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Ecuador to improve provision of social services with support from IDB

Loan of $80 million earmarked for new headquarters to host social services-related ministries

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved an $80 million loan for Ecuador, designed to improve links among and services provided by the ministries of Health, Economic and Social Inclusion, Urban Development and Housing, and Sports, led by the Social Development Coordination Ministry (MCDS in Spanish).

This is to be achieved with the construction and equipping of a common headquarters spanning 74,000 square meters, designed specifically to encourage intersectoral and team work, and with the enhancing of inter-institutional management mechanisms created for this purpose.

The Government Platform for Social Development will operate in the new headquarters to be located in the south of the capital city Quito. , It will house 3,000 civil servants who are now spread out in 14 different buildings. The ground floor of the new facility will feature several one-stop social services windows, which will cut the waiting time in half for administrative tasks.

The program will facilitate intersectoral coordination and process integration, as the new building will have several meeting rooms, a 400-seat auditorium with state-of-the-art technology and rooms for training of civil servants and everyday citizens. The building will also feature a data center that will provide storage for the MCDS’s digital information and that of all the coordinated ministries.

Studies have shown that physical proximity facilitates work among sectors by enhancing communication, the exchange of information and confidence-building. These activities lead to greater efficiency and effectiveness in decision-making and more productivity in public management.

The decision on where to locate the new headquarters is part of a plan to develop the southern part of Quito. It includes enlargement of the Plaza de Quitumbe with room to provide related services and pedestrian access. The new multi-ministry services center will be administered and maintained by Servicio de Gestión Inmobiliaria del Sector Público (INMOBILIAR).

The Project will help narrow the gap in access to services aimed at families living in extreme poverty. For instance, the number of services provided by the Inter-Connected Social Program Registry will go up from 16 to 40. The registry is a tool that allows for the viewing of aid that poor families receive.

The resources earmarked for this program will come from the IDB’s Ordinary Capital. The loan is over 25 years, with a grace period of 13 and an interest rate pegged to LIBOR. The program also features complementary financing of $39.2 million from the European Investment Bank and a local component of $1 million, making for total funds of $120.2 million. The executing agencies are the MCDS and INMOBILIAR, with support from the Servicio de Contratación de Obras (Public Works Contracting Service).