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Strengthening the capacity of Latin American and Caribbean countries to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by sharing information about successful initiatives through a regional network

Background:

A wide Achieving the Millennium Development Goals poses a challenge for developing new and innovative policies and programmes. Information-sharing on successful initiatives, between public officials and development practitioners, is an important dimension of this process. Lessons learned must now be consolidated and disseminated so that they can be evaluated and possibly implemented in other countries. The potential of information-sharing has been recognized by many Latin American and Caribbean countries. A good example is the database of successful projects implemented by the National Planning Department of Colombia. A similar initiative, related to the Millennium Development Goals, was the conference organized by the World Bank in 2004, “Scaling up poverty reduction: a global learning process”, at which approximately 100 case studies representing most economic and social sectors were examined to identify successful as well as unsuccessful attempts to scale up poverty reduction initiatives.

While cross-country information-sharing can be useful, each situation has to be approached with a country-specific perspective. Particular social, cultural, economic and environmental factors have a major influence on the success of policies, programmes and projects. Nonetheless, if an initiative has been successful in one country, it is likely to be successful again in another country with similar cultural, socio-economic and environmental conditions. ECLAC, through the Latin American and Caribbean Institute for Economic and Social Planning (ILPES), has been supporting Latin American and Caribbean countries in the development and implementation of national investment databases as part of national investment systems. These databases have the purpose of registering and sharing information, at the national level, about proposed, ongoing and completed public investment initiatives. ILPES has also been supporting the development of a database on successful projects.

The project will draw on lessons learned from the 2004-2005 ECLAC project “Strengthening the capacity of Latin American and Caribbean countries to fulfil the Millennium Development Goals” and from the implementation of the Network of Institutions and Experts on Social and Environmental Statistics (see www.eclac.cl/redesa). The experiences and lessons obtained from the 2004-2005 ECA project “Strengthening the capacity of the African policy community to meet the Millennium Development Goals through knowledge-sharing in the framework of South-South partnership” will also be considered.

Objective:

To increase the knowledge of public officials and development practitioners in Latin American and Caribbean countries on effective and efficient ways of contributing to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

Expected accomplishments:

  • Increased skills and knowledge of public officials and development practitioners for Millennium Development Goal implementation and monitoring as a result of timely and effective exchanges of information about successful case studies and initiatives
  • Countries, implementing agencies and NGOs develop successful initiatives towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals and establishment of national websites describing case studies and initiatives
  • Increased cooperation among countries of the region on successful initiatives towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals through the sharing of successful experiences via the network

Implementation status:

The overall objective of the project was to increase the knowledge of public officials and development practitioners in general about effective and efficient ways of contributing to the achievement of the MDGs in Latin American and Caribbean countries, and to foster an active exchange of experiences among them. The project has achieved the expected accomplishments by identifying 149 successful initiatives from 17 countries of the region related to the MDGs; disseminating and generating exchange of experiences regarding these initiatives; and strengthening the knowledge, skills and capacities of 156 institutions, including government authorities, civil society entities and other stakeholders such as the academia, at national and sub-national levels. These achievements were reached mainly through two types of outputs of the project: the development of a regional multilingual online database (English–Spanish-Portuguese) gathering all these 149 experiences which has been widely accessed and the implementation of sub-regional and regional seminars geared towards analysis, dissemination, networking and exchange of experiences.