In order to achieve a greater impact on development in Latin America and the Caribbean, the IDB has launched new initiatives in recent years aimed at the region’s emerging challenges.
Now in its fourth year in operation, the Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative (ESCI) has reached 40 cities and benefited approximately 41 million people.
In 2014, the cities of Bridgetown (Barbados), Cumaná (Venezuela), San José (Costa Rica), Santiago de los Caballeros (Dominican Republic), and IDB Annual Report 2014 11 Tegucigalpa (Honduras) joined the regular program (financed from the Bank’s ordinary capital), which currently encompasses 20 cities. The cities of Añelo and Las Heras (Argentina), Florianópolis, Palmas, and Vitória (Brazil), Cartagena and Valledupar (Colombia), Campeche and Xalapa (Mexico), and Chiclayo and Huancayo (Peru) were added to the additional program.
To strengthen the program’s impact and replicability in the region, ESCI continued to forge partnerships with local development institutions—in Argentina (Fundación YPF), Mexico (BANOBRAS), and Peru (Ministry of Housing) in addition to existing partnerships in Brazil (Caixa Econômica) and Colombia (FINDETER). Agreements were also developed with private-sector entities such as the Monterrey Institute of Technology (Mexico), Menéndez Pelayo International University (Spain), Acciona, Cemex, Cisco, Deloitte, Microsoft, and the Rockefeller Foundation. Donors such as Austria, Japan, Korea, the Nordic Development Fund (NDF), and Switzerland have contributed additional funding.
In 2014, the Special Program for Citizen Security Initiative continued to support projects aimed at improving the availability and quality of data on crime and violence. The initiative is supporting the development of pilots such as training and job placement of at-risk youth and juvenile offenders in El Salvador and The Bahamas; domestic violence prevention by strengthening comprehensive care services and economically empowering victims in Guatemala; and job training for young victims of the Colombian armed conflict.
In addition, the initiative created avenues for technical dialogue on critical issues such as gang violence prevention, penitentiary management, and prevention of violence against women. The initiative emphasized gender as a crosscutting security issue in a number of projects related to transportation, cities, and youth.
The Centro de Estudios Avanzados en Banda Ancha para el Desarrollo (Center for Advanced Studies in Broadband for Development, or CEABAD), the first broadband training center in the region, opened in 2014. CEABAD supports the countries of Central America and the Dominican Republic by providing training services for members of their governments and regulators.
There are significant gaps in the region in terms of broadband access. To address these disparities, the Bank launched the digiLAC platform (www.iadb.org/ digiLAC) to serve as a meeting place in the region, an information resource, and a focal point for dialogue on broadband and development.