table 5, U.S. anticorruption assistance has been provided in
                             five of the six countries we visited, beginning with Peru in 1995.



                             Table 5: USAID Anticorruption Assistance

                             Country                                                                 Assistance dates
                             Bolivia                                                                 N/A
                             Colombia                                                                2001 - present
                             El Salvador                                                             2000 - present
                             Guatemala                                                               2001 - present
                             Nicaragua                                                               1994 - 2001
                             Peru                                                                    1995 - 2000
                                                                                                     2001 - presenta
                             Source: USAID.
                             a
                             Small-scale program through USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives.




Anticorruption Legislation   USAID’s anticorruption activities have helped countries develop
Was Developed; Some          anticorruption legislation and regulations. In Nicaragua, for example,
                             USAID provided recommendations for the 2001 National Budget Law and
Institutions Are More        worked with the National Assembly’s Anticorruption Commission to
Transparent and              promote civil service reform. In both Colombia and El Salvador, USAID has
Accountable; and Citizen     supported measures to increase the accountability of public servants,
Awareness Has Increased      including the development of a code of ethics.

                             USAID also has helped government institutions take steps to become more
                             transparent and accountable.




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• In Nicaragua, USAID collaborated with other donors to help develop an
  integrated financial management system. This system, when fully
  operational, will enable the Ministry of Finance to track the spending of
  13 government ministries, the National Assembly, and the courts (see
  fig. 14).1

• In Colombia, the government adopted regulations that will require 3,000
  national and subnational entities to follow standardized internal control
  processes that were recommended by USAID.



Figure 14: Nicaragua’s Integrated Financial Management System Was Developed
with Assistance from USAID Funds




1
 The general model for this type of integrated financial management system in Latin
America was developed by the USAID-funded Americas’ Accountability/Anticorruption
Project. Similar systems are being developed in other Latin American countries.




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                               Note: When Nicaragua’s Integrated Financial Management System is fully implemented, it will enable
                               the Ministry of Finance to track the spending of other ministries.


                               USAID-supported anticorruption programs have also helped citizens
                               become more aware and active regarding corruption issues.

                               • In Colombia, an anticorruption campaign reached 23 million people
                                 through radio and television spots.

                               • According to a study by a USAID contractor,2 Nicaraguans have become
                                 better informed about corruption issues as a result of a USAID-
                                 supported national anticorruption awareness campaign.

                               • Municipal-level public oversight in El Salvador and Colombia has
                                 increased as a result of local citizen watchdog groups that have been
                                 supported by USAID.



USAID’s Programs Are           Despite some initial success, the broader impact and sustainability of
Challenged by a Lack of        USAID’s anticorruption programs are still unclear. Transparency
                               International, which is an international nongovernmental organization that
Consistent Political Support
                               focuses on combating corruption, concurs that although there have been
and by the Broad Scope of      some positive developments in the region, the results of anticorruption
Corruption                     programs have been modest so far. According to our observations and
                               discussions with USAID and host country officials, USAID’s projects have
                               been hindered by politicization and a lack of consistent political support.

                               • In Nicaragua, for example, the Comptroller General’s Office, which
                                 USAID had been supporting with technical assistance and training, was
                                 reorganized. Now, a committee of political appointees runs it, impairing
                                 its objectivity. In addition, according to a high-ranking Nicaraguan
                                 official, in 2001 the Ministry of Finance fired experienced staff that had
                                 been trained as part of the USAID- and World Bank-supported integrated
                                 financial management system, resulting in lost institutional memory and
                                 expertise.

                               • In Peru, the Comptroller General’s Office has been unable to fully
                                 implement its oversight plans owing to a lack of political or financial


                               2
                                Mitchell A. Seligson, Nicaraguans Talk about Corruption: A Follow-Up Study of Public
                               Opinion (Arlington, Va.: Casals and Associates for USAID, 1999).




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                 support from the government, according to USAID and Peruvian
                 officials.

              Finally, the systemic nature of corruption in Latin America, combined with
              public skepticism about anticorruption efforts, poses a major challenge for
              USAID’s programs. Although the political leaders of countries such as
              Colombia and Nicaragua have stated that combating corruption is a high
              priority, both USAID and the host countries are in the relatively early stages
              of addressing a broad and deeply rooted problem in the region.
              Transparency International notes that despite some progress, corruption
              remains widespread in the region, and the credibility of institutions is low.
              According to a 2002 study focusing on four Latin American countries,
              higher levels of corruption are significantly associated with lower levels of
              support for the political system.3 This is the case in El Salvador, according
              to a 1999 study, where Salvadorans who were victims of corruption
              demonstrated less support for the political system than those who were
              not.4 In Nicaragua, public sector corruption is endemic, according to
              USAID, and the public has little confidence in many government
              institutions, in part because of this corruption. According to a 2001 survey
              by a USAID anticorruption contractor, more than 70 percent of the
              Colombians surveyed considered corruption to be common in government
              institutions. A work plan prepared by the same USAID contractor cited a
              recent World Bank survey indicating that the same percentage of
              respondents considered the Colombian Congress to be corrupt or very
              corrupt. According to this USAID contractor, widespread public skepticism
              exists regarding the national government’s effort to combat corruption.
              USAID has noted that this lack of confidence poses challenges to its work
              in Colombia.



Conclusions   U.S. governance-related assistance programs have enabled the six
              countries we visited to take limited steps toward more effective,
              responsive, and accountable government institutions. In some cases, other
              donors have taken steps to replicate or expand USAID’s programs. At the
              same time, however, USAID’s governance programs have been challenged


              3
               Mitchell A. Seligson, “The Impact of Corruption on Regime Legitimacy: A Comparative
              Study of Four Latin American Countries,” Journal of Politics 64 (May 2002), 418, 423, 424.
              4
               Mitchell A. Seligson, Ricardo Cordova Macias, and Jose Miguel Cruz, Democracy Audit: El
              Salvador 1999 (USAID, 1999), 96.




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by inconsistent political will and resource constraints. In light of this
modest progress and the continued obstacles to reform, it is unlikely that
U.S. governance-related assistance will be able to produce sustainable
results without ongoing, long-term involvement.




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Human Rights                                                                                              Chapte4
                                                                                                                r




                   Human rights



               Many Latin American countries have suffered from decades of
               authoritarian rule and internal conflict. Guatemala, Peru, and Colombia in
               particular have endured terrorism, massacres, and forced disappearances.
               While the human rights situation in Peru and Guatemala1 has slowly
               improved over the last few years, the situation in Colombia2 has
               deteriorated even further. U.S. human rights assistance to Latin America
               has supported efforts to foster greater awareness of, and respect for,
               human rights.

               From 1992 to 2002, Guatemala, Peru, and Colombia were among the largest
               recipients of USAID human rights funding in Latin America. U.S. assistance
               efforts to improve the human rights situation in these countries have
               included technical assistance for the creation of government agencies that
               address human rights problems, training programs, education programs,


               1
                Guatemala suffered from more than 34 years of a civil war that ended in 1996; during the
               war, state forces and related paramilitary groups engaged in a brutal campaign of repression
               against insurgent groups and civilians. In Peru, the period between 1980 and 2000 was one of
               terrorism and armed conflict, when the Shining Path and Tupac Amaru terrorist groups and
               the Peruvian military killed an estimated 30,000 civilians and tortured or forcibly
               “disappeared” thousands more. Under the administration of President Fujimori, civil
               liberties were severely curbed and thousands of innocent people were wrongfully detained
               without trial.
               2
                In Colombia, the current conflict between the paramilitaries; guerillas; and, to a lesser
               extent, the military has continued for almost four decades, and the longevity and the recent
               escalation of the violence have adversely affected the lives of millions of civilians. More
               than 1.1 million people have been internally displaced from their homes, and tens of
               thousands more have been murdered. Colombia also has the highest rate of kidnappings in
               the world, with the guerilla and paramilitary groups committing 3,706 kidnappings in 2000
               alone.




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                      and the provision of protection for threatened individuals. For the most
                      part, the impact of these projects has been positive, but they are limited in
                      scope and hindered by a lack of resources. Often, political and logistical
                      problems must be resolved for these programs to work better. Despite
                      some improvements in governments’ respect for human rights in these
                      countries, serious problems persist. In some cases, longer term project
                      results may be difficult for host governments to sustain owing to high
                      recurring costs.

                      As shown in table 6, the U.S. government has provided human rights
                      assistance over the past decade to Colombia, Guatemala, and Peru.



                      Table 6: U.S. Human Rights Assistance in Three Countries

                      Country                         Assistance dates
                      Colombia                        1996 - present
                      Guatemala                       1993 - 1994, 2000 - present
                      Peru                            1994 - present
                      Source: USAID.




U.S. Human Rights     U.S. human rights assistance has had a positive impact in the three
                      countries we reviewed that have a current human rights program. In
Assistance Has        Guatemala, Peru, and Colombia, human rights assistance has addressed
Increased Awareness   past abuses, protected threatened individuals, and prevented future
                      abuses. These efforts have fostered an increased awareness among the
and Government        citizenry as to what rights the efforts have, and they have increased
Accountability        government accountability. Provided primarily by USAID, human rights
                      assistance in these countries has focused on

                      • preventing future human rights abuses by promoting greater public
                        awareness and mechanisms to address potential incidents;

                      • protecting human rights by providing physical, economic, and legal
                        assistance to threatened individuals and communities; and

                      • responding to past abuses by supporting reconciliation commissions as
                        well as the investigation and prosecution of human rights violations.




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Mechanisms Were Put in   USAID assistance programs have served to foster greater citizen awareness
Place to Prevent Human   of human rights and have provided mechanisms for government action in
                         support of human rights. For example, in Colombia, USAID has supported
Rights Abuses            the creation of a national information network, called the “Early Warning
                         System,” for citizens, nongovernmental organizations, and local authorities
                         to report signs of impending massacres or other human rights violations in
                         their communities by any of the irregular armed groups involved in that
                         country’s ongoing conflict.3 If a threat is deemed real, the military, police, a
                         national social service organization, or all three, will be alerted to take
                         appropriate action. As of August 2002, USAID had provided $600,000 of a
                         total planned investment of $3.1 million to support direct technical
                         assistance and training for the network as well as to establish its central
                         office. USAID also has helped establish 13 regional offices out of a planned
                         15, although the Early Warning System director said even more offices
                         would be needed. According to its Coordinator, the Early Warning System
                         has been publicized on the Internet and advertised on both television and
                         radio to inform citizens about its existence. This project appears to have
                         facilitated citizens’ ability to recognize and report potential human rights
                         threats as well as allowed them to hold the government directly responsible
                         for taking action. From June 2001 through August 2002, 150 alerts were
                         emitted, of which the military, the police, or both, responded to 107. The
                         Early Warning System director estimates that this response has saved
                         90,000 people from being victimized, although no actual results indicators
                         have been developed.

                         Although the Early Warning System is a unique tool for preventing large-
                         scale human rights violations and has great potential for replication,
                         coordination problems could hinder its proper implementation and
                         ultimate impact. The director admitted that smooth communication
                         between the regional and central offices can be problematic on the
                         weekends, particularly Sundays, when the central office is not staffed. The
                         system does not appear to have adequate backup communications methods
                         and at times relies on one cell phone to ensure that alerts are transmitted to
                         the appropriate authorities. Furthermore, government authorities have not




                         3
                          These groups include the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (also know as the
                         “FARC”), the National Liberation Army (also known as the “ELN”), and the right-wing
                         paramilitary forces (known by their umbrella organization, the United Self-Defense Groups
                         of Colombia, or “AUC”).




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                       always responded consistently to alerts and have failed to avert major
                       human rights violations.4



Increased Protection   The U.S. government also has supported the creation of protection
Provided for Some      programs for threatened citizens in Colombia. The Justice Department
                       supports both a witness and a judicial protection program. Both of these
Threatened Citizens    programs place special emphasis on operational security5 and seek to
                       ensure safe participation in judicial proceedings for witnesses, judges,
                       investigators, and prosecutors. USAID supports a separate protection
                       program for human rights defenders. As of August 2002, USAID has helped
                       protect 2,776 individuals from irregular armed groups.6 In response to
                       lobbying from the human rights community, the Colombian government
                       has expanded the target protected population to include criminal
                       witnesses, union leaders, journalists, leftist party members, mayors (all
                       1,098 of Colombia’s mayors were threatened with kidnapping or death by
                       the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia if they did not resign in
                       2002), council members, and municipal human rights workers. In the 5-year
                       period between 1997 and 2002, the Colombian government spent
                       approximately $25 million on the project. Resources, however, are too
                       limited to help all vulnerable groups of people or even to keep pace with
                       the increasing demand for individual protection. Nevertheless, the program
                       demonstrates that the Colombian government is taking some action to
                       protect threatened citizens.




                       4
                        For example, in May 2002, a massacre occurred in the municipality of Bojaya. In this
                       instance, the Early Warning System had issued an alert ahead of time, but the military did
                       not respond. During the ensuing clash with paramilitaries, the Revolutionary Armed Forces
                       of Colombia launched a gas cylinder bomb and hit the roof of a church where citizens had
                       taken refuge—killing 119 people, 40 of them children, and injuring over 100 additional
                       people.
                       5
                        Operational security focuses on the provision of armored vehicles; the architectural design
                       of a “safe site” for witnesses; the purchase of computers, radios, audio-visual equipment,
                       etc.; and the training of protective force personnel.
                       6
                        This assistance includes both “soft” and “hard” protection. Soft protection refers to
                       relocation and economic assistance, and hard protection includes armored vehicles and
                       offices as well as communication devices, such as radios and cellular phones. USAID also
                       has provided office equipment and information systems software to the government of
                       Colombia to manage the protection program.




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Official Response Provided   USAID human rights programs also have fostered greater government
for Some Past Abuses         responsiveness to allegations of past or ongoing human rights abuses. For
                             example, the Human Rights Promoters Network operated by the
                             Colombian government educates citizen leaders about their rights
                             protected by law. These leaders are expected to promote greater human
                             rights awareness by replicating the training in their own communities,
                             particularly for those groups most vulnerable to human rights violations.

                             USAID also has been instrumental in supporting the creation of Human
                             Rights Ombudsman Offices in five of the six countries by providing
                             technical assistance, office equipment, and salaried professionals. These
                             offices address citizen complaints, investigate officials accused of human
                             rights violations, and propose human rights legislation. The State
                             Department has reported that despite providing a legal channel for citizen
                             complaints, funding problems have undermined sustainability and
                             credibility of the ombudsman offices in Colombia and Nicaragua.
                             Furthermore, the ombudsman has at times temporarily cast the entire
                             office in a negative light, as in the case of Guatemala, where an
                             ombudsmamn was accused of corruption. Various government officials,
                             however, stated that, according to public opinion polls in Peru and Bolivia,
                             the ombudsman’s office is one of the most highly respected public
                             organizations.

                             In Guatemala, USAID helped the Attorney General’s Office design the first
                             Victims Assistance Office in Latin America in 1997, staffed with full-time
                             doctors, nurses, social workers and lawyers to provide aid to victims of
                             crime and gather evidence for potential prosecution (see fig. 15). Since
                             then, each of Guatemala’s 23 departments has established at least one such
                             office.




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Figure 15: USAID-supported Victims Assistance Center Managed by the Attorney
General’s Office, Guatemala City, Guatemala




USAID human rights programs have also fostered greater justice and
resolution for victims and their families. For example, the Foundation for
Anthropological Forensics of Guatemala, with funding from USAID, has
been carrying out exhumations of clandestine cemeteries created during
Guatemala’s 34-year civil war (see fig. 16). These efforts have helped to
prove that massacres occurred, put questions about loved ones to rest, and
aided in national reconciliation efforts. Peru’s Truth and Reconciliation
Commission is carrying out exhumation efforts with similar goals and also
is investigating culpability for atrocities. One of the commissioners with
whom we met stated that U.S. assistance has been critical for the
functioning of the commission, keeping it in operation when the Peruvian
government was delayed in providing promised funding. The commission’s
work is expected to culminate in a July 2003 report that will make
recommendations for government reparations.




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Figure 16: Coffins used by USAID-supported Foundation for Anthropological
Forensics to Reinter Remains Exhumed from Mass Graves in Guatemala




Finally, the Justice Department has also worked to achieve justice and
resolution for victims of human rights violations in Colombia. The
department has trained special units of prosecutors and investigators to
pursue major human rights cases and high-impact crimes, such as
massacres, bombings, and kidnappings, in the criminal justice system.
From August 2001 to August 2002, special units operating out of eight cities
prosecuted 167 cases against irregular armed groups, including high-profile



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                        cases such as the assassination attempt on then-presidential candidate
                        Alvaro Uribe in 2002 and various massacres across the country (see fig. 17).
                        According to the Justice Department, it has plans to help the Colombian
                        government expand the number and size of these units in fiscal years 2003
                        and 2004.



                        Figure 17: Human Rights Units Using Forensics Equipment Provided by the Justice
                        Department to Investigate a Crime Scene in San Jose de Apartado, Colombia




Despite Improvements,   According to the State Department’s most recent human rights reports,
Serious Human Rights    although government respect for human rights has improved in some
                        cases, serious problems still remain. In Peru, State reports that in recent
Problems Persist        years the government has demonstrated greater respect for human rights
                        advocates and had generally improved its relationship with civil society. In
                        Guatemala, State reports that the government generally respects the
                        human rights of its citizens, but its willingness and ability to prosecute and
                        convict human rights violators is seriously limited, and that the police and


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                           military may be involved in illegal executions. In Colombia, the
                           government's human rights record remained poor, according to State; there
                           were continued efforts to improve the legal framework and institutional
                           mechanisms for protecting human rights, but implementation lagged, and
                           serious problems remained in many areas. For example, members of the
                           police and armed forces have committed serious human rights abuses and
                           have collaborated with paramilitary insurgents in doing so, but they have
                           rarely been brought to justice. Government security forces also often failed
                           to take action to prevent paramilitary attacks, according to the State
                           Department report.



Outlook for Human Rights   The long-term outlook for many U.S. human rights assistance projects
Assistance                 differs from most of the other programs we reviewed. Some human rights
                           efforts that the United States is supporting, such as Peru’s Truth
                           Commission, are short term and are projected to end on a specific date.
                           Other projects, such as assistance to Colombia’s internally displaced
                           persons, are fundamentally humanitarian in nature and may require outside
                           support for as long as there is internal conflict. Funding for some longer
                           term projects, however, is questionable owing to potentially high recurring
                           costs. For example, the Colombian human rights units trained by the
                           Justice Department still have a very limited national presence and depend
                           on U.S. support to update and expand their training and equipment. It is not
                           clear whether the Colombian government will expand these units on a
                           national basis.



Conclusions                The United States has provided Colombia, Guatemala, and Peru with some
                           important tools to help address the human rights problems. Nonetheless,
                           human rights remain a major concern in Colombia and Guatemala. Given
                           the magnitude and political complexity of these problems and the limited
                           scope of U.S. assistance, the tools that the United States has provided are
                           likely to have only a marginal impact on these problems.




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                         Over the last two decades, many Latin American countries have
                         transitioned to democracy and most countries in the region have held
                         elections regularly. Although U.S. election-related assistance has supported
                         efforts that have contributed to free and fair elections in the six countries
                         we reviewed, most of this assistance has gone to three of these countries—
                         Nicaragua, Peru, and El Salvador—to help them improve electoral
                         institutions and enhance voter access. U.S. officials noted that of these
                         three countries, only Nicaragua is likely to require significant international
                         support before its next major election.



The United States Has    The United States has been the largest donor of election-related assistance
                         in many of the six countries we visited, and USAID has provided the bulk of
Primarily Targeted       this aid, almost $66 million, during fiscal years 1990 through 2002.1 Most of
Three Countries with     this assistance went to Nicaragua ($27 million), Peru ($20 million), and El
                         Salvador ($13 million). The State Department, the National Endowment for
Assistance in Election   Democracy, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, and
Administration, Voter    the International Republican Institute provided smaller amounts of
Access, and Electoral    additional election assistance to some of these countries. The last two
                         organizations have also used USAID election funds in some of these
Observation              countries, according to representatives from these institutions.

                         As shown in table 7, USAID provided electoral assistance to all six of the
                         countries visited, starting in 1990 and continuing off and on to the present.


                         1
                          In this chapter, we report USAID assistance from fiscal years 1990 through 2002 because of
                         the substantive amount of assistance provided to support the 1990 Nicaraguan elections.




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Table 7: USAID Election Assistance in the Six Countries

Country                                 Assistance dates
Bolivia                                 1991 - 1999
Colombia                                2002
El Salvador                             1991, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2000
Guatemala                               1990 - 1992, 1994 - 1997, 1999, 2002
Nicaragua                               1990, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2002
Peru                                    1993 - 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002
Sources: GAO (analysis) and USAID (data).


Overall, U.S. election assistance activities have focused on

• improving election administration by building the institutional capacity
  of electoral authorities,

• enhancing voter access by improving voter registration and education
  and supporting electoral reform, and

• legitimizing election results by supporting electoral observation by
  domestic and international groups.

USAID also has recently helped improve election administration in Peru
and Nicaragua by strengthening the capabilities of electoral authorities. In
Peru, USAID supported staff training, technical assistance, election
planning, logistics, information systems, and transmission of results by
providing almost $3.3 million in assistance before the 2001 national
elections. The agency also provided support at a lower level to help run
Peru’s 2002 regional and local elections. In Nicaragua, USAID has provided
similar types of election administration support since 1990, including more
than $1.8 million to the electoral authority for administrative
enhancements in planning, logistics, information technology, and
transmission of results before the 2001 national elections.

U.S. assistance also has helped enhance voter access to the electoral
system by improving voter registration and education in El Salvador,
Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Peru. In El Salvador, according to USAID
officials, the agency supported the establishment of civil and voter
registries and helped issue 937,000 single identity documents, out of an
expected total of 3.2 million documents, which will be used as official voter
identification in future elections. On the basis of an electoral reform



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enacted with USAID support, the Salvadorian electoral authority plans to
use the new voter registry to assign voters to polling stations closer to their
residence for the 2004 presidential elections, thereby further improving
voter access. In Nicaragua, USAID also provided support for registration
efforts before the 2001 elections. This assistance helped about 150,000
citizens obtain voting credentials, according to USAID. To support
Guatemala’s 2003 elections, USAID, through OAS, is providing $750,000 in
assistance to fund voter registration activities to increase the access of the
population to the electoral system. In Peru, USAID funded voter-training
activities conducted by nongovernmental groups before the 2001 national
elections and the 2002 regional elections.

In Peru, El Salvador, and Guatemala, U.S. election-related assistance also
has supported electoral reform efforts to improve voter access, with
limited success. This assistance has focused on enhancing the rules and
procedures governing the electoral system in order to improve political
participation of the population. In Peru, USAID provided support for
electoral reforms that were proposed following the 2001 national elections,
but these reforms have not yet been enacted. In El Salvador and
Guatemala, following the signing of those countries’ Peace Accords in 1992
and 1996, respectively, the agency supported efforts to improve electoral
rules and procedures and increase political participation of the population,
including participation of women, indigenous groups, and rural
populations. In El Salvador, USAID supported the drafting of four
proposals to reform political parties, the electoral authority, electoral
procedures, and proportional representation. In Guatemala, the agency
supported efforts to develop an electoral and political parties law and to
facilitate public discussion of various other proposals under consideration.
These reforms are still being considered in the El Salvadoran and
Guatemalan legislatures.

U.S. assistance has recently helped legitimize election results by supporting
election observation in Peru, Nicaragua, and Colombia by domestic and
international groups. In Peru’s 2001 elections, for instance, USAID provided
more than $2.1 million to field election observers from the Peruvian
Ombudsman’s Office; the Organization of American States; the National
Democratic Institute; the Carter Center; and Transparencia, which is a
local nongovernmental group (see fig. 18). USAID also provided a similar
amount to fund international and domestic observers of Nicaragua’s 2001
elections and $325,000 to support OAS observers of Colombia’s 2002
elections.




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                          Figure 18: Poll Workers Organizing Voting Materials before Opening a Polling
                          Station in Lima, Peru, during the April 2001 National Elections




U.S. Assistance Has       The State Department has noted in its human rights reports, on the basis of
                          reports by domestic and international observation groups, that elections in
Helped Ensure Free        the six countries have been generally free and fair, with the exception of
and Fair Elections, but   the seriously flawed and controversial 2000 Peruvian national elections.
                          This pattern of free and fair elections is consistent with the elections held
Nicaragua May Still       in other countries in the region since many of these countries started their
Need Additional           transition to democracy almost two decades ago.
Assistance
                          Looking toward the future, USAID officials stated that Peru and El
                          Salvador might require significantly less international assistance to run
                          upcoming elections. USAID officials highlighted that these countries have
                          enhanced their institutional capabilities to run elections, as demonstrated
                          by the widely recognized legitimacy of their recent elections and the
                          decreasing international support required by their electoral authorities for
                          conducting elections. These officials noted that USAID does not plan to
                          fund any electoral activities in Peru and after the 2003 elections in El
                          Salvador (see fig. 19).




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Figure 19: Voters Waiting to Enter Polling Station in Lima, Peru, during the April
2001 National Elections




On the other hand, Nicaragua, which has received the largest amount of
U.S. election assistance, will likely require significant international aid to
run its next major election, according to USAID officials. These officials
noted that the Nicaraguan electoral authority, despite efforts to improve it,
still faces major financial, planning, and organizational problems. For
example, this electoral authority is still highly politicized and exhibits
serious institutional and managerial weaknesses that compromise its
ability to run elections. Also, Nicaragua’s civil and voter registries are
outdated, and many voter documents used in the 2001 national election
were temporary or will expire soon, leaving the challenge of registering a
large number of voters before the next election. In their final 2001 election
observation reports, the Carter Center and the International Republican
Institute noted that, despite having held a free and fair election, Nicaragua
still has important shortcomings in its electoral system, particularly in
election administration and voter access.2



2
 The Carter Center, Observing the 2001 Nicaraguan Elections: Final Report (Atlanta:
2002); International Republican Institute, Nicaragua, Election Observation Report,
November 4, 2001 (Washington, D.C.: 2002).




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Conclusions   U.S. elections assistance has helped all six countries we visited realize a
              fundamental component of democracy—free and fair elections. While
              continued improvements will be needed to achieve wider participation and
              greater efficiency in elections administration, particularly in Nicaragua,
              basic capabilities are in place in these countries to enable them to continue
              to hold free and fair elections into the future.




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                           Many organizations and entities are involved in providing democracy
                           assistance in the six countries we reviewed, including U.S. government
                           agencies, other multilateral and bilateral donors, and nongovernmental
                           organizations. Effective coordination and cooperation among these players
                           is critical for achieving meaningful, long-term results from assistance
                           efforts. U.S. agencies have not always managed their programs in a way
                           that would leverage the contributions from all of these organizations,
                           particularly other major donors, and maximize the impact and
                           sustainability of U.S. funded programs. Assistance efforts are not always
                           well-coordinated among the agencies, and strategic plans have not defined
                           overarching goals and the roles that key U.S. agencies will play in these
                           efforts or ways to link these efforts with those of other donors to help
                           ensure that results are sustainable. Furthermore, evaluation of program
                           results and sharing lessons learned has been limited among U.S. agencies
                           and implementers across countries where this assistance is provided.



Poorly Coordinated         Although a wide variety of U.S. government agencies and international
                           donors provide democracy assistance, coordination of this assistance was
Program Management         inconsistent in the six countries we visited. We found that those
Limits Effectiveness of    organizations supporting democratic institutions did not always cooperate
                           in a way that would maximize the impact and sustainability of their efforts.
U.S. Democracy             As a result, the programs they implemented were often fragmented and not
Assistance                 mutually supportive and failed to overcome common financial and political
                           obstacles. U.S. government agencies have not outlined a long-term,
                           strategic approach to this assistance that considers all of the major parties
                           and available resources and information.



Poor Coordination and      The Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (the Results Act)
Strategic Planning among   requires U.S. government agencies to identify their strategic goals and
                           develop annual plans for achieving them.1 Further, as we have previously
U.S. Government Agencies
                           reported in our work relating to this act, such plans should identify how

                           1
                            The Results Act seeks to improve the management of federal programs by shifting the focus
                           of decision-making from staffing and activity levels to the results of federal programs. Under
                           the Results Act, executive agencies are to prepare 5-year strategic plans that set the general
                           direction for their efforts. Agencies then are to prepare annual performance plans that
                           establish the connections between the long-term strategic goals outlined in the strategic
                           plans and the day-to-day activities of program managers and staff. Finally, the act requires
                           that each agency report annually on the extent to which it is meeting its annual performance
                           goals and the actions needed to achieve or modify those goals that have not been met.




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similar programs conducted by other agencies will be coordinated to
ensure that goals are consistent, and, as appropriate, program efforts are
mutually reinforcing.2

The annual performance plans prepared by the State Department and
USAID in accordance with the Results Act both identify promoting
democracy and human rights abroad as agency strategic goals. However,
neither USAID’s or State’s plans nor the subordinate regional or country-
level planning documents we reviewed specifically address the role of
other U.S. agencies and donors in ensuring that U.S.-funded democracy
projects are well coordinated and leverage domestic and international
resources. With few exceptions, these planning documents did not take
into account the unique resources that each of the various U.S. agencies
has to offer and the role each could play over what will be a long-term
effort to help countries achieve and institutionalize democratic reforms.
Although some documents mentioned that other agencies would be
involved in the assistance effort, the nature or duration of that involvement
was not discussed in detail.

The relationship among USAID and the State and Justice Departments has
frequently been difficult when it comes to rule of law programs, which has
hindered long-term joint planning in that area. As we noted in a 1999 report,
interagency coordination on rule of law assistance has been a long-standing
problem.3 At that time, the Chairman of the House Committee on
International Relations had expressed the concern that, because funds
were provided through so many channels, rule of law programs had
become inefficient and uncoordinated. Little progress has been made to
resolve this problem. According to U.S. officials with whom we spoke, the
relationship among implementing agencies is often still characterized more
by competition than cooperation and has led to fragmented programs that
are not always mutually supportive in achieving common goals. For
example, in Bolivia, poor communication and disagreement among these
agencies on their respective roles has disrupted efforts to assist the
development of that country’s national police by casting the program’s
staffing and funding in uncertainty. Unresolved coordination issues among
these agencies have precluded efforts to establish a joint strategy on law

2
 U.S. General Accounting Office, Results Act: An Evaluator’s Guide to Assessing Annual
Performance Plans, GAO/GGD-10.1.20 (Washington, D.C.: Apr. 1, 1998).
3
 U.S. General Accounting Office, Foreign Assistance: Status of Rule of Law Program
Coordination, NSIAD-00-8R (Washington, D.C.: Oct. 13, 1999).




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                            enforcement development on either the regional, or country-specific level.
                            As a result, in the countries we visited, the agencies are often operating on
                            parallel tracks and not developing programs that are closely coordinated
                            and mutually supportive.

                            Better coordination among these agencies could leverage the critical
                            resources and comparative advantage that each offers to overcome
                            obstacles. For example, while USAID has significant institutional
                            experience designing and implementing development programs, the Justice
                            Department has significant technical expertise in law enforcement and
                            criminal investigations, and the State Department has diplomatic
                            relationships and influence that can be helpful in resolving political
                            impediments to reform.



Limited Cooperation among   Other international donors have major efforts to promote democracy in the
International Donors        countries we visited, and two of the largest, the World Bank and the IDB,
                            are funded in part by contributions from the U.S. government. However, the
                            strategic plans and other related planning documents prepared by the State
                            and Justice Departments and USAID included very little information on
                            plans to cooperate with other major international donors in the six
                            countries we reviewed. Some plans mentioned a few successful
                            cooperative efforts in the past, but donor cooperation was not consistently
                            discussed as an integral component of the U.S. government’s approach in
                            any of the areas of democracy assistance we reviewed.

                            We observed that donors working in closer coordination, with a common
                            strategy and work plan, can make significant progress. In Bolivia, the U.S.
                            and German governments embarked on a joint program to implement the
                            new criminal code, each providing mutually supporting activities and
                            financing. As a result of this effort, a large number of legal operators were
                            trained on the code’s provisions, and the Bolivian government began
                            implementing the code on schedule. Other examples of close coordination
                            include the following:

                            • In Bolivia, USAID, a German foundation, and the government of the
                              Netherlands have adopted a common methodology for municipal
                              strengthening, expanding the impact of USAID’s initial contributions to
                              additional municipalities.

                            • In El Salvador, the IDB is funding projects to extend a USAID-supported,
                              municipal-level financial management system to additional localities.



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• Donors and Latin American countries have been collaborating
  regionally on anticorruption activities since the early 1990s. For
  example, the Donors Consultative Group of the USAID-supported
  Americas’ Accountability/Anticorruption Project has helped to increase
  the number of anticorruption projects in the region, according to
  USAID. Other multilateral initiatives, such as the Inter-American
  Convention Against Corruption and ongoing United Nations
  negotiations for a global anticorruption convention, are also mobilizing
  states to focus on corruption.

Such donor cooperation was not always the norm in the countries we
visited, however, and donors often pursued parallel but not necessarily
mutually supporting activities. Donor coordination was generally
characterized by organizations keeping one another informed of the nature,
progress, and location of their activities. Across the six countries, the U.S.
government and other donors generally worked on different agendas in the
area of judicial reform. In Bolivia, for example, USAID and the World Bank
divided their justice sector reform efforts between host government
agencies using different approaches. The two organizations have helped
the government develop two information systems—one to track criminal
cases and one for civil cases. At the time of our visit in June 2002, neither
system was being fully implemented on a national scale, and USAID
officials were concerned about the future compatibility of these two
systems.

Pooling financial resources and political influence could enable donor
organizations to overcome some political and financial obstacles that limit
the impact and sustainability of assistance programs. The United States,
with its on-the-ground presence and long-standing diplomatic
relationships, can offer significant technical expertise and influence to help
achieve political support. At the same time, the multilateral development
banks, in particular, can offer significant, low-cost, long-term financing for
host governments. Better coordinated, these resources could be combined
to (1) leverage political support from host governments for mutually
agreed-upon reform programs, (2) devise appropriate program designs, and
(3) provide long-term financing that could help ensure that the programs
are sustainable.

Donor cooperation can be difficult for a number of political and cultural
reasons. Donors may have different development priorities or policies that
may not allow them to work on the same types of programs in some cases.
U.S. government officials have also cited bureaucratic incompatibilities



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                              between the agencies that effectively limited the ability of the agencies to
                              work closely together on certain projects. In one country we visited, the
                              working relationship between USAID and a multilateral development bank
                              has been difficult, according to a USAID mission official with whom we
                              spoke. Overcoming some of these obstacles to closer cooperation may
                              require a high-level commitment and impetus from the senior management
                              of these organizations.



Limited Evaluation and        U.S. agencies and their implementing contractors and grantees have not
                              extensively compiled and shared information on program results. Many
Sharing of Lessons            U.S. assistance programs have not been evaluated, and important
Learned among                 democracy project information, such as materials, final reports, and
                              evaluations, are not systematically made available to the large body of
Program Implementers          project implementers.



Inconsistent Program          The U.S. agencies implementing democracy assistance programs have not
Evaluation by U.S. Agencies   consistently evaluated the results of their activities. Our review of project
                              documentation and our discussions with senior U.S. government officials
                              at the State and Justice Departments and USAID indicate that limited
                              efforts have been made to review project results over time to ensure that
                              impact and sustainability have been achieved. In particular, officials from
                              the State and Justice Departments stated that those agencies have
                              conducted very little formal evaluation of law enforcement assistance.
                              Although USAID has a more extensive process for assessing its activities,
                              its efforts to evaluate democracy assistance have not been consistent.
                              Although governance programs in Latin America, in particular legislative
                              strengthening, have undergone considerable evaluation, we found
                              relatively little formal evaluation of rule of law, human rights, and elections
                              assistance. The level of evaluation has varied geographically as well: While
                              USAID sponsored a comprehensive democracy evaluation for Bolivia, it
                              has not conducted similar studies for the other countries we visited. In
                              2002, USAID commissioned a private contractor to complete a broad study
                              of the agency’s achievements in its rule of law programs around the world,
                              including in many of the countries we visited. This recently completed
                              study provides information on the nature and history of USAID rule of law
                              programs in individual countries but was not meant to be an evaluation of
                              these programs, according to a USAID official.




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                             Furthermore, the agencies have not consistently used available survey data
                             to help evaluate the impact of their activities. In several of the countries we
                             visited, a USAID contractor had been conducting regular “democratic
                             values surveys” to gauge public opinion about recent and ongoing political
                             and government reforms, many of which the United States has assisted.
                             The mission in Bolivia has used the results of this survey as a source of data
                             for monitoring, among other things, the impact of Bolivia’s decentralization
                             activities; however, the other missions or embassies we visited did not
                             consistently use these data as a tool for evaluating or monitoring the
                             impact of U.S. assistance.

                             Without systematic evaluations identifying lessons learned and best
                             practices, agencies will have difficulty making informed decisions about a
                             strategy to maximize impact and sustainability and planning for future
                             efforts. For example, USAID and the State and Justice Departments are
                             currently debating the U.S. government’s strategy for police assistance.
                             Each agency has participated in police development programs, and
                             officials from each agency stated that they are uniquely qualified to manage
                             such programs in the future. Yet, none of these agencies has conducted a
                             comprehensive evaluation of police assistance program results to inform
                             the debate about how best to provide this assistance. Evaluations or other
                             efforts to systematically compile lessons learned across countries could
                             enable a more objective comparison of agency performance to identify the
                             advantages of one approach over another and to inform a long-term
                             interagency strategy for achieving various democracy assistance goals.



Project Materials and        USAID has not taken steps to pool the resources produced by U.S.-funded
Information on Results Are   democracy program implementers, including international development
                             firms, private voluntary organizations, and other nongovernmental
Not Widely Available
                             organizations to help them achieve common and related goals more
                             effectively and efficiently. USAID-funded contractors often used similar
                             approaches to achieve democratic strengthening and reform in many of the
                             countries we visited. For example, support for local governments often
                             aimed to influence the broad policy framework in a country while directly
                             assisting a relatively small number of target municipalities. However, we
                             found little evidence that the project implementers in these countries had
                             shared with each other the materials they had developed. For example, in
                             several countries, USAID financed the printing of operational guidance for
                             municipal officials, ranging from handbooks on countrywide criteria for
                             governance to detailed, step-by-step manuals on ways to improve local
                             public administration. The contractors and USAID officials stated that to



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              their knowledge, these handbooks had not been systematically shared
              among USAID missions or contractors.

              Although mission officials and implementers told us they frequently shared
              information on an informal basis, the agency’s attempts to systematically
              compile information about democracy program implementation and results
              to establish an agency wide “institutional knowledge base” are incomplete.
              USAID has a very decentralized organizational structure, and, according to
              USAID officials, the agency has no central repository of implementation
              reports and other program documents that can be accessed by the various
              democracy program implementers to determine, among other things,
              which activities have been more successful than others. Although USAID
              maintains some documentation from its democracy programs, such as
              scopes of work for projects, at its intranet site, the agency does not compile
              contractors’ technical manuals and final reports with information on
              implementation and results. Such information could be very instrumental
              in identifying approaches that are most appropriate for replication, while
              avoiding developing similar materials in different countries at additional
              expense. As we have previously reported, use of lessons learned is a
              principal component of an organizational culture committed to continuous
              improvement. Lessons learned mechanisms serve to communicate
              acquired knowledge more effectively and to ensure that beneficial
              information is factored into planning, work processes, and activities.
              Lessons learned provide a powerful method of sharing good ideas for
              improving work processes, program design and implementation, and cost-
              effectiveness.4 USAID mission directors and other agency officials stated
              that future assistance efforts would be more effective if they were designed
              on the basis of concrete information and lessons learned from similar
              programs in other countries.



Conclusions   Local resources for sustaining democracy programs are difficult to
              mobilize given the serious economic problems in the countries we visited,
              and funding shortages were often cited by program implementers and
              beneficiaries as major obstacles to long-term program success. Therefore,
              it is crucial that the U.S. government and other international donors
              manage available international resources as efficiently as possible.
              Achieving greater impact and responsibility in democracy assistance

              4
               U.S. General Accounting Office, NASA: Better Mechanisms Needed for Sharing Lessons
              Learned, GAO-02-195 (Washington, D.C.: Jan. 30, 2002).




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                      projects may be more likely with a more strategic approach, including
                      closer coordination, and greater information sharing among U.S. agencies,
                      international donors, and other program implementers.



Recommendations for   To ensure that U.S. assistance activities designed to support and strengthen
                      democracies in Latin America have the maximum impact and sustainability,
Executive Action      we recommend that the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the
                      Administrator of USAID

                      • develop more comprehensive interagency strategic plans at the regional
                        and country level for democracy assistance addressing how U.S.
                        agencies will cooperate with each other and other major donors to
                        achieve greater impact and sustainability in democracy programs;

                      • establish a strategy for periodically evaluating democracy assistance
                        projects that is consistent across agencies, countries, and types of
                        programs; and

                      • establish a systematic mechanism to share information on development
                        approaches, methods, materials, and results from all democracy
                        assistance projects among U.S. agencies and implementers.



Agency Comments and   We provided a draft of this report to the Departments of State and Justice,
                      the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Inter-
Our Evaluation        American Foundation for their comment. The Inter-American Foundation
                      did not comment on this report. The comments of the State and Justice
                      Departments and USAID, along with our responses to specific points, are
                      reprinted in appendixes II, III, and IV, respectively.

                      In general, the State and Justice Departments and USAID acknowledged
                      that democracy assistance is a long-term challenge that requires host
                      country commitment and support for reforms, and that U.S.-supported
                      institutions and programs must ultimately be sustainable, as we discuss in
                      this report. Overall, the agencies basically agreed with the thrust of our
                      recommendations regarding how the management of program assistance
                      could be improved. They also noted that in some cases, activities are either
                      planned or under way that would address our recommendations.




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The State Department concurred with our recommendation that it work
with other agencies to develop comprehensive strategic plans for
democracy assistance at the regional and country levels. State agreed with
our recommendation that democracy assistance programs should be
evaluated but said that our recommendation was a “broad brush” approach
that is not appropriate for the diversity of activities covered in the report.
State said that it is taking steps with USAID and the Justice Department to
improve evaluation, including recently agreeing to undertake joint
evaluations of justice programs. Such actions appear to meet the intent of
our recommendation. However, our recommendation is intended to
establish a basis for periodic overall assessments of democracy programs
as well as regular evaluations of specific components of democracy
assistance, such as rule of law, governance, and elections.

While the State Department agreed that it would be desirable to have better
access to project information across the board, they noted that the
recommendation goes too far in suggesting the need for a centralized
record system containing all project materials. State also said that much
useful information is currently shared among programs on an informal
basis. Our recommendation is designed to address an important problem
we identified in this report, namely that much information is currently not
being shared among agencies or programs with similar goals, approaches,
and methods. The thinking behind this recommendation is the State
Department and other agencies that fund and implement democracy
assistance programs should maintain key program documents and
evaluations along with examples of materials used for core activities (e.g.,
training manuals so that groups implementing similar programs can benefit
from lessons learned). Given the advances in Web-based technology as a
way of sharing information, we believe this recommendation is not
unreasonable. The State Department also provided technical comments,
which we have incorporated in this report, where appropriate.

The Justice Department endorsed our recommendation for better
coordination and planning among State, USAID, and Justice; agreed that
objective, regularized evaluation of assistance programs is needed to
consistently obtain useful information on program outcomes; and
supported the recommendation that agencies involved in democracy
assistance should establish effective information-sharing mechanisms. The
Justice Department also provided technical comments, which we have
incorporated in this report, where appropriate.




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USAID also agreed with our recommendations. Regarding our
recommendation on strategic planning, USAID said that it participates in a
number of planning activities but that such planning systems can always be
upgraded. It also agreed that periodic evaluations of program outcomes
and results are important, noting that evaluating democracy programs is a
challenge made difficult by the complexities and subtleties of local political
situations that influence democracy program implementation and
outcomes. USAID also agreed with our recommendation that agencies
need to do a better job of sharing information on development methods,
approaches, and materials, noting that a new bureau within the agency
should respond to these concerns. USAID also provided technical
comments, which we have incorporated throughout this report, where
appropriate.

The State and Justice Departments both commented on our discussion of a
provision of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 that restricts the use of
foreign assistance funds for training and financial support for police and
other law enforcement forces of foreign governments (section 660). In its
comments, State said that the Executive Branch should develop and
propose to the Congress new legislation on law enforcement assistance,
stating that the Executive Branch needs a clear statement of its authority to
provide law enforcement assistance abroad, coupled with whatever
specific prohibitions the Congress may wish to consider. The Justice
Department stated that it is concerned that section 660 may in some
instances adversely impact long-range planning and the development of
broad-based, practical police assistance programs. The Justice Department
also indicated that it will work with the State Department and USAID to
consider whether changes to section 660 would be appropriate. We believe
the approach suggested by the State and Justice Departments could be an
important and useful step in providing options for the Congress to consider
regarding potential amendments to section 660.




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Appendix I

U.S. Democracy Assistance to Six Latin                                                       Appendx
                                                                                                   ies




American Countries                                                                            Append
                                                                                                   x
                                                                                                   Ii




               During fiscal years 1992 through 2002, the United States has provided
               democracy assistance to Bolivia, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala,
               Nicaragua, and Peru. The U.S. Agency for International Development
               (USAID) and the Departments of State and Justice have provided the bulk
               of this assistance in the areas of rule of law, governance, human rights, and
               elections. Rule of law assistance has supported the modernization of the
               criminal justice system and increased the access of the local population to
               justice. Governance assistance has funded efforts to strengthen legislatures
               and national and local governments and to enact and implement
               anticorruption measures. Human rights assistance has supported activities
               to improve public awareness of and government accountability for human
               rights abuses. Election assistance has helped enhance electoral
               institutions, increase voter registration and education, and support
               electoral observation.



Bolivia        USAID rule of law assistance to Bolivia began in earnest in 1991 when
               USAID sponsored a United Nations diagnostic study of Bolivia’s judicial
               system to determine priorities and build consensus for reform. Since then
               USAID has been closely involved in a fundamental revamping of Bolivia’s
               criminal justice system. USAID supported a number of justice sector
               reforms, including drafting and promoting laws establishing new justice
               sector institutions. These institutions included the Constitutional Tribunal,
               the Judicial Council, the Ombudsman, and the Office of Public Defense. In
               1993, USAID initiated the Bolivian Administration of Justice Program,
               focusing primarily on the drafting and passage of a new Criminal
               Procedures Code. This code, which introduced an oral, accusatory trial
               system to increase the efficiency, transparency, and fairness of the criminal
               justice system, was enacted in 1999 and went into effect in 2001. Since its
               enactment, USAID rule of law assistance has primarily focused on
               providing training and technical assistance to institutions concerning
               implementation of the code and also on disseminating public education
               about the new code. During the late 1990s, USAID and the Justice
               Department also assisted the Bolivian National Police and the Attorney
               General’s Office (Fiscalia) to enhance investigative capabilities. The
               departments did this primarily through supplementing training and
               forensics equipment and technology to manage and track criminal cases
               electronically. From 1992 to 2002, USAID provided $18.5 million and the
               Justice Department administered $9.9 million in rule of law assistance to
               Bolivia.




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           U.S. governance assistance to Bolivia started in 1992, when USAID
           provided funds to establish and strengthen the congressional research
           center and budget office. After the 1997 elections, the institutions that
           USAID had supported in the legislature lost credibility as neutral entities
           and became less effective, according to a USAID-sponsored evaluation. In
           2001, USAID began a new program aimed at strengthening the
           representative function of the Bolivian Congress by helping deputies from
           single-member districts, who are elected directly by citizens in a given
           district, increase their outreach to their constituencies. USAID’s local
           governance program in Bolivia began in 1996, soon after the passage of the
           Popular Participation Law. This law divided Bolivia into self-governing
           municipalities with popularly elected local leaders for the first time in the
           country’s history. The program has aimed to make local governments more
           responsive to citizen needs and demands and to strengthen municipalities’
           administrative and financial capacities. The program’s methods are now
           being implemented in about 175 municipalities. USAID also is using Web-
           based technology to expand its local governance program. USAID provided
           at least $14.6 million on governance assistance to Bolivia between 1992 and
           2002.

           USAID began providing electoral support to Bolivia in 1988, primarily to
           institutionalize a politically neutral National Electoral Court. Between 1991
           and 1999, USAID provided Bolivia with $2.4 million in election assistance to
           increase voter registration and education and ensure that the elections held
           during this period were free and fair.



Colombia   USAID’s rule of law assistance to Colombia began in 1986, primarily
           focusing on restructuring and improving Colombia’s justice sector and
           providing protection for judicial figures and institutions. This program
           culminated in the enactment of a new constitution in 1991, which created
           new justice sector institutions (e.g., the Judicial Council, Constitutional
           Court, and Prosecutor’s Office) and procedures, including oral trials.
           USAID assistance from 1991 to 1995 focused on implementing the reforms,
           including support for the development of these new institutions. In 1995,
           the program expanded to support improved access to justice, including the
           creation of justice houses to provide legal services in poor and
           marginalized communities. USAID has continued to support the transition
           to a more transparent accusatorial system, primarily through training
           judges, prosecutors, and public defenders. The Justice Department has
           provided an array of training for prosecutors and law enforcement officials,
           focusing mainly on specialized criminal investigations units, human rights,



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              counternarcotics, money laundering, and other specific types of crimes.
              Between 1992 and 2002, USAID provided $48.3 million and the Justice
              Department administered $37.9 million in rule of law assistance to
              Colombia.

              The U.S. governance assistance program in Colombia, which began in 2001,
              has aimed to strengthen municipal governments, increase citizen
              participation, and combat corruption. Local officials and citizens have
              played a central role in planning and overseeing social infrastructure
              projects cofinanced by USAID, such as the construction of schools and
              sewage systems. USAID’s anticorruption program in Colombia, also
              initiated in 2001, has focused on improving internal control systems,
              strengthening citizen participation, and training local officials on oversight
              and transparency. USAID reports that it has provided at least $54.6 million
              for these programs.

              USAID human rights assistance in Colombia began with technical and
              financial support for the Human Rights Ombudsman Office, which was
              created by the new constitution in 1991. The Justice Department began
              training special human rights units within the Attorney General’s Office in
              1996. Assistance for both of these projects is ongoing. USAID funded the
              majority of its human rights assistance projects after 2000, including the
              development of an Early Warning System to alert authorities of potential
              human rights violations, a protection program for threatened individuals,
              training for community human rights promoters, and post emergency
              assistance to people who have been internally displaced by the nearly 40-
              year-old internal conflict. In addition, USAID has supported efforts to foster
              reconciliation and provide assistance to victims and excluded groups.

              USAID provided $325,000 in election assistance to Colombia in 2002. This
              assistance focused on supporting a mission of the Organization of
              American States to observe the 2002 national elections, which were
              declared to be generally free and fair.



El Salvador   USAID’s rule of law assistance to El Salvador started in 1984 with a focus
              on enhancing criminal investigative capabilities and modernizing the
              justice system. Following the 1992 Peace Accords, USAID supported
              efforts to restructure the justice sector, reduce criminal case backlogs, and
              draft new criminal codes. El Salvador began implementing the new codes
              in 1998, and USAID and the Justice Department have supported these
              implementation efforts. USAID has focused on training judges,



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            prosecutors, and public defenders to help them transition to an oral,
            adversarial system. The Justice Department has focused on building and
            strengthening a new police force—particularly, its criminal investigations
            capabilities. Most recently, the department has supported a new policing
            model characterized by active community-oriented patrols. From 1992 to
            2002, USAID provided $27.8 million and the Justice Department
            administered $38.2 million to support these efforts.

            USAID’s governance assistance to El Salvador began in 1990, when it set up
            a legislative assistance program to help develop a master plan for
            legislative modernization, establish a mentoring program for which
            students complete studies of interest to legislators, and open three
            legislative outreach offices outside the capital. These projects are still
            ongoing. In 1993, USAID initiated its local governance program in El
            Salvador, which helped to strengthen municipal management and increase
            citizen participation in 28 target municipalities and assisted national-level
            organizations that support municipalities. Together with other donors,
            USAID helped create a manual on basic criteria for participatory municipal
            development that is now available to municipalities across the country.
            USAID anticorruption assistance in El Salvador, which began in 2000, has
            focused on institutional strengthening, anticorruption reforms, public
            awareness, and municipal-level anticorruption activities. USAID has
            provided at least $23 million for these programs.

            Since 1991, USAID has provided about $13 million to support four national
            elections in El Salvador. After the Peace Accords were signed in 1992, the
            agency supported reintegrating former guerrilla groups into the political
            system. Elections assistance in the 1990s also helped create a new,
            impartial electoral authority and supported the establishment of a new
            civil/voter registry. Because El Salvador has significantly improved election
            administration and voter access and had run free and fair elections during
            the 1990s, USAID does not intend to provide additional election support to
            this country after the 2003 elections.



Guatemala   USAID rule of law assistance to Guatemala started in 1986, with an early
            focus on training judges, prosecutors, and public defenders and promoting
            legal reforms. USAID supported the enactment and implementation of
            criminal code reforms in the mid-1990s to improve the functioning of the
            criminal justice system. Following the enactment of a new criminal
            procedures code in 1994, USAID’s assistance focused on preparing justice
            sector officials to carry out new roles and responsibilities under the code



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for conducting investigations and holding oral trials. Following the signing
of the Peace Accords in 1996, this assistance expanded to building the
capabilities of justice institutions in the capital and supporting justice
centers in other cities to improve the delivery of justice services. These
justice centers integrate various justice institutions, modernize case
tracking and administration, and increase access to justice. The State and
Justice Departments have also provided assistance to law enforcement
institutions, focused mainly on improving criminal investigations under the
new codes. From 1992 to 2002, USAID has provided $23.8 million and the
Justice Department has administered $13.6 million in rule of law assistance
to Guatemala.

USAID’s governance-related assistance to Guatemala began with a
legislative strengthening program in 1997. The program focused on
improving the legislature’s research and analytical capabilities and
strengthening constituent outreach. Although USAID’s legislative
assistance had some initial positive results, the agency ended its support
after the 1999 elections when it became clear that the new congressional
leadership was not willing to support the program. USAID’s local
governance program in Guatemala, which began in 1998, has helped
increase participatory planning and community outreach in about 40
municipalities. USAID has also provided support and advice to the
government of Guatemala on national-level policy affecting municipal
indebtedness, reforms to the municipal law, and the municipal tax code.
USAID has provided more than $9.4 million for these programs.

In the early 1990s, USAID provided training and program development
support to the Human Rights Ombudsman Office. Recent USAID human
rights projects in Guatemala have focused on supporting national
reconciliation efforts. Since 2000, USAID has supported the exhumation of
clandestine cemeteries to identify victims of human rights atrocities during
the 1962 to 1996 civil war and to help family members achieve a measure of
closure. USAID began the Human Rights and Reconciliation Program in
2001 to coordinate human rights groups; mobilize citizens to defend their
rights; and disseminate information about the civil war for remembrance
purposes, among other activities.

USAID has provided $3.2 million in election assistance to Guatemala since
1990. This assistance has focused on improving voter registration and
education and promoting electoral reforms. In 1995, USAID focused on
broadening electoral participation throughout the country, especially in
rural and indigenous areas. In 1999, USAID supported increased



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            participation in two electoral events—the constitutional reform
            referendum and the general elections. USAID is currently providing a small
            amount of assistance to support electoral reform efforts, with limited
            success.



Nicaragua   USAID and the State and Justice Departments have provided most of the
            rule of law assistance to Nicaragua since the 1990s. This assistance has
            focused on supporting the modernization of the criminal justice system. It
            has supported the enactment of criminal codes and helped prepare
            Nicaragua for the implementation of these codes starting in December 2002
            by supporting the creation and strengthening of justice institutions,
            including the courts, Public Prosecutor’s Office, and Public Defender’s
            Office, and by building the capabilities and various law enforcement
            organizations for conducting criminal investigations. From 1992 to 2002,
            USAID has provided $11.3 million and the Justice Department has
            administered $1.7 million to support these efforts.

            USAID has provided the bulk of U.S. governance assistance to Nicaragua
            since 1991. This assistance has focused on strengthening the legislature
            and local governments and supporting anticorruption efforts. USAID’s
            legislative strengthening program, which lasted from 1991 to 2001, focused
            on strengthening infrastructure, improving planning and administration,
            and increasing outreach to constituents. Although there was initial
            progress, USAID ended its support in 2001 in part because of a lack of
            political will in the legislature to cofinance USAID programs. The local
            governance program organized by USAID worked in 25 municipalities to
            strengthen municipal administration and increase citizen participation in
            municipal affairs. USAID also helped establish and strengthen the national
            association of municipalities, which is now self-sustaining. This program
            ended in 2001, and USAID has indicated that it will consider once again
            focus on strengthening local governance as part of its new 5-year strategy.
            USAID’s anticorruption program in Nicaragua, which ran from 1998 to
            2001, aimed to make institutions more accountable and transparent and to
            increase public awareness of corruption. USAID provided about $6 million
            for these programs.

            USAID has provided about $27 million in election assistance to Nicaragua
            since 1990. This assistance has focused on improving the institutional
            capacity of Nicaragua’s electoral authority, improving voter registration
            and education, and legitimizing election results by supporting domestic and
            international electoral observation groups. Although this assistance has



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       helped Nicaragua run three national elections that were determined to be
       free and fair since 1990, that country still faces major election
       administration and voter access problems. Nicaragua is likely to require
       additional international support before holding its next national election.



Peru   USAID rule of law assistance to Peru began in 1986 working with key
       public sector institutions on justice sector reform. Due to the actions of
       President Alberto Fujimori to weaken the independence and accountability
       of the justice sector, USAID discontinued direct assistance to most public
       institutions in the sector in 1994. Funding was diverted from rule of law to
       human rights and civil society activities, with the exception of a small
       amount of funding for free legal and conciliation services. In 2002, USAID
       initiated a new rule of law program centered on building support and
       consensus for justice sector reforms through civil society coalitions. The
       Justice Department has sponsored some small-scale training efforts in the
       1990s but has no ongoing assistance effort. From 1992 through 2002, USAID
       provided $13.2 million and the Justice Department administered $27,000 to
       support these efforts.

       USAID has provided the bulk of U.S. governance assistance to Peru. From
       2001 to 2003, USAID’s Office of Transition Initiatives focused on providing
       small-scale, governance-related grants in the areas of legislative
       strengthening, decentralization, anticorruption, and civil-military relations.
       The office estimates that it will spend $11 million by the time the program
       ends. In mid-2002, USAID began providing legislative strengthening
       assistance to enable a civil society coalition to conduct citizen outreach on
       legislative issues, and in fall 2002, USAID began a 4-year project to increase
       congressional transparency, outreach, and oversight. In the area of local
       governance, USAID has been providing policy advice to the government for
       a nationwide decentralization program scheduled to begin in 2003. USAID
       also has begun to provide support to a civil society coalition to share
       decentralization-related information with civil society, promote citizen
       participation in governance, communicate citizens’ opinions to the
       government, and promote oversight of regional and local authorities. In
       2003, USAID plans to fund an $18 million, 5-year “Pro-Decentralization”
       project to strengthen municipal government and increase citizen
       participation.




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From 1992 to 1996, USAID helped the Peruvian Attorney General’s Office
establish 12 detainee registry centers to document the location and legal
status of all people detained by the authorities on charges of terrorism.
Using the registry, people have been able to find information on their
missing loved ones. Also, since 1997, USAID has supported the activities of
a Peruvian nongovernmental organization in its investigations and attempts
to release prisoners being held on illegitimate terrorism charges. USAID
also has supported the operation of the Truth Commission, which the
President of Peru created in 2000 with a mandate to investigate allegations
of human rights violations during 1980 to 2000. Finally, USAID has provided
continuous technical and financial support to the Human Rights
Ombudsman since its inception in 1994.

USAID has provided over $20 million in election assistance to Peru for
supporting national and local elections in 1995, 1998, 2000, 2001, and 2002.
This assistance included technical assistance to the electoral institutions
and support for voter education and international observations of the
elections. Because this assistance, following the departure of President
Fujimori, helped the electoral authorities run free and fair elections in 2001
and 2002, USAID does not plan to provide additional election support to
Peru.




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Appendix II

Comments from the Department of State                            Appendx
                                                                       Ii




Note: GAO comments
supplementing those in
the report text appear
at the end of this
appendix.




                         Page 97   GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
Appendix II
Comments from the Department of State




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                 Comments from the Department of State




See comment 1.




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Comments from the Department of State




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              Comments from the Department of State




              The following is GAO’s comment on the Department of State’s letter dated
              March 5, 2003.



GAO Comment   1. We disagree with the statement that we implied that independent
                 evaluations have not been done on ICITAP programs. On page 83 of our
                 report, we stated that the Departments of State and Justice have done
                 very little formal evaluation of law enforcement assistance. We
                 modified the text on page 84 to indicate that none of the agencies
                 involved in the debate about how to best provide police assistance have
                 done a comprehensive evaluation of police assistance program results.
                 Such an evaluation could inform this debate.




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Appendix III

Comments from the Department of Justice                      Appendx
                                                                   iI




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Comments from the Department of Justice




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Comments from the Department of Justice




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Page 105                                  GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
Appendix IV

Comments from the U.S. Agency for
International Development                                         Appendx
                                                                        iIV




Note: GAO comments
supplementing those in
the report text appear
at the end of this
appendix.




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International Development




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International Development




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International Development




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International Development




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                 Appendix IV
                 Comments from the U.S. Agency for
                 International Development




See comment 1.
Now on pp. 7
and 29-30.




See comment 2.
Now on p. 9.




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                    Comments from the U.S. Agency for
                    International Development




See comment 3.




See comment 4.
Now on pp. 29-30.




See comment 5.
Now on p. 36.




                    Page 112                            GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
                        Appendix IV
                        Comments from the U.S. Agency for
                        International Development




Now on pp. 48 and 50.




See comment 6.




See comment 7.
Now on p. 83.




                        Page 113                            GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
Appendix IV
Comments from the U.S. Agency for
International Development




Page 114                            GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
               Appendix IV
               Comments from the U.S. Agency for
               International Development




               The following are GAO’s comments on the U.S. Agency for International
               Development’s letter dated March 5, 2003.



GAO Comments   1. We disagree and believe that despite some success, much work still
                  remains at the national and local levels to implement Guatemala’s
                  criminal procedures code. We modified the text on pages 29 and 30 to
                  add additional information on the challenges faced by Guatemala in
                  fully implementing criminal justice reforms.

               2. We revised the text on page 9 to indicate that programs in Guatemala
                  and Nicaragua have had less success in disseminating programs outside
                  of target municipalities.

               3. On the basis of additional information provided, we removed this
                  reference from the text. However, it should be noted that the draft
                  referred to USAID’s support for conciliation and legal aid centers and
                  did not in any way suggest or infer that USAID should have supported
                  Fujimori-era justice institutions. As stated in the draft report on page 64
                  and on page 95 in this report, we noted that USAID discontinued direct
                  assistance to Peru’s public sector institutions in 1994.

               4. The 1998 article in the Southwestern Journal of Law and Trade in the
                  Americas was written by a USAID employee who was the justice
                  program manager in Guatemala. In our view, this does not constitute an
                  independent program evaluation. Also, see comment 1.

               5. We modified the text on page 36.

               6. On the basis of additional information provided, we removed this
                  reference from the text.

               7. As noted in this report, limited efforts have been made to review
                  project results over time to ensure that impact and sustainability of
                  results has been achieved. We stated that although USAID has a more
                  extensive process for assessing its activities, its efforts to evaluate
                  democracy assistance have not been consistent, and we found
                  relatively little formal evaluation of rule of law, human rights, and
                  elections assistance. As discussed in the Agency Comments and Our
                  Evaluation Section of this report, our recommendation regarding
                  evaluation is intended to establish the basis for periodic overall
                  assessments of democracy programs as well as regular evaluations of



               Page 115                                         GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
Appendix IV
Comments from the U.S. Agency for
International Development




    specific components of democracy assistance. Systematic evaluations
    that identify lessons learned and best practices are crucial in
    facilitating congressional oversight of democracy programs and
    providing the basis for informed decisions about how to maximize
    program impact and plan future efforts.




Page 116                                     GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
Appendix V

Quality of Life and Economic Indicators for
Selected Countries                                                                            Append
                                                                                                   x
                                                                                                   i
                                                                                                   V




               U.S. democracy programs are designed to help address serious social,
               political, and economic problems many of these countries face. Over the
               years, the World Bank, United Nations, and other organizations have
               devised indicators to attempt to measure the general quality of life within a
               country. This appendix provides a statistical overview of selected social
               and economic indicators for the six countries we visited and comparative
               data for Latin America and the United States (see table 8).

               A few of the social indicators illustrate the challenges some of these
               countries face. In Bolivia, for example, the infant mortality rate in 2000 was
               still over 57 deaths per 1,000 births. Even in Colombia, which has the
               lowest rate among the six countries we reviewed, the infant mortality rate
               was 275 percent of that in the United States. In addition, life expectancy at
               birth in 2000 was 14.5 years less in Bolivia than it was in the United States.
               Furthermore, although adult illiteracy decreased in all six countries
               between 1990 and 2000, about one-third of Guatemala and Nicaragua’s
               adult population still cannot read.

               In terms of economic and political impediments to democracy, the gross
               national income average for the six countries we reviewed fell from 61
               percent of the Latin American average in 1990 to 55 percent in 2000. While
               the gross national income for five of the six countries increased slightly
               over the decade, Colombia’s decreased. In terms of general government
               expenditures as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP), all six
               countries spend less than 20 percent of their GDP, with the Guatemalan
               government spending the least, just under 7 percent. Finally, foreign
               domestic investment as a percentage of gross capital formation varies
               considerably among the six countries. In the 1990 through 2000 period, it
               has increased as high as 44.2 percentage points in Bolivia and as little as 2.6
               in Guatemala.




               Page 117                                         GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
                                             Appendix V
                                             Quality of Life and Economic Indicators for
                                             Selected Countries




Table 8: Quality of Life and Economic Indicators for Selected Countries

                                                                                                        Six-    Latin
                                                                                                    country American        United
Indicator       Year    Bolivia   Colombia      El Salvador     Guatemala    Nicaragua      Peru    average  average        States
Gross           1990     $1,740      $6,820          $2,920         $2,770       $1,680    $3,150     $3,180     $5,190    $23,440
national
income per
capita
(purchasing     1995     $2,140      $6,050          $4,040         $3,400       $1,780    $4,290     $3,617     $6,240    $28,260
power parity
in current
international
dollars)        2000     $2,360      $6,060          $4,410         $3,770       $2,080    $4,660     $3,890     $7,080    $34,100



Human       1990          0.597       0.724             0.644        0.579         0.592    0.704      0.640     0.823a       0.914
Development
Indexb      1995          0.630       0.750             0.682        0.609         0.615    0.730      0.669                  0.925

                2000      0.653       0.772             0.706        0.631         0.635    0.747      0.691      0.767       0.939


Infant         1990        80.0        30.4              45.6         56.2          51.0     54.0       52.9       41.3         9.4
mortality (per
1,000 births) 1995         67.0        24.4              35.0         45.6          39.5     43.0       42.4       34.1         7.5

                2000       57.2        19.5              29.1         38.8          33.0     31.8       34.9       29.0         7.1
Adult         1990       21.8%      11.5%            27.5%         38.9%         37.2%     14.5%      25.2%      15.2%
illiteracy
(percentage 1995         17.8%        9.8%           24.0%         34.9%         35.3%     12.1%      22.3%      13.3%
of people age
15 and        2000       14.5%        8.3%              21.3%       31.4%         33.5%    10.1%      19.9%      11.6%
above)
Life            1990       58.3        68.3              65.6         61.4          64.5     65.8       64.0       67.9        75.2
expectancy
at birth        1995       60.6        69.8              68.5         63.6          67.3     67.8       66.3       69.2        75.6
(years)
                2000       62.6        71.6              70.1         65.2          68.9     69.3       68.0       70.4        77.1
Percentage    1990       41.2%      36.0%            40.8%         46.0%         46.4%     38.3%      41.5%      36.0%      21.9%
of population
under age 15 1995        40.6%      34.4%            37.4%         45.1%         45.0%     35.9%      39.7%      33.8%      22.2%

                2000     39.6%       32.8%              35.6%      43. 6%         42.7%    33.4%      38.0%      31.5%       21.7%




                                             Page 118                                               GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
                                                                  Appendix V
                                                                  Quality of Life and Economic Indicators for
                                                                  Selected Countries




(Continued From Previous Page)
                                                                                                                                          Six-    Latin
                                                                                                                                      country American                United
Indicator            Year             Bolivia       Colombia            El Salvador     Guatemala       Nicaragua            Peru     average  average                States
General              1990             11.8%               9.4%                  9.9%          6.6%           43.5%          7.9%         14.9%         13.3%          17.0%
government
expenditures         1995             13.6%              14.9%                  8.6%          5.4%           15.7%          9.8%         11.3%         15.5%          15.3%
as a
percentage           2000              15.7%             19.0%                10. 2%           6.6%           18.9%        11.2%         13.6%          15.3%
of Gross
Domestic
Product
Net Foreign          1990               4.4%              6.7%                  0.3%          4.6%               0%         0.9%           2.8%         3.8%            4.8%
Direct
Investment           1995             38.5%               4.0%                  2.0%          3.4%           16.4%        15.4%          13.3%          8.5%            4.3%
as a
percentage           2000              48.6%             23.9%                  8.2%           7.2%           30.8%         6.3%         20.8%          19.1%
of Gross
Capital
Formation
Top three            2002         soybeans, petroleum,                      offshore         coffee,     coffee, fish and                    n/a            n/a            n/a
exportsc                             natural coffee, coal                  assembly          sugar, shrimp and        fish
                                   gas, zinc                                exports,       bananas      lobster, products,
                                                                       coffee, sugar                      cotton     gold,
                                                                                                                   copper
Economic             1998                 2.60              3.00                 2.40           2.70            3.50         2.85          2.80           2.98           1.80
Freedom
Indexd               2003                 2.65              3.00                 2.25           2.80            3.00         2.80          2.80           2.94           1.85
Sources: World Bank, United Nations, CIA World Factbook, and The Heritage Foundation.

                                                                  Note: Economic and social data are from the World Bank, World Development Indicators 2002
                                                                  CDROM.
                                                                  a
                                                                      1992 figure.
                                                                  b
                                                                   The Human Development Index is produced by the United Nations and is compiled from several
                                                                  demographic and economic statistics; it ranges in value from Norway (.939) to Sierra Leone (.258). A
                                                                  higher Human Development Index score means a country with more advanced degree of human
                                                                  development.
                                                                  c
                                                                   The listing of the top three exports for each country comes from the CIA World Factbook. The listing
                                                                  provides a rank ordering of exported products starting with the most important; it sometimes includes
                                                                  the percentage of total dollar value.
                                                                  d
                                                                   These figures come from The Heritage Foundation, which works in conjunction with The Wall Street
                                                                  Journal to produce the Index of Economic Freedom. To measure economic freedom and rate each
                                                                  country, the authors of the index study 50 independent economic variables. These variables (1) fall into
                                                                  10 broad categories, or factors, of economic freedom and (2) include, trade policy, fiscal burden of
                                                                  government, government intervention in the economy, monetary policy, capital flows and foreign
                                                                  investment, banking and finance, wages and prices, property rights, regulation, and black market
                                                                  activity. Each country receives its overall economic freedom score on the basis of the average of the 10
                                                                  individual factor scores. Each factor is scored according to a grading scale that is unique for that factor.
                                                                  The scales run from 1 to 5: A score of 1 signifies an institutional or consistent set of policies that are
                                                                  most conducive to economic freedom, while a score of 5 signifies a set of policies that are least
                                                                  conducive.




                                                                  Page 119                                                           GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
Appendix VI

Freedom House Scores for Individual
Countries, Fiscal Years 1992 through 2002                                                                         Appendx
                                                                                                                        iVI




               Figures 20 to 25 show the change in the political rights and civil liberties in
               the six countries examined in this report (Bolivia, Colombia, El Salvador,
               Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Peru), according to Freedom House, a U.S.
               research organization that tracks political developments around the world.
               Note that the trend in these two categories is in a generally positive
               direction for all of the countries except Colombia.



               Figure 20: Freedom House Democracy Scores for Bolivia, Fiscal Years 1992 through
               2002

               Bolivia
                 More
                 free
                          1                  Political rights



                          2



                          3



                          4


                                                  Civil liberties
                          5



                          6



                 Less     7
                                                                                      01
                                                       96
                                        94




                                                                     98
                              92


                                   93




                                                                               00




                                                                                           02
                                             95




                                                                97




                                                                          99




                 free
                                                                                     20
                                                      19
                                        19




                                                                     19
                          19


                                   19




                                                                               20




                                                                                           20
                                             19




                                                              19




                                                                          19




                          Fiscal year
               Source: Freedom House.




               Page 120                                                             GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
Appendix VI
Freedom House Scores for Individual
Countries, Fiscal Years 1992 through 2002




Figure 21: Freedom House Democracy Scores for Colombia, Fiscal Years 1992
through 2002




Page 121                                        GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
Appendix VI
Freedom House Scores for Individual
Countries, Fiscal Years 1992 through 2002




Figure 22: Freedom House Democracy Scores for El Salvador, Fiscal Years 1992
through 2002




Page 122                                         GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
Appendix VI
Freedom House Scores for Individual
Countries, Fiscal Years 1992 through 2002




Figure 23: Freedom House Democracy Scores for Guatemala, Fiscal Years 1992
through 2002




Page 123                                        GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
Appendix VI
Freedom House Scores for Individual
Countries, Fiscal Years 1992 through 2002




Figure 24: Freedom House Democracy Scores for Nicaragua, Fiscal Years 1992
through 2002




Page 124                                         GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
Appendix VI
Freedom House Scores for Individual
Countries, Fiscal Years 1992 through 2002




Figure 25: Freedom House Democracy Scores for Peru, Fiscal Years 1992 through
2002




Page 125                                         GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
Appendix VII

GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments                                                         Append
                                                                                                   x
                                                                                                   iVI




GAO Contact       Phillip Herr (202) 512-8509



Staff             In addition to the persons listed above, Jeremy Latimer, James Michels,
                  Juan Tapia-Videla, Rhonda Horried, Eve Weisberg, Judith Williams, and
Acknowledgments   Lynn Cothern made key contributions to this report.




                  Page 126                                      GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
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Latin America and the   Foreign Assistance: Peru on Track for Free and Fair Elections but Faces
Caribbean               Major Challenges. GAO-01-496T. Washington, D.C.: March 14, 2001.

                        Foreign Assistance: Any Further Aid to Haitian Justice System Should
                        be Linked to Performance-Related Conditions. GAO-01-24. Washington,
                        D.C.: October 17, 2000.

                        Foreign Assistance: U.S. Rule of Law Assistance to Five Latin American
                        Countries. GAO/NSIAD-99-195. Washington, D.C.: August 4, 1999.

                        Aid to El Salvador: Slow Progress in Developing a National Civilian
                        Police. GAO/NSIAD-92-338. Washington, D.C.: September 22, 1992.

                        Foreign Assistance: Promising Approach to Judicial Reform in
                        Colombia. GAO/NSIAD-92-269. Washington, D.C.: September 24, 1992.

                        Central America: Assistance to Promote Democracy and National
                        Reconciliation in Nicaragua. NSIAD-90-245. Washington, D.C.: September
                        24, 1990.

                        Foreign Aid: Efforts to Improve the Judicial System in El Salvador.
                        NSIAD-90-81. Washington, D.C.: May 29, 1990.



Former Soviet Union     Former Soviet Union: U.S. Rule of Law Assistance Has Had Limited
                        Impact and Sustainability. GAO-01-740T. Washington, D.C.: May 17, 2001.

                        Former Soviet Union: U.S. Rule of Law Assistance Has Had Limited
                        Impact. GAO-01-354. Washington, D.C.: April 17, 2001.

                        Foreign Assistance: International Efforts to Aid Russia’s Transition
                        Have Had Mixed Results. GAO-01-08. Washington, D.C.: November 1, 2000.

                        Foreign Assistance: Harvard Institute for International Development’s
                        Work in Russia and Ukraine. GAO/NSIAD-97-27. Washington, D.C.:
                        November 27, 1996.




                        Page 127                                     GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
                           Promoting Democracy: Progress Report on U.S. Democratic Development
                           Assistance to Russia. GAO/NSIAD-96-40. Washington, D.C.: February 29,
                           1996.



Other Rule of Law          Foreign Assistance: Status of Rule of Law Program Coordination.
                           GAO/NSIAD-00-8R. Washington, D.C.: October 13, 1999.

                           Foreign Assistance: Rule of Law Funding Worldwide for Fiscal Years
                           1993-1998. GAO/NSIAD-99-158. Washington, D.C.: June 30, 1999.



Other Governance           Cambodia: Governance Reform Progressing, But Key Efforts Are
                           Lagging. GAO-02-569. Washington, D.C.: June 13, 2002.



Other Elections/Human      Cambodia: Limited Progress on Free Elections, Human Rights, and Mine
Rights                     Clearing. NSIAD-96-15BR. Washington, D.C.: February 29, 1996.



U.S. Government Planning   Results Act: An Evaluator’s Guide to Assessing Annual Performance
and Coordination           Plans. GAO/GGD-10.1.20. Washington, D.C.: April 1, 1998.

                           NASA: Better Mechanisms Needed for Sharing Lessons Learned. GAO-02-
                           195. Washington, D.C.: January 30, 2002.



Other                      Foreign Affairs: Internally Displaced Persons Lack Effective Protection.
                           GAO-01-803. Washington, D.C.: August 17, 2001.




(320127)                   Page 128                                     GAO-03-358 Democracy Assistance
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