Our institution

The ARU Foundation is an independent and plural non-profit organization that develops research for public policies with the commitment to produce and promote high-quality applied research from global tools, aimed at informing and influencing the debate on public policy. from scientific evidence.

Mission and vision

It is the mission of the Aru Foundation to strengthen applied research and promote research-oriented training in Bolivia.
Fundación ARU has the vision of contributing to the construction of a more inclusive, cohesive society, with equal opportunities based on more effective public policies.


In 2006, the idea was born to institute a project aimed at strengthening high-quality applied research and promoting innovative and investigative training among young professionals. On August 31, 2007, a non-profit institution was founded under the name of "Fundación Aru", an Aymara word meaning word or voice. In the first years of activity, research production was concentrated in two areas, organized under two groups: the Political Economy Group (GEP) and the Monitoring and Evaluation Group (GEM); Then the Macroeconomic Modeling (GMM) and the Energy and Development (GED) groups were formed. In 2010, the Aru Foundation was selected, along with 49 other institutions in the world, as a beneficiary of the Think Tank Initiative (TTI), which strengthened think tanks and promoted high-quality research production.

ARU concentrated its work on generating high-quality data given the problems identified with the available sources, promoting initiatives such as the Bolivian Network of Microdata and Surveys (RBME), the virtual platform DATUM and other projects aimed at the design and collection of data led by the Data Unit of the Aru Foundation. In the area of ​​research, initiatives such as the Applied Research Workshop (TIA), participation in the Inequality and Poverty Network (NIP), the 1st stand out. Annual Applied Research Contest, the Evidence-Based Meetings (EBE) and the recent Evidence-Based Dialogues (DBE) managed to incorporate the concept of evidence-based public policies in the national context.

The Aru Foundation produced reliable evidence on issues of poverty and inequality, labor market and income, as well as provided inputs for the design of public policies through impact evaluations of programs in education, employment, credit, money transfers and others. In recent years, ARU has expanded its agenda to topics such as the analysis of migration, human trafficking and smuggling, technical vocational training, gender gaps, rural and productive development, judicial reforms and democratic consolidation.


  • High quality applied research standards

ARU adopted a strategy to ensure the quality of its research that is based on three pillars.
The first pillar concerns the careful use of official sources and the collection of reliable data. The second pillar consists of exhaustively identifying the economic and social problems of households based on quantitative and qualitative evidence to project policies aimed at solving them. In particular, the evaluation considers rigorous methodologies that include scope, impacts, costs, effectiveness, equity, and unplanned adverse effects. The third pillar consists of the training and continuous updating of young researchers in each phase of the investigative process.

  • Promoting the formulation of evidence-based public policies

When policies are based on a solid understanding of problems, they tend to be more effective. The research production provides the evidence to define public policy problems, avoiding preconceived conclusions. Many research results can be gradually converted to conventional knowledge and, in the long term, contribute to good public policy decisions. Producing and disseminating research can facilitate political debate and better public policies and better decisions can be designed to improve people's lives. ARU prepares research documents and consulting reports as a means of influence through networking and building long-term institutional relationships with political actors, civil society and the donor community.