BOLIVIA. National Development Strategy, 1992. (National Development Strategy: An Instrument for Coordination. . . . Population Policy Guidelines, 1992, La Paz, Bolivia, Ministry of Planning and Coordination, Department of Population Policy, 1992.


2.1 Guidelines

48. Within the framework of the ESB, population policies are conceived of as a group of measures intended to influence demographic behavior. These guidelines will serve to harmonize population trends with trends of economic and social development, with the goal of contributing to the satisfaction of the basic necessities of the country's inhabitants and promoting their productive participation in society.

49. The implementation of population policies requires that:

a) Principles and standards are defined for the public and private agencies that operate in this field;

b) Respect for the liberty of individuals and families is guaranteed, within the framework of the individual rights established by the Political Constitution of the State;

c) These policies are integrated into global efforts to promote the principles of respect for human rights, national sovereignty, and international solidarity.

50. Bolivia's population dynamics have undergone important changes, considerable reductions in both the infant mortality rate and fertility rate, and an accelerated process of urbanization. These transformations are not the result of explicit population policies, but are attributable, on one hand, to human behavior in the face of an adverse socioeconomic context and, on the other, to the effect of the health plans and programs that have been widely implemented in the country. Nevertheless, these demographic modifications are insufficient and, because of this, it is of extreme urgency to increase awareness of the need to develop a coherent population policy oriented towards the integral development of the country.

51. The National Strategy calls for the implementation of a National Population Plan that, for its execution, gives priority to timely activities, target groups, target goals, responsible activities and institutions, and human and financial resources.

2.2 General Objective

52. To strive for a harmonious relationship between population dynamics and the process of social and economic development that will permit the factors that influence population trends to be affected in a positive way. This relationship must also contribute towards satisfying the basic needs of various population groups, while maintaining both sustainable development and the environment.

2.3 Specific Objectives

2.3.1. To contribute to a reduction in the rates of infant and maternal mortality and morbidity.

53. Under this Strategy, it is important to support the National Plan of Infant Survival and Development and Maternal Health, extending the technical methods of the program of "Infant Survival in Bolivia" and analyzing current information on health and mortality through following indicators, using information and data on the target populations, priorities, and situations of urgency, so that these activities are effective.

54. Widespread national information, communication, and education plans will be approved (in Spanish and native languages) on health and hygiene habits. At the same time, educational texts and pamphlets will be produced in order to achieve the participation of the people in the care of their own health, as a basic means of prevention.

2.3.2. To spread awareness of reproductive health matters related to fertility in order to bring about a decrease in maternal and infant mortality.

55. The implementation of information, communication, and educational programs on population issues will be the basic instrument for the broad diffusion of information on standards relating to women's integral health care and to the basic elements of health for family life. This information will be issued by the Ministry of Social Security and Public Health (MPSSP).

56. Another important task will be the dissemination of information on the existence of the internationally recognized right of people to decide freely the number and spacing of their children. To complement this information, educational campaigns must be carried out on the correct application of standards relating to reproductive health, sex education, and family planning. These will be appropriate to the different socioeconomic, regional, cultural, and ethnic realities of the various population groups.

2.3.3. To strive towards an appropriate use of national space and support the strengthening of intermediate cities with the goal of achieving their territorial, economic, and social integration.

57. To reach this objective, it is necessary to bring about the transfer of information both now and in the future in order to interest departmental and municipal governments in the execution of regional, urban, and rural development activities. These will be based on an appropriate use of space and the socioeconomic promotion of intermediate cities.

58. The implementation of this proposal must be accompanied by the optimal and efficient management of natural, institutional, financial, technical, and other resources that are involved in the spatial distribution of the population.

59. Another mechanism for achieving appropriate population distribution is the formulation of urban development and integration plans for border populations. These plans will deal with the establishment of sovereignty, the attraction of population, and economic development. In this manner, the transitory nature of the energy of these populations that depend on the economic conditions of neighboring countries will be counteracted.

60. Finally, rural development will be promoted in the context of economic potential, so as to encourage the permanency of the labor force by offering it options of training and technical assistance that will increase agricultural and farming production.

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68. With respect to Bolivian temporary migrant workers in other countries, legal instruments for their social and legal protection will be established through bilateral agreements and accords between countries. These will guarantee suitable social security arrangements, as a minimum guarantee for the maintenance of the labor force.

2.3.5. To control the negative effects on the environment of urbanization and the activities of the population.

69. Mechanisms will be developed to create awareness in and sensitize the general population to present and potential demographic environmental problems. Cultural and regional diversity must be considered in designing a national program on education on population and the environment. Methods of social communication will be used for its application in formal education (universities and other educational institutions) and informal education.

2.3.6. To establish the institutional mechanisms necessary to coordinate population policies and ensure that they respond to the guidelines of this Strategy, so as to guarantee the availability of specialized human resources.

70. Under the direction of the Ministry of Planning and Coordination (MPC), through the Population Policy Unit (UPP), intersectoral coordination mechanisms will be put into practice to ensure in an efficient manner the compatibility of the objectives of population policy that are pursued by government sectors and programs.

71. It is important to generate a management policy for the appropriate management of national resources and international cooperation. This policy will ensure efficient technical and financial assistance in support of the activities of population policies.

72. Finally, with the support of international institutions involved in population issues, the development of professional human resources in the different areas of population and development will be promoted.