ISA Group, BARCO FOUNDATION, and UNDP create Conexiones para el Desarrollo: An alliance to strengthen educational, community, and institutional capacities in Colombia

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  • The program will transform the ISA Group’s territories of influence in Colombia, and will subsequently extend to Peru, Chile, and Brazil.
  • The first project will be undertaken in seven municipalities in Atlántico and Bolívar, benefiting 31,000 people and 100% of the educational centers.

Conexiones para el Desarrollo is a joint commitment between ISA and its affiliates ISA INTERCOLOMBIA and ISA TRANSELCA, the BARCO FOUNDATION, and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP in Colombia). The goal is to strengthen educational, community, and institutional capacities, based on sustainable development strategies and projects that improve the material, social, and cultural living conditions of the territories where the ISA Group is present in Latin America.

The program is a response to the identification of multiple social challenges, considering that a large part of ISA’s areas of influence in Colombia correspond to rural municipalities with a lack of basic and hardly accessible public assets, where education coverage and quality are poorer than in urban areas, which increases generational backwardness and poverty.

“This program is a sign that ISA is committed to the change the company wants to see in the world. ISA recognizes the need to work systemically in the territories, not only impacting the school, but also its environment under a social capital building approach. As a result, Conexiones para el Desarrollo will empower the communities. The first project will support 100% of the educational institutions in the seven selected municipalities, to create Sustainable Value for present and future generations

Berardo Vargas Gibsone, ISA’s CEO.

The program is divided into three levels:  School (formal and non-formal educational processes to improve quality and relevance), Environment (to strengthen coexistence and productive capacities of families and communities), and Territory (to strengthen management capacities at the institutional level, emphasizing participation and inclusion).

The program will officially start with a first project on ISA INTERCOLOMBIA’s Sabanalarga – Bolivar 500 kV Transmission Line, which will strengthen the energy transmission system in the north of the country and will cross seven municipalities in the departments of Atlántico and Bolivar: Sabanalarga, Luruaco, Piojó, Santa Catalina, Clemencia, Santa Rosa, and Villanueva. 

This first project will have a direct impact on 20 territorial units and 31,000 people. It is expected to support 100% of the educational centers identified in the area over the next three years. Likewise, more than 20 family-community projects are planned. At the territorial level, the objective will be to increase the municipal capacities of the 7 municipalities.

The dialogue between the State, allies, and communities is an essential condition for project adoption and sustainability. At the end of the participation, the aim is to ensure that the collective and individual learning is reflected in the participants’ personal and collective growth.

ISA is convinced about the need to make children, adolescents, and young people fall in love with their learning processes because a person who has educational opportunities and who experiences complete educational cycles and trajectories, is a person who improves his or her life project and who exercises leadership for the development of his or her territories“.


This Foundation has been a key ally for ISA over the past 13 years in the development of the Transformación Educativa para la Vida program, which now evolves as Conexiones para el Desarrollo.

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP in Colombia) will be the intermediary to strengthen the capacities of local institutions and civil society, using its more than 40 years of experience in promoting development in Colombia.

“This is a commitment that unites us with multiple public, private, and civil stakeholders so that, in the Decade of Action, ISA accelerates the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Through stronger, more solid, participatory, inclusive, and proactive democratic governance, ISA is certain to accelerate locally the fulfillment of goals and dreams for human and sustainable development in any territory“.

Blanca Cardona, National Manager of Democratic Governance of UNPD Colombia.

Finally, the program will be the ISA Group’s regional commitment in Colombia, Peru, Chile, and Brazil. Through the allies’ support, it will address the realities in each country to benefit from the lessons learned in 50 years of social management, which are consistent with the purpose of contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals expressed in its ISA2030 strategy.


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