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Latin America and the Caribbean Need to Strengthen Public Governance to Achieve a Green Transition and Close Gender Gaps

Although Latin America and the Caribbean have made progress in several areas of public governance, including establishing participatory mechanisms, public integrity regulations, and gender gaps in the public sector, it still needs to improve some key capabilities to drive prosperity and achieve sustainable and inclusive goals, according to a new publication. 

Government at a Glance: Latin America and the Caribbean 2024, a joint publication by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), provides reliable and comparable indicators and statistics on governance and public management for as many as 27 countries in the region. It compares the region’s results with those of OECD countries.

According to the publication, 15 countries of the region have open government strategies to enhance the participation of women in public decision-making. It shows that the share of women in senior management positions in government in 2022 is slightly higher in Latin America and the Caribbean (43%) than in OECD-EU countries (41%). Moreover, most of the 13 surveyed countries for this topic in the region practice gender budgeting (or 77%), which aims to address gender disparities in public policy and resource allocation, compared to 61% of OECD countries. However, progress in closing gender gaps in politics representation is slow.

Public procurement can be used to promote social objectives, sustainability, and environmental responsibility. In 2022, 16 of the 19 surveyed countries for this topic in the region (or 84%) have central e-procurement systems and reported having policies or strategies in this area to pursue social objectives. Out of the 19 surveyed countries, 14 have a central government strategy to promote the participation of small and medium enterprises in public procurement (or 74%).

The report shows there is space to deploy more ambitious public governance tools and strategies to advance the green transition in the region. According to the data, only five countries among the 12 surveyed for this specific topic use green budgeting to integrate climate and environmental considerations into taxes and public spending decisions, representing 42% compared to 67% of OECD countries. 

For instance, out of the 19 surveyed countries, only nine have a strategy for green public procurement (or 47%), and only four countries align their long-term infrastructure plans with environmental or climate action plans, representing 27% compared to 73% of OECD countries.

"This publication addresses the growing demand for quantitative and qualitative evidence on governance and the performance of public policies. We hope this study will promote transparency, public dialogue, and effectiveness in the public sector. At the IDB, we are committed to these values and will continue to support the countries in the region in all these areas," said Ana María Ibáñez, Vice President for Sectors and Knowledge at the IDB.

Governance at a Glance: Latin America and the Caribbean is published every three years and contains the region's most comprehensive set of data and indicators on public governance. All data presented in more than 160 graphics can be downloaded as open data directly from the publication. This edition's indicators cover eleven areas organized around three broad categories: public governance outcomes, achieving results with good governance practices, and the resources public institutions use and how they are managed. In its fourth edition, the report includes a special focus chapter on strengthening participation, public management, and integrity to build trust and support the green transition in Latin America and the Caribbean. The publication can be downloaded here.

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 projects and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public- and private-sector clients throughout the region. Take our virtual tour.

About the OECD

Working with over 100 countries, the OECD is an international organisation that works to build better policies for better lives. Its goal is to shape policies that foster prosperity, equality, opportunity and well-being for all.


Molina Medina,Vanessa Carolina

Molina Medina,Vanessa Carolina
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