Welcome to the United Nations. It's your world.
United Nations Development AccountUnited Nations Headquarters New York

Development Account Projects

Enhancing the economic and social development policy capabilities in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean

Background:

ECLAC is well recognised for its diagnosis and analysis of economic and social development trends in the Latin American and Caribbean region and is a major intellectual centre for the elaboration of strategic policy proposals addressing the regions major economic and social challenges.

Objective:

To establish a network of professionals in the field of economics and related disciplines capable of identifying and addressing problems, challenges and opportunities in the region

Expected accomplishments:

  • Professionals, policy makers, government officials and research institutions will have enhanced analytical and applied skills in support of social policy formulation at the national and local levels;
  • Increased subregional, regional and interregional economic cooperation through the sharing of commonly accepted economic policy instruments.

Effects and Impact:

The project’s objective was to strengthen regional co-operation among national experts and decision-makers by creating an appropriate discussion forum on the conditions and expected results of macroeconomic co-ordination. This objective was fulfilled although its impacts and modalities varied according to the respective sub-regions involved. In Central America and the Andean Community the project provided a technical forum to complement the existing institutional machineries. Participants expressed in particular that one of the project’s original and specific contributions was bringing together ministries of finance and central banks to discuss macroeconomic policies from a regional perspective. In Mercosur, which entered into a sharp crisis during the implementation stage, the project provided an informal forum, which allowed high-level technical officials to maintain the dialogue on macroeconomics issues, and contributed to a progressive return to normality.

The project established two networks (Central America and CAN), while a third network (Southern Cone) was relaunched. These networks are dedicated to the development of inter-regional links with Europe and North America in order to diffuse their outputs and promote their goals. The project also contributed to the process of strengthening regional integration and macroeconomic coordination among national institutes of statistics in the region. The project cooperated with ILO, UNICEF, and UNDP, and has partnered up with the IADB, and GTZ on two technical cooperation activities on financial development and volatility.

A major contribution of the project was also to provide a regional network to discuss exchange rate policies, a topic of intense theoretical and political debate during the project activity. As a result, the project was able to convince the organisers of an international seminar on currency issues to have their meeting to take place in the region, in March 2002. The exchange of opinion among international experts with the support from the European Union during the project implementation, brought valuable experiences at both conceptual and institutional levels. The project was also instrumental in convincing national authorities and external donors on the need to strengthen their capacities to build decision support systems and to spread information at regional level. As a result, several activities geared at harmonizing key macro-statistics and developing simulation and forecasting models were carried out in cooperation with national and regional institutions. Most of these initiatives received the support of multilateral and bilateral institutions from outside the region. Ultimately, the best indicators of the project’s overall impact are (1) the request from regional and sub-regional experts and entities to continue the project’s activities, and (2) the possibility to attract the support of multilateral institutions in providing technical and financial support for its continuation.