Bolivia is one of the 20 partner countries of VLIR-UOS. From 2003 to 2016 VLIR-UOS budgeted € 5.037.044 for cooperation programmes with Bolivia, including one Institutional University Cooperation programme with Universidad Mayor de San Simón.


Bolivia is also one of the 31 scholarship countries of VLIR-UOS. Nationals can apply for a scholarship to follow a training or Master programme at a Flemish university or university college.

Facts and figures


Total budget Bolivia 2003-2016 (in €)



Individual scholars





A Country strategy for Bolivia

The Country Strategy Paper for Bolivia identifies the following main themes for all future interventions in the cooperation with Bolivia:


Geographical focus No exclusion of geographical areas, but cooperation with institutes outside the central axis (La Paz - Cochabamba - Santa Cruz) is stimulated
Partner institutions

Priority is given to universities of the national system (public institutions + UCB, excluding military and police schools) and UNIBOL (3 Indigenous universities). This list can be adapted according to the corresponding instruments:


  1. Universidad San Francisco Xavier de Chuquisaca (USFX), Sucre
  2. Universidad Mayor de San Andrés (UMSA), La Paz
  3. Universidad Mayor de San Simón (UMSS), Cochabamba
  4. Universidad Autónoma Gabriel René Moreno (UAGRM), Santa Cruz
  5. Universidad Técnica de Oruro (UTO), Oruro
  6. Universidad Autónoma Tomás Frías (UATF), Potosí
  7. Universidad Juan Misael Saracho (UAJMS), Tarija
  8. Universidad Autónoma del Beni 'José Balliviían', Trinidad
  9. Universidad Nacional 'Siglo XX', Potosí
  10. Universidad Amazónica de Pando, Cobija
  11. Universidad Pública de El Alto, El Alto
  12. Universidad Católica Boliviana San Pablo
  13. UNIBOL - Aymara 'Tupac Katari', Warisata
  14. UNIBOL - Guarani 'Apiaguaiki Tüpa', Macharetí
  15. UNIBOL - Guechua 'Casimiro Huanca', Chimoré
Main (multidisciplinary) themes for cooperation
  • Environment & nature resources (water, irrigation, climate change, pollution, etc.)
  • Food security & sovereignty (focus on family agriculture)
  • Social development (social insecurity and safety, public health, indigenous rights, multiculturalism, immigration, etc.)
Crosscutting & support themes
  • Research support (policy, data management, statistics, academic English, scientific writing, interface with society, etc.)
Instruments / partnership modalities
  • National level: given the perceived lack of institutional heritage of the IUC programme at UMSS, a network with UMSS as hub seems not to be the best way forward. However, given the general need for research strengthening (and the importance of research in international (VLIR-UOS) cooperation), a national crosscutting project on research support (with all partners or with partners from the national system) is advisable. Moreover, regional integration can be sought, especially with other Andean countries (Ecuador, Peru), on topics like food security and climate change.
  • Institutional level: IUC is a possibility in Bolivia. Most obvious possible partner is UCB. Other possible partner institutions can include USFX and UATF-UAJMS.
  • Departmental level: opportunities for TEAM projects with well-established partners (national system). SI are ideal to explore new cooperation possibilities, especially with UNIBOL.
  • Scholarships: apart from incorporating scholarships in south projects, (priority) access of staff of non-university research institutions to individual scholarships (ICP and ICP PhD) can be considered. Bolivia is an important country for Flemish travel scholarship opportunities.

The country strategy development

The Country Strategy Identification (CSI) process for Bolivia started at the end of 2014 with a desk study with a contextual analysis. On 8 January 2015, a North Seminar was organised in Brussels in order to listen to the experiences and ideas of the interested Flemish academics (supply side) and other Belgian stakeholders. In addition, the hosting of a South Seminar on 19 March 2015 allowed for further inputs and discussions.


The Identification Mission Report presents a match between the recommendations from Flemish stakeholders through consultations and interviews (supply) and the Bolivian needs and priorities for cooperation (demand). The strategic niche for future cooperation with Bolivia can be summarised as follows:

Background documents

  • The Bolivia Fact Sheet is a summary on the general status of the country with specific attention for the development aid actors as well as the sector of higher education.
  • Joint Context Analysis (JCA) of Bolivia. This document aims at an analysis of the context in Bolivia and of the opportunities to collaborate for the non-governmental actors of the Belgian Development Cooperation from 2017 until 2026. It should primarily be seen as an opportunity to identify possible ways of cooperation, complementarity and syngergy.
  • Joint Strategic Framework (JSF) of Bolivia. This document presents different joint strategic goals which the non-governmental actors have put forward, based on the JCA Bolivia. Each goal is specified into different approaches, which reflects the contributions of different actors to the joint strategic goal. An elaboration on the development relevance of every goal is also included. The last chapter elaborates commitments for synergy and complementarity between Belgian actors, related to the presented goals and approaches. Special attention is given to the transversal themes gender and environment.


Wannes Verbeeck

Programme Officer South

[t] + 32 2 550 19 68





Ongoing projects

Overview of ongoing projects



    Giving a voice to Bolivian street children and their mothers: 'We want to be heard!'

    Giving a voice to Bolivian street children and their mothers: 'We want to be heard!'

    Research project on the impact of socio-economical risk factors for children, adolescents and their families in urbanized Bolivian communities.

    Read more »