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IDB launches Call for Proposals to expand integration in Latin America and the Caribbean

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has launched a Call for innovative proposals for public goods that promote regional integration in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The 2010 Call for Proposals (the 2010 Call for Proposals) under the IDB’s Regional Public Goods Program (the Program) will accept submissions until November 15, 2010. The Program supports the development of public policy responses that involve joint actions by a group of countries to transnational opportunities or challenges.

Proposals must be submitted by a minimum of three Latin American and Caribbean countries for projects to foster economic, institutional, and functional integration; reduce asymmetries among countries; strengthen national and regional institutions; and promote competitiveness.

This 2010 Call for Proposals supports the strategic priorities established in the IDB’s New Institutional Strategy, which was approved as part of the Bank’s recent capital increase. Regional and global integration is one of the pillars of this new strategy, and the Bank has pledged to invest about $1.8 billion annually for integration projects that support this mandate.

The Program is a valuable tool for promoting integration, due to its direct impact on the creation of consensuses at the regional level. One criterion for evaluating contest entries under the 2010 Call for Proposals will be the relevance of the proposed topic to the IDB’s strategic priorities.

The IDB has promoted regional integration through the Program since 2004. The Bank’s present portfolio of 74 projects have achieved concrete results in promoting integration and identifying and implementing new approaches for solving problems and addressing challenges shared by the region’s countries.

The program has served as an incubator for many successful initiatives. Among them is the Single-Based Social Security System, in which workers from Mercosur countries can take their pensions with them when they move to another Mercosur country. Established in 2007, this pilot project has already benefited more than 1,000 people. It has demonstrated that a network of social security services to improve workers’ welfare can be carried out through agreements on normative frameworks and technical standards that help reduce asymmetries among the systems of the participating countries.

An example in the health sector is the Central American Protocol for Procurement and Quality Control of Medicines. This RPG has resulted in savings of $23 million through the establishment of norms, procedures and quality control standards for medicines and a regulatory framework for the procurement of medicines by means of negotiation on prices and efficient distribution. 

In the field of promotion of trade and investment, the program has supported the Regional Strategy for Promotion of Exports and Investment Attraction, which was established by 16 countries to enhance the impact of their export promotion agencies, promote joint action, and strengthen technical coordination.

For additional information on the Program, its portfolio of projects and the terms and conditions of the 2010 Call for Proposals, visit the program.  

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