CINVA – End and Legacy

After the Colombian civil war ended in 1958, CINVA was nationalized. This led to the shutdown of CINVA’s experiments and criticism directed towards the organization. Yale University Professor Walter D. Harris pointed out that there was low academic rigor in the CINVA program and that it was badly distributed. After these thoughts were publicly shared, the OAS made Professor Harris the new CINVA director and signed a six-year consulting agreement with Yale hoping to elevate CINVA’s academic profile.

Professor Harris had been involved in aided-self help movements in Guatemala, therefore he had the experience and the credentials to lead the project. However, he shifted CINVA’s focus to training social workers and thus the center stopped generating new ideas and technologies. Similarly, he changed CINVA from a multinational research program to a binational one which led to the loss of most of CINVA’s international faculty, and eventually led to its downfall. (Healey, Mark).