High Commissioner, Acción Social
Balancing the Central and Local
decentralization, donor relations, capacity building, training
Fri Oct 9 2009
Diego Molano discusses the creation and development of Colombia's Center for Coordination of Integrated Action (CCAI). The organization was based on three principles: inter-agency coordination, instilling of trust in the military, and keeping a low profile by ensuring that no institution became prominent. The CCAI targeted areas characterized by the presence of armed groups, internal population displacement and the growing of illicit crops. It worked with the military to use five tools that consisted of humanitarian assistance, social programs for education and health, social infrastructure, economic development projects, and finally, culture, sports, and leisure, which contributed to building trust and confidence in the government and other institutions. Molano also discusses the use of the Padrino Model that included a “Godfather” who was accountable for the results in one of the 14 institutions in the CCAI. The CCAI later adopted the La Macarena model that supplanted institutions instead of creating them. Initially, the CCAI operated on solely domestic resources, but it later received support from the United States Agency for International Development and the international community.
At the time of this interview, Diego Molano was the high commissioner for Acción Social, the Presidential Agency for Social Action and International Cooperation. He was previously the coordinator of MIDAS (Additional Investment for Sustainable Alternative Development), which is a USAID program. Molano was also one of the founders of the Center for Coordination of Integrated Action. He served as the director of the presidential programs of Acción Social. He also worked as the coordinator of the social component of Plan Colombia. He was a professor at the Faculty of Political Science and Government and International Relations at Universidad del Rosario in Bogotá. He earned a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University in New York.