Instead of being registered as a foreign NGO working in Bolivia, EIA chose to be registered as a Bolivian nonprofit foundation operating as Fundación Ingenieros en Acción (FIEA). Because of this and the fact that our staff is mostly Bolivian, we have developed strong relationships with Bolivian government agencies and organizations from the statewide level down to the individual community level.
Our knowledge of Bolivian governmental system, standards, and requirements has helped us to build a strong level of trust and familiarity with many agencies and departments. This helps to ensure that our teams and programs are accepted and integrated into regional programs. This has led to expansion of our programs and operations, often at the invitation of governmental units.
In Bolivia, government funds for community water and infrastructure development are usually held at the municipal level. Bolivian municipalities are similar to counties in the United States. We are regularly asked by municipalities to consider starting programs at their poorest, least accessible communities. Municipalities often have funds available to help with the purchase of materials for community water and infrastructure projects.
However, to access these funds, meetings and applications are required and the plans and specifications for implementation need to be prepared in accordance with Bolivian standards and formats. They also typically require design reports conforming to their requirements in order to approve funding. Since we are familiar and experienced with these requirements, EIA can assist teams in acquiring partial funding from municipal and other levels of government.