Nicaragua is one of the 20 partner countries of VLIR-UOS. From 2003 to 2016 VLIR-UOS budgeted € 1.860.089 for cooperation programmes with Nicaragua.


Nicaragua 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 Nicaragua 2003-2016 (in €)



Individual scholars





A country strategy for Nicaragua

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


  1. Environment: environmental (climate) change, effects on disease, agriculture, biodiversity, natural resources, link with economy, link with eco-tourism/eco-labels/entrepreneurship, waste management
  2. Territorial development: land transition, local development, local governance, productive landscapes, link with agroforestry (cacao, pine forest, etc.), spatial contexts (rural & urban condition), concept of rurality, zones of conflict, agricultural development, sustainable development, possible link with public health/disease control
  3. Society: inclusive governments, human rights, social & community development education, local governance, migration, transitional justice, intercultural issues, land rights, gender & violence, youth & violence, possible link with public health/disease control


Special attention should go to cross-cutting and supporting issues for all activities in Nicaragua:

  • Research strategy/thinking
  • Problem based/hypothesis driven research and innovation
  • Academic English
  • Proposal writing
  • Open library & access systems
  • Gender mainstreaming and balances
  • Intercultural diversity
  • Multidisciplinary research

The country strategy process

The country strategy process for Nicaragua started in 2015 but was postponed and reactivated in April 2016. A desk study, whereby all activities of Flemish academics in Nicaragua were mapped out, resulted in a Nicaragua Fact Sheet. This fact sheet tends to provide an overall overview on the socio-political situation of the country with particular attention for the higher education institutes and the main development aid actors.


On 4 July 2016, VLIR-UOS shared experiences of Flemish academic and Belgian stakeholders in (university) cooperation with Nicaragua and mapped their interets in cooperation in a number of key development themes for the country during a North Seminar. This will form the basis for a country strategy as a strategic niche between development needs/higher education needs and the offer (expertise/interest) of academics of Flemish universities and institutes for higher education. The presentations are available here.


A new element in the country strategy identification since this exercise is the explicit link which is made with the process of joint strategic frameworks developed by Belgian non-state actors. The goal of this exercise is to strive for more synergy and complementarity between Belgian actors in a specific country. As such, this brings in a new element in the strategic niche for cooperation: demand, offer and synergies/complementarities.


The outcome of the consultation seminar will form the basis for the elaboration of a policy document for cooperation with Nicaragua. The final country strategy document for cooperation with Nicaragua is to be finalised at the latest by Mid-September 2016.

Background documents

VLIR-UOS compiled documents are work in progress, and your feeback in terms of completion and/or improvement is much appreciated.


  • The Nicaragua Fact Sheet is a draft summary in the general status of the country with specific attention for the development aid actors as well as the sectors of higher education.
  • Joint Context Analysis of Nicaragua. This document aims at an analysis of the context in Nicaragua 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 synergy.
  • Joint Strategic Framework (JSF) of Nicaragua. This document presents different joint strategic goals which the non-governmental actors have put forward, based on the JCA Nicaragua. 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.


Inge Vandevyvere

Programme Officer South

[t] + 32 2 550 19 67




Ongoing Project

Overview of ongoing projects