Skip to main content
IDB launches coalition to promote cross-cutting skills in the 21st century

Today, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), together with 22 partners from the public and private sector, announced the launch of a 21st century skills coalition that will support the implementation of a new generation of education and training policies in Latin America and the Caribbean. This coalition will provide more than US$34.7 million in funding to support projects that will promote these skills among children and youth in the region.

This initiative was created to respond to the new challenges faced by the individual of the 21st century, with an extremely dynamic environment, a rapidly changing labor market, and increasingly diverse societies. The children and youth of today will coexist with technologies -such as artificial intelligence- that will solve some development problems but will also generate some challenges both from a practical and ethical point of view. “Although we know that specific technical skills continue to be strongly related to success in the labor market, their importance has been falling in recent decades, while returns to socio-emotional skills such as creativity, critical thinking, flexibility and communication has been increasing” said Marcelo Cabrol, Manager of the IDB’s Social Sector.

So far, the coalition has 22 partners: Ashoka, CLOO Behavioral Insights Unit, D2L, Education Above All, Empresarios por la Educación-Colombia, Forge, Fundación Danilo Perez, F.C. Barcelona Foundation, Fundación Gratitud, Fundación Scholas Ocurrentes, Google, GRAMMY Music Education Coalition, Holberton School, iNNpulsa, ISTE, Minerva, REDUCA, Skills Agility Lab, SKT Telecom, Think Equal, TUMO Center for Creative Technologies, Virtual Educa and the TVET Fund, supported by the governments of Germany and Switzerland.

So far, Google and IDB Lab (the innovation laboratory of the IDB Group) have already established an alliance with US$1.4 million in financing for the implementation of an IT Certificate in several countries that will increase the employment opportunities of vulnerable young people -particularly women- in the information technology sector, contributing to the creation of a sustainable and inclusive job training and insertion model.

The initiative has also supported the creation of a Coalition for Universal Musical Education in Latin America and the Caribbean in collaboration with the Grammy Foundation financed with US$1 million. This coalition will foster 21st century skills by supporting the universalization of music education in America Latin America and the Caribbean. Also, an Early Childhood Development Innovation Fund has been set up in collaboration with Think Equal with US$676,000 in funding to promote the social and emotional learning of Latin American and Caribbean children.

The Government of Korea and SKT Telecom have also contributed US$1.7 million to support the development of 21st century skills through computer learning and programming learning; and with FORGE + a US$8 million project has been launched to train economically vulnerable youth in socio-emotional skills.

Finally, the Coalition also includes a US$12 million TVET Multidonor Fund supported by Germany and Switzerland, which aims to transform technical education and training throughout Latin America and the Caribbean to prepare Latin American and Caribbean people for the future of work.

The launch of the initiative takes place in Panama City (Panama) on October 21st as part of the event The future is here: transversal skills in Latin America and the Caribbean in the 21st century.

To learn more about the coalition, visit

About the IDB

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.

About IDB Lab

IDB Lab is the innovation laboratory of the IDB Group, the leading source of development finance and know-how for improving lives in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). The purpose of IDB Lab is to drive innovation for inclusion in the region, by mobilizing financing, knowledge, and connections to co-create solutions capable of transforming the lives of vulnerable populations affected by economic, social or environmental factors. Since 1993 IDB Lab has approved more than US$2 billion in projects deployed across 26 LAC countries. As of October 29, 2018, IDB Lab is the new identity of the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF).

External Contacts

Agustín Cáceres

Agustín Cáceres
Additional Contacts

Mateo-Berganza Diaz,Maria Mercedes

Mateo-Berganza Diaz,Maria Mercedes
Jump back to top