Mexico and Germany – Joint projects for good governance

Project description

Title: Joint Mexican-German Fund
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Mexico
Lead executing agency: Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (AMEXCID)
Overall term: 2015 to 2023

Joint Mexican-German Fund. © GIZ

Context

Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index shows that between 2014 and 2017, Mexico fell from 35 points to 29 points, whereby a zero-point score stands for ‘highly corrupt’ and 100 points means ‘very clean’. This downgrading shows that the challenges surrounding transparency and corruption are increasing. The national INEGIS survey of 2018 also revealed that 79 per cent of the Mexican population believe there is an extremely high level of insecurity with regard to crime, corruption and impunity.

Against this backdrop, the Mexican Government has attempted to counter the situation by initiating various measures and structural changes in recent years.

In June 2015, for example, Mexico founded a strategic alliance with Germany in order to address these challenges. Together with public and private stakeholders, this alliance develops projects aimed at strengthening good governance in Mexico.

Objective

Mexico and Germany are successfully supporting third-party projects that strengthen multi-stakeholder partnerships for good governance in Mexico.

Approach

Established by the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (AMEXCID) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in June 2015, the Joint Mexican-German Fund (FCMA), which operates on a parity basis, supports projects by government agencies, civil society and the private sector in five key areas: human rights, democratic governance, rule of law, public security and social inclusion.

AMEXCID and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH implement the fund on behalf of BMZ. They provide a range of technical support, starting with project design through to results measurement, in order to guarantee holistic, equitable and efficient implementation.

In 2017, Mexico and Germany decided that the fund would support third-party projects in the following areas between 2019 and 2023:

  • Migration
  •  Anti-corruption
  • Social-ecological conflicts

Scheduled to run from September 2015 to January 2023, the fund has a total budget of EUR 8 million, whereby Germany and Mexico each contribute  EUR 4 million.

Results

During the negotiations, both countries identified specific projects and topics they wished to support with the fund. The following have been implemented since 2016:

  • Together with ‘Save the Children Mexico’, the project ‘Preventing the unaccompanied migration of minors from communities of origin in the northern triangle of Central America’ reduces the risks associated with unaccompanied migration. Implemented between June 2016 and April 2019 with a budget of 1.6 million US dollars, it was mandated to create local protection systems. The project has supported more than 5,500 children and young people in ten communities of origin in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras and provided primary care for more than 500 returned children and young people.
  • The Mexican Government is assisting the ‘Support for transparency and accountability in extractive activities’ project with the rollout of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) global standard and with EITI compliance. To this end, it is working with the Mexican Ministry of Energy. Having got off the ground in May 2016 with a total budget of EUR 640,000, it has since given Mexico a platform with standardised and systematic information. Civil society benefits from EITI by having access to a greater volume of relevant information, e.g. on the environmental and social impacts of extractive activities.
  • The ‘Pilot project: Human rights in border communities’ aims to promote, respect, protect and guarantee the human rights of persons living in and travelling through the 23 communities on Mexico’s southern border. Special attention is paid to women, children, young and indigenous people, Afro-Mexicans and migrants. The project has been implemented jointly with the Mexican Ministry of the Interior since May 2017 with a budget of EUR 650,000.
  • By 2019, some 20 of the 23 municipalities on Mexico’s southern border had signed their ‘Letter of Commitment’ as ‘Border Communities for Human Rights’. Six municipalities have established and formalised local human rights committees that develop concrete measures.
  • The ‘Tax Transparency and Citizen Participation’ project aims to promote fiscal control by society in order to increase the transparency of public spending and improve the performance of federal and local governments. Implemented in collaboration with the Centre for Economic Research and Education (CIDE), the project was launched in November 2018 with a budget of EUR 200,000.

On the one hand, the project ensures that local supreme audit institutions become more efficient at performing the tasks assigned to them within the framework of transparency and anti-corruption reforms and that they use better instruments. On the other, social auditing is building capacity with respect to citizen understanding, participation and demands.

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