***Watch the proceedings via Livestream Nov. 8-9***
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – More than 400 representatives of non-governmental organizations from throughout Latin America and the Caribbean on Nov. 8 initiated a two-day debate on the best way to achieve sustainable growth in the region, to improve the lives of current and future generations.
For the XVI Annual Meeting between the Inter-American Development Bank Group (IDB) and Civil Society, the participants set out to come up with new solutions for challenge to growth, by tapping new technologies, pursuing innovative policies, and finding ways to make the region’s tax system fairer and more efficient so that more resources will be available to finance vital development programs.
The event’s wide-ranging agenda includes an in-depth examination of the urgent need for mitigation and adaptation policies to deal with the effects of climate change, which represent a big challenge for many economies in the region that depend on agricultural production and tourism and are highly vulnerable to extreme changes in climate patterns. Other subjects on the agenda include gender and violence, and the serious impact that the region’s high rate of traffic fatalities has on public health systems.
“In order to achieve truly sustainable growth, we really need to start innovating,” said Alexandre Meira da Rosa, the IDB’s Vice President for Countries. “New technologies can help us find solutions to some of the big challenges our region faces, but at the same time, it’s necessary for us to work together to make sure that the solutions are environmentally friendly and sustainable in the long run.”
The IDB, one of the largest sources of development financing in the region since its founding in 1959, meets frequently with NGOs and other representatives of civil society through its Representative offices in its 26 borrowing member countries in the region. As part of that ongoing sharing of ideas, it organizes a region-wide meeting each year. In this year’s meeting, representatives of the Dominican government, participants from the private and public sectors, and specialists from the IDB took part.
This year, the meeting features an “Ideathon,” an open-collaboration encounter aimed at encouraging participants to come up with innovative solutions to improve the region’s fiscal performance, with the purpose of boosting tax collection so as to permit governments to finance essential development projects.
Among the speakers invited to address the group is Doris Sommer, a professor at Harvard University, known for her research into disruptive ideas for social development advocated by political and artistic leaders in Latin America and other parts of the world.
About the IDB
The Inter-American Development Bank is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. Besides loans, grants and guarantees, the IDB conducts cutting-edge research to offer innovative and sustainable solutions to our region’s most pressing challenges. Founded in 1959 to help accelerate progress in its developing member countries, the IDB continues to work every day to improve lives.
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