Strategic Filters
The analysis conducted in previous chapters suggests that an ideal strategy for strengthening democracy
in Peru would tackle at least three of the major problem areas identified in the assessment framework:
limitations on the rule of law, the lack of effective competition and balance of power, and the exclusion
of traditionally marginalized populations from meaningful political participation.  However, it is not
possible for USAID to effectively address all of these problem areas at the present time.  In order to
make recommendations for a practical USAID/Peru democracy and governance strategy for the next five
years, several  filters  or conditioning factors must be taken into account.  Five of these merit special
review: 1) political opportunity (an issue addressed in previous sections, but reiterated here); 2) U.S.
foreign policy priorities in Peru; 3) time and resource limitations; 4) USAID's existing program and the
costs of changing course; and 5) other donor programs and priorities. The first section of this chapter
reviews each of these filters briefly, and the subsequent sections present recommendations on strategy
and tactics (section B) and a final summary of recommended priorities (section C).
Political Opportunity
Donors cannot make a difference in advancing democracy in the absence of political will and
opportunity.   If the main actors involved in a given arena are not interested in reform, and there are no
clear and effective new allies on the horizon, then no amount of external funding will make a lasting
difference.  This has been the case with most 
rule of law
 efforts, particularly in regard to support for
judicial reform.   As described earlier, while lack of respect for the rule of law is one of the most critical
problems in Peru today, to date the government has not been committed to institutional reform, and
external assistance for this purpose has been largely stymied.  Furthermore, although there are
longstanding inefficiencies in the justice system that need to be addressed, the primary obstacle for
reform in the short term does not lie within the Judiciary itself. Rather, it is due to Executive and
Congressional intervention in this sector.  Hence, there has been little opportunity for donors to make
contributions to judicial reform in this context.
In the wake of recommendations made by the High Level Mission of the OAS, there may be new
opportunities for institutional reform in Peru, and these are mentioned in the following recommendations.
The strengthening of the rule of law, restoration of judicial independence and reform of the
administration of justice are among the highest priorities on the list of OAS proposals, along with general
strengthening of the separation of powers, adequate protection of human rights and press freedom, and
reforming the electoral system.  These are also priorities cited in this report, and Team members consider
their initial acceptance by the government as well as the political opposition to be an encouraging sign.
However, given the past record of this administration, the current polarization and the lack of any firm
agenda for dialogue on the enactment of these proposals, it is too early to determine whether there is a
genuine commitment to reform on the part of government authorities, and whether other political and
social actors would participate in any such process.   Hence the need for a cautious and staged approach
is also stressed in these recommendations.
H:\INCOMING\July24\MSI Submission\Fn Email.doc

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