Yaguarón is a small municipality in the department of Paraguarí, approximately 50 kilometers east of Asunción, the capital of Paraguay, and has a population of about 30,000. IRI has carried out governance-related programming in Paraguay since 2017. The main economic sector in Yaguarón is agriculture and livestock, followed by handicrafts and tourism. As in the rest of the Paraguayan municipalities, the municipality receives funds from the State through two main sources: FONACIDE and royalties, although it also raises its own funds, mainly through property tax and commercial patents. In Yaguarón these funds represent approximately half of the municipality's annual budget.
IRI’s VCA report has identified four principle vulnerabilities. First, there are multiple and redundant information provision requirements that often require the permanent attention of a scarce personnel. In Yaguarón, this means that, according to some representatives of the municipality, the rules are sometimes not complied with precisely, and certain acts are subsequently regularized. Additionally, settlements of invoices and payments to staff are made in cash, resulting in inadequate risk management. Third, with inadequate recruitment planning, the Annual Contracting Plan does not establish priorities for the rest of the year, nor does it distribute the purchases of goods and services foreseen by item or area of government. Finally, the downside of young human resources is a limited formal experience and training. Public contracting, especially in the case of infrastructure projects, requires a very specific skill set and professional experience. Interviewees are aware of this need.
IRI's work in Yaguarón found that with young and proactive leadership coupled with an awareness of the need for support, the Municipality of Yaguarón and its officials are willing to respond to requests and prioritize non-traditional responsibilities and cultural events.
Given these strengths, IRI has identified weaknesses related to a disproportionate administrative burden vis-à-vis the central government, inadequate risk management, inadequate recruitment planning, and limited expertise of young human resources.