Latin America and the Caribbean

Date of publication
Agosto 2012
Geographical focus

Climate change is the defining
development challenge of our time. More than a global
environmental issue, climate change is also a threat to
poverty reduction and economic growth and may unravel many
of the development gains made in recent decades. Latin
America and the Caribbean account for a relatively modest
twelve percent of the world's greenhouse gas (GHG)
emissions, but communities across the region are already
suffering adverse consequences from climate change and
variability. As highlighted in 'Reducing Poverty,
Protecting Livelihoods, and Building Assets in a Changing
Climate (Verner 2010), climate change is likely to have
unprecedented social, economic, environmental, and political repercussions.

Date of publication
Marzo 2012
Geographical focus

Over the past decade, faster growth and
smarter social policy have reversed the trend in Latin
America's poverty. Too slowly and insufficiently, but
undeniably, the percentage of Latinos who are poor has at
long last begun to fall. This has shifted the political and
policy debates from poverty toward inequality, something to
be expected in a region that exhibits the world's most
regressive distribution of development outcomes such as
income, land ownership, and educational achievement. This
book is a breakthrough in the measurement of human
opportunity. It builds sophisticated formulas to answer a
rather simple question: how much influence do personal
circumstances have on the access that children get to the
basic services that are necessary for a productive life?
Needless to say, producing a methodology to measure human
opportunity, and applying it across countries in one region,
is just a first step. On the one hand, technical discussions
and scientific vetting will continue, and refinements will
surely follow. On the other, applying the new tool to a
single country will allow for adjustments that make the
findings much more useful to its policy realities. And
fascinating comparative lessons could be learned by
measuring human opportunity in developed countries across,
say, the states of the United States or the nations of
Europe. But the main message this book delivers remains a
powerful one: it is possible to make equity a central
purpose, if not the very definition, of development. That
is, perhaps, it's most important contribution.

Date of publication
Marzo 2012
Geographical focus

Indigenous peoples across Latin America
and the Caribbean (LAC) already perceive and experience
negative effects of climate change and variability. Although
the overall economic impact of climate change on gross
domestic product (GDP) is significant, what is particularly
problematic is that it falls disproportionately on the poor
including indigenous peoples, who constitute about 6.5
percent of the population in the region and are among its
poorest and most vulnerable (Hall and Patrinos 2006). This
book examines the social implications of climate change and
climatic variability for indigenous communities in LAC and
the options for improving their resilience and adaptability
to these phenomena. By social implications, the authors mean
direct and indirect effects in the broad sense of the word
social, including factors contributing to human well-being,
health, livelihoods, human agency, social organization, and
social justice. This book, much of which relies on new
empirical research, addresses specifically the situation of
indigenous communities because our research showed them to
be among the most vulnerable to the effects of climate
change. A companion book (Verner 2010) provides information
on the broader social dimensions of climate change in LAC
and on policy options for addressing them. This book will
help to place these impacts higher on the climate-change
agenda and guide efforts to enhance indigenous peoples'
rights and opportunities, whether by governments, indigenous
peoples' organizations and their leaders, or non-state representatives.

Date of publication
Marzo 2012
Geographical focus

This book reports on the status and
evolution of human opportunity in Latin America and the
Caribbean (LAC). It builds on the 2008 publication in
several directions. First, it uses newly available data to
expand the set of opportunities and personal circumstances
under analysis. The data are representative of about 200
million children living in 19 countries over the last 15
years. Second, it compares human opportunity in LAC with
that of developed countries, among them the United States
and France, two very different models of social policy. This
allows for illuminating exercises in benchmarking and
extrapolation. Third, it looks at human opportunity within
countries, across regions, states, and cities. This gives us
a preliminary glimpse at the geographic dimension of equity,
and at the role that different federal structures play. The
overall message that emerges is one of cautious hope. LAC is
making progress in opening the doors of development to all,
but it still has a long way to go. At the current pace, it
would take, on average, a generation for the region to
achieve universal access to just the basic services that
make for human opportunity. Seen from the viewpoint of
equity, even our most successful nations lag far behind the
developed world, and intracounty regional disparities are
large and barely converging. Fortunately, there is much
policy makers can do about it.

Date of publication
Marzo 2012
Geographical focus

This report presents the findings of a
first-ever, comprehensive study of how Latin America and the
Caribbean (LAC) region airports have evolved during a
notable period of transition in airport ownership. It is an
unbiased, positive analysis of what happened, rather than a
normative analysis of what should be done to reform and to
attract private sector participation to the airport sector.
It takes the first step to respond to the need for more
conclusive information about the influence of airport
ownership on economic performance. The report centers on the
study of three dimensions of performance: productive
efficiency, institutional setup for the governance of the
sector, and financing. This multifaceted report uses a range
of advanced quantitative and qualitative methods to assess
the relationship between airport ownership and performance
in the LAC region. After a comprehensive overview, chapters
1 and 2 provide the necessary background for the air
transport sector and the evolution of private sector
participation and investment in airport infrastructure. In
chapter 3, questionnaires submitted to airport operators and
regulators led to the creation of the unique data sets,
which were first used to compare performance across 14
partial performance indicators, and next used to develop
aggregate measures of efficiency necessary for the
benchmarking exercise. In chapter 4, a qualitative study of
the relationship between type of regulating agency
(independent or government-led) and transparency,
accountability, and bureaucracy provides insight into how
recent reforms have also affected the quality of regulatory
governance. Chapter 5 provides an in-depth analysis of the
evolution of tariff structures in the region as compared to
a sample of international airports. Several important topics
were not included in this report but should be the focus of
future research. In particular, the evolution of the quality
of services in airports deserves greater attention, as
airports are increasingly becoming business centers and key
gateways for trade competitiveness. The other main topic
that requires detailed practical research is climate change
and its relationship with the airport sector.

Date of publication
Diciembre 2014
Geographical focus

A focus on development results is at the
heart of the Latin America and Caribbean Region s approach
to delivering programs and policy advice with partners in
middle-income and low income countries alike. Through
knowledge, convening activities, and financial services we
strive to help people across the region create better
opportunities and build a better future for themselves,
their families and their country. Documenting, measuring and
evaluating results of what we do, helps us and our partners
to engage more effectively, learn from our experiences and
apply lessons to the design and implementation of future
interventions. This collection of result stories shows our
continuous efforts to adopt and integrate technical
analysis, timely policy advice, and a variety of financial
instruments into programs that are aligned with client
priorities. Results show the increased demand and the
effectiveness of peer-to-peer learning, have led to a
scaling up our support for South-South exchange activities
and the use our convening power to support successful
partnerships and mobilize additional resources to finance
development work.

Date of publication
Enero 2014
Geographical focus

The Latin America and Caribbean Region
has been at the forefront of global biodiversity
conservation, dedicating 20 percent of its land to protected
areas compared to 13 percent in the rest of the developing
world. This progress has stretched available budgets for
conservation with estimates indicating that a twofold
increase would be necessary to achieve optimal management of
existing protected areas based on 2008 data. Recognizing the
importance of this financing challenge, this document
presents examples of how the region is successfully
exploring news ways and sources of finance for biodiversity
conservation. It is intended as an input to the global
discussions on biodiversity financing drawing from a
selective review of concrete experiences where governments
are tapping nonpublic finance sources in effective
partnerships. The cases reviewed point to common features
contributing to their success: (i) variety in arrangements;
(ii) enabling legal and institutional support; (iii)
capacity based on record of experience; (iv) building social
capital; (v) clarity about conservation objectives; (vi)
strong government leadership in guiding biodiversity
conservation policies and programs.

Date of publication
Enero 2014

Group s gender action plan (GAP) trust
fund has financed a series of programs to promote gender
equality by empowering women to compete in key markets:
land, labor, agriculture, finance and the private sector.
Work and family: Latin American and the Caribbean women in
search of a new balance offer new analysis of how household
decision-making and allocation of resources affects female
labor market outcomes in the region. This project summarizes
over half a decade of gender-related activities, training,
research and results in Latin America and the Caribbean. All
of the GAP-funded cases chosen for this project provide
succinct policy lessons that were: innovative;
results-driven (impact was measured or documented); policy
relevant (clear indications for policy makers);
methodologically strong; have potential for scaling up or
replication. The chapters present policy lessons organized
around four themes of vital importance to women and their
families: (A) access to labor markets; (B) improved
workplace conditions, (C) entrepreneurial and income-earning
opportunities, and (D) increased land titling and
agricultural productivity. And this project includes five
chapters: chapter one is key issues for women s economic
empowerment in Latin; chapter two is boosting women s labor
force participation; chapter three is good gender practices
in the workplace; chapter four is promoting
income-generating opportunities in urban and rural contexts;
chapter five is women s productivity in agriculture.

Date of publication
Abril 2014
Geographical focus

Agricultural growth rates in the Latin
America and the Caribbean (LAC) region have been much slower
than the rest of the developing world. In the regions of
East Asia, South Asia and Middle East and North Africa, the
annual growth of agricultural Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
in 1980-2004 exceeded 3 percent, while growth in Sub-
Saharan Africa averaged almost 3 percent. This paper
attempts to present an overview of the agricultural sector
in LAC, discuss its distinctive features, and the potential
role of Information and Communication Technology's
(ICTs) in improving agricultural productivity and market
efficiency in this region. The discussion in this paper will
refer to the evidence provided by studies that evaluate the
impact of ICTs interventions. While the emphasis will be put
on the studies that evaluate interventions in the LAC
region, there will also be references to studies in other
developing economies whenever these are pertinent to the LAC
context. The commercialization of agricultural products has
suffered important transformations in recent decades, posing
big challenges for farmers in the LAC region. Finally, the
adoption of agricultural technologies will also be
constrained by insecure land rights. Investing in
technologies with long-run returns will not be attractive if
farmers are uncertain about their property rights in the
future (Jack, 2011). This is certainly an issue in several
countries in LAC, where land conflicts, expropriation and de
facto ownership are common.


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