Social Investment Funds and Indigenous Peoples

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Jun 2001
The aim of this paper is to offer a brief analysis of the social investment funds for indigenous people that have been financed by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and to consider how far they have been effective in meeting the needs of indigenous people. This paper identifies two types of targeting mechanisms: 1) Inclusive funds that do not distinguish indigenous people from other sectors of society based on ethnicity; and 2) Exclusive funds or components intended only for the indigenous or ethnic population. The author discusses the merits of both approaches and identifies four factors that determine their effectiveness in reaching targeting goals: 1) Geographic isolation; 2) Social exclusion based on racial of ethnic prejudice; 3) Social and cultural factors including language, structures of authority and economic values; 4) The capacity of the indigenous organizations.