Who we are?
Nitlapan is an institute specializing in research on and the creation and publicizing of new local rural and urban development models and methodologies. Nitlapan promotes concrete local development initiatives by providing a set of financial and non-financial services to micro, small and medium rural and urban businesses, especially those of women and young people. It does this within ongoing analysis, systematization and validation of all local experiences that yielded successful results and could be replicated in other territories or converted into inputs for the design of development policies in alliance with state institutions, civil society organizations, the private business sector and international development cooperation agencies.
Nitlapan is part of the Central American University (UCA) in Managua, Nicaragua, one of the three universities that the Society of Jesus has in Central America. “Society of Jesus” is the name of the religious congregation made up of Jesuit priests and other religious workers, a congregation of worldwide scope with an active apostolic presence in five continents. In the specific case of Central America, the Society of Jesus operates in six countries of the region (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama), which are administratively constituted as a single province: The Central American Province of the Society of Jesus.
Mision and Vision?
To help overcome the poverty, marginalization and exclusion of men and women of the rural and urban sectors through the generation and application of their own thinking about development processes in which these growers and businesspeople are the lead subjects of a national/Central American development with social equality and environmental sustainability.
As a research and development institute of the UCA associated with the Jesuit Network of Social Works, it is dedicated to innovation; technical, business and legal advice; formation of human capital and advocacy on public policies to promote the design and application of competitive and inclusive rural development models articulated to the local, national and Central American urban sectors.
Four Programs linked to the Institute’s target groups, partners and allies depend on Nitlapan’s Executive Directorate:
• Business incubation
• Business development services
• Rural legal services Each of these four Programs has its own thematic lines of work and projects, which are mutually linked in the work within the territories.
Partners are those institutions that demand and receive direct services from Nitlapan to strengthen their own institutional capacities in providing the services that they, in turn, directly provide to the target groups prioritized by Nitlapan. In this regard, Nitlapan operates with its institutional partners as a kind of “second tier” organization in promoting local development. Institutional allies Allies are those institutions that have institutional capacities Nitlapan does not have, and for that reason are complementary.
The following are some of Nitlapan’s institutional partners and allies:
• National, departmental and local governmental institutions, including mayors’ offices and autonomous regional governments of the Caribbean Coast, programs and projects.
• Nongovernmental development organizations within and outside of Nicaragua.
• Grassroots organizations, including cooperatives.
• Workers’ and businesspeople’s associations.
• Micro-financing institutions.
• Commercial private sector.
• Regional institutional networks (Central American and Latin American).
• University academic institutions and national and foreign research centers.
These are the final recipients of its institutional activity. They are represented by the following social sectors:
• Peasants and young rural subsistence wage workers with little or no land.
• Peasants and indigenous people in traditional production and/or service chains
• Peasants in nontraditional production and/or service chains.
• Micro and small businesses, particularly those of women and young people.