Ecuador: Development and Cultural Diversity to reduce Poverty and promote Social Inclusion


As a result of their culture or ethnicity, many minorities and disadvantaged populations in Ecuador suffer discrimination and social exclusion, and their rights and opportunities for education, health and agricultural production are severely neglected. The Joint Programme promoted the revaluation of culture, inclusion and intercultural dialogue as a means to reduce this discrimination and to break the cycle of poverty affecting these groups. 

The programme contributed towards achieving MDGs 1, 2, 3, 5 and 7 and worked with population groups who had limited opportunities to access education, health, and the means of agricultural production. It also addressed the issues that affect poverty.

The programme’s objectives were:

  1. Strengthening intercultural public policy;
  2. Supporting initiatives in culture and income-generating activities; and
  3. Building capacity for statistical analysis and information on cultural and ethnic diversity.

This programme was based on the experience of the UN Working Group on interculturalism. It promoted strengthening alliances with public, national and local organisations in nine priority territories (provinces) in the country.

Some of the achievements of the Programme were:

  • Support was provided for full implementation of sectoral policy, which allowed an increase in intercultural, equality and equity processes in the cultural sector through the implementation of the Política Pública de Género e Interculturalidad (Public Policy on Gender and Cultural Diversity), the Plan contra el racismo (the Plan against Racism) and the second edition of the Nelson Estupiñán Bass national contest.
  • Delivery rooms were adapted in a culturally appropriate manner, participatory proposals were facilitated for the establishment of new laws and institutions for indigenous peoples and nationalities, and support was provided for producing basic education material in the original, indigenous languages.
  • Support was provided for cultural initiatives to revitalize traditional culture, recover ancestral practices and products, create sustainable livelihoods for indigenous people and nationalities, and foster environmental protection.
  • Differentiated information and statistics were produced in collaboration with the Ecuador’s National Institute of Statistics and Censuses: support was provided for the design of the census form to be culturally appropriate for ethnic minorities, as well as the design and the implementation of the self-identification campaign for the 2010 Census.
  • The Integrated System of Social Indicators of Ecuador (SIISE) was strengthened by incorporating them in a web environment, which can be used to consult all socially disaggregated indicators by ethnic group.


Click for more detailed results from the Joint Programmes in Ecuador (in Spanish).


The Joint Programme in action


Programme Dates 24 Oct 2008 - 24 Apr 2012
Net funded amount $5,485,933
Participating UN agencies FAO, UNDP, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women, UNWTO
National partners Ministerio de Salud Pública, Ministerio de Justicia y Derechos Humanos, Ministerio de Educación, Ministerio de Finanzas, Secretaría de Pueblos y Participación Ciudadana, SENPLADES, Consejo de Desarrollo de los Pueblos y Nacionalidades CODENPE, Consejo de Desarrollo de los Afro ecuatorianos CODAE, Comisión Nacional de Estadísticas para Pueblos y Nacionalidades CONEPIA, Defensoría del Pueblo, Fuerzas Armadas, Instituto de Altos Estudios Nacionales IAEN, Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar , Pontificia Universidad Católica de Esmeraldas, Universidad Luis Vargas Torres de Esmeraldas, Consejo Provincial de Esmeraldas, Municipio de Esmeraldas, Municipio de Qunindé, Municipio de Atacames, Municipio de Muisne, Municipio de Río Verde, Consejo Provincial de Sucumbíos, Municipio de Gonzalo Pizarro, Municipio de Cascales, Municipios de Lago Agrio, Municipio de Shushufindi, Municipio de Cuyabeno, Consejo Provincial de Chimborazo, Municipio de Riobamba, Municipio de Alausí, Municipio de Colta, Municipio de Guamote
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