Development that Works
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    This blog highlights effective ideas in the fight against poverty and exclusion, and analyzes the impact of development projects in Latin America and the Caribbean.
  • Do Government Audits Reduce Corruption? Evidence from Brazil

    7
    Feb
    2018

    By

    By Eric Avis, Claudio Ferraz, and Frederico Finan

    Every year billions of dollars in government funds go missing. Whether these resources are diverted into the pockets of public officials, redistributed as bribes, or otherwise misused, these acts of corruption pose serious threats to government effectiveness and public trust around the world.

    In recent years, a number of corruption scandals have unfolded here in Latin America—from the Panama Papers to the Odebrecht settlement. Encouragingly, state institutions, and citizens themselves, are increasingly demanding accountability. In Brazil, the “Car Wash” investigation has led to convictions of top former government officials on corruption charges, and in Guatemala citizens are pushing for continuation of the country’s anticorruption campaign. Read more…

    Rebuilding with Local Force: Response to Hurricane Sandy Strengthens Haitian Firms

    10
    Jan
    2018

    By

    By Reinaldo Fioravanti and Alejandro Fros

    Haiti was still recovering from the catastrophic 2010 earthquake when Hurricane Sandy hit the island on October 23, 2012. The deadliest and most destructive storm of that year’s Atlantic hurricane season, Sandy caused enormous damage in Haiti, displacing 19,000 people and damaging or destroying more than 27,700 homes.

    Rebuilding Haiti

    Reconstruction of IDB Country Office in Haiti after the earthquake disaster. Image: IDB.

    Torrential rains caused landslides, eroded riverbanks, and damaged transport infrastructure, leaving many communities isolated. Haiti’s southern departments of Grand’Anse, Nippes, South, and Southeast were hardest hit.

    The government declared a state of emergency following the storm and requested IDB support to initiate reconstruction. Read more…

    Music as an Opportunity for Development: An Alternative Approach to Improve Lives of Young People in Venezuela

    19
    Oct
    2017

    By

    By Xiomara Alemán, Suzanne Duryea, Nancy Guerra, Patrick McEwan, Rodrigo Muñoz, Marco Stampini, and Ariel Williamson

    Who could have imagined four decades ago that a few Venezuelan musicians rehearsing in a garage would lay the foundation for a project that to date has enrolled millions of children and adolescents?

    But that’s just what the Venezuelan National System of Youth and Children’s Choirs and Orchestras (El Sistema) has done.

    Music as an Opportunity for Development

    Image: El Sistema.

    Founded in 1975 and administered by the Fundación Musical Simón Bolivar (Fundamusical), the program has received national and international awards honoring its musical and social initiatives. More than 25 countries have either completely or partially replicated the program. Some of those efforts have been supported by the IDB through technical cooperation grants.

    Despite its international reputation, however, El Sistema had never been subject to an impact evaluation to rigorously measure its benefits. Read more…

    Positive Youth Development in Jamaica – A National Project

    26
    Sep
    2017

    By

    By Cynthia Hobbs, Darrell Hull, Lincoln Williams and Carolyn Thomas

    In Jamaica, more than 120,000 “unattached” 16-to-24 year-olds are not in school and are not working. Youth unemployment in Jamaica is more than twice (30.3 percent) that of adults (13.5 percent) and crime rates are highest among 18- to 24-year-old males.

    ja-l1005-3-7-cynthia-hobbs-darrell-hull-lincoln-williams-y-carolyn-thomas positive youth development

    Image: IDB.

    Many young people in this age bracket have given up on school because they don’t feel they are learning skills that will help them find a job. They want to work but do not have the needed job experience or training.

    Often they don’t have adequate skills in reading and math, or the exam scores necessary to get into higher education or vocational training programs.

    The government of Jamaica has designed two programs to help these “unattached” youth, both financed in part by an IDB sovereign guaranteed loan of $11 million: Read more…

    The Effect of Upfront Payments on the Turnover of Rural Instructors

    19
    Sep
    2017

    By

    By Rosangela Bando and Claudia Uribe

    The dream of many young Mexicans is to go to college. Juanita’s high school dream was to become a teacher one day. Little did she imagine that her dream would make a difference to children living in small rural areas of Mexico. But Juanita’s dream began to come true after she met a representative from Mexico’s National Council for Educational Development (Consejo Nacional de Fomento Educativo -CONAFE).

    CONAFE student. Image: CONAFE.

    CONAFE student. Image: CONAFE.

    CONAFE focuses on providing educational opportunities to children and teenagers in remote communities with fewer than 500 inhabitants.

    One of CONAFE’s programs consists of enrolling young instructors to teach in those communities for at least a year.

    The more than 35,000 CONAFE instructors often live in the community during the week with local families and those families are responsible for providing food and housing. CONAFE offers them a monthly subsidy of Mex$1,427 (about US$110 at the time of the evaluation). If instructors teach for a full year, they become eligible to have their higher education financed. Read more…

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