Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Uruguay and even Brazil are close to being able to provide a universal basic income to all citizens, which is the way to make cash transfers an effective tool in fighting inequality, according to Martín Hopenhayn.
"Now it's just a matter of showing the projects to the governments so they can transform them into public policies," said Martín Hopenhayn, director of social development for the Latin American and Caribbean economic agency ECLAC, at the close of a conference here that showcased thousands of community-based development initiatives.
"On Dec. 15, we will make the great leap ahead when we present our health programme, our hospital boat, to the country," Caetano Scannavino announced in the name of a community project that has achieved one of its aims: to be included in the Brazilian government's social policies.
Brazil is lobbying hard to get the rest of Latin America to adopt the Brazilian version of the Japanese digital television standard, as Argentina, Chile, Peru and Venezuela have already done.
Left-wing candidate José Mujica was elected president of Uruguay with nearly 52 percent of the vote Sunday, seven to eight percentage points ahead of his rival, the right-wing Luis Alberto Lacalle, according to projections by pollsters.
Thanks to effective social policies and measures that have strengthened the economy, most of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean have managed to weather the impact of the global recession, although poverty has risen slightly for the first time since 2002.
Community control of public funds will no longer be just an effective local idea, put into practice by social activists and community leaders in a town in southern Brazil. Now that it has won first prize in ECLAC's fifth Social Innovation Contest, it is likely to spread throughout Latin America.
The streets of the Uruguayan capital are a blur of white, red and blue in the final stretch to Sunday's elections, which the governing left-wing Broad Front coalition stands a good chance of winning.
With an incisive report in hand about what awaits Latin America and the Caribbean in the future if action is not taken to fight climate change, economist John Nash defends the role of the World Bank and underscores the need to expand the so-called "clean development mechanism".
It is true that the carbon market has favored corporations more than developing countries, admits John Nash, the World Bank's lead economist for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Football in Belize does not aim for international achievements, but that does not matter to the environmental group that uses the sport to recruit children and young people to fight for the protection of local biodiversity under threat.
The global financial crisis has not demoralised those involved in community projects throughout Latin America and the Caribbean who took part in ECLAC’s fourth social innovation fair, which ended Friday in this city in northwest Colombia.
More people need to begin sustainable lifestyle practices in order to confront climate change, says Mirta Roses, director of the Pan-American Health Organization, in an exclusive Tierramérica interview.
Thanks to a 2006 law on forced disappearance, retired General Gregorio Álvarez, who played a key role in Uruguay’s June 1973 coup d’etat and ruled the country during the last stretch of the dictatorship, which ended in 1985, is now under arrest.
They work in the deep heartland of Brazil, or in urban slums. They all seek social inclusion, and their starting point is the bottom of the social ladder, with people who have a wide experience of life, contrasting with their short years.
This is no ordinary contest. The participants are from the most vulnerable areas of Latin America, and they are already winners because they have been selected out of 900 projects applying for the Social Innovation Fair organised by ECLAC in this southern Brazilian city.
Everything was in place for the beginning of the end of the long-running conflict: a friendlier face about to be sworn in as president in Argentina, a tiny bit of flexibility on the part of Uruguay, a few points of agreement, and a Spanish mediator appointed by the King.
Hunger continues to be a problem in South America, barely contained by the safety nets created by government programmes and networks of civil society groups, as deep-rooted inequality nourishes the ranks of the poor despite economic growth and an abundance of food.
Aid to the developing world is effective when it empowers the community and the government of the recipient country, and they have learned to design a strong development strategy. Otherwise the effort is in vain, and hunger and exclusion only become more deeply rooted, say activists at a development forum under way here.
The governments of Argentina and Uruguay are tight-lipped ahead of a meeting Wednesday in Madrid, brokered by Spain with a view to paving the way to a solution for the ongoing conflict between the two South American countries over the installation of a paper pulp mill on a border river.
In the wake of an International Court of Justice (ICJ) verdict that was unexpectedly favourable to Argentina in its pulp mill dispute with Uruguay, the two countries are now reworking their strategies, pinning their hopes on the Spanish facilitator who arrives in the region Friday.