Tougher Sentences: The Key to Fighting Crime in Latin America?

There are probably better ways of fighting crime in Latin America than doling out long prison sentences

Latin America and the Caribbean is in a punitive mood. The penitentiary population doubled in 17 countries to 1.2 million between 2002 and 2014 as a result of tougher sentencing of criminals and could triple to almost 3.4 million people by 2030. Citizens, meanwhile, demand harsher sentences. In Chile, one of the region’s safest countries, […]

Big Data and the Pursuit of Better Disaster Relief

As Hurricane Irma ripped through the Caribbean and the United States, leveling homes, crippling energy and water systems, and putting ports and airports out of commission, government officials looked ahead to the immense relief challenges that lay in store. First, they had to take stock: What sectors of the economy were most devastated? And where […]

When It Comes to Education, Computers Can Be a Dangerous Temptation

For enthusiasts of computers in the classrooms, a 2015 report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) may have come as a rude surprise. Several OECD countries have invested heavily in information technology, the report found. But students in those countries didn’t significantly improve their abilities in reading, mathematics and science as a […]

Can Voucher Schools Improve Education? Ask Chile

After a historically fierce and bruising battle, Betsy DeVos, a proponent of school choice, was confirmed Feb 7. as the education secretary of the United States. Devos’s supporters applauded her backing of charter schools and vouchers for study in private and religious schools. Opponents argued just as passionately that allowing such options would undermine the […]

Revisiting Policymaking in a Troubled Region

During much of its recent history, Latin America has alternated between policies that are state-controlled and those that are market-centered. It has swung from the import-substitution model of the post war era to the liberalization of the Washington Consensus of the 1990s with a host of lesser variations in areas ranging from industry to trade. […]

Reforming Constitutions: A Pandora’s Box

In March 1990, some 2 million Colombians cast a symbolic vote during elections demanding a new constitution. The vote followed a harrowing year of guerrilla, paramilitary and drug trafficking violence. Three presidential candidates had been assassinated, and many people argued that only a new national charter, creating a more inclusive, representative and decentralized government, could […]

Natural Disasters: How Nations Build Resilience

In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake which struck Haiti in 2010, killing more than 220,000 people and leaving 1 million homeless, governments and multilateral organizations gathered in New York to pledge an unprecedented $10 billion in emergency aid and long-term reconstruction.   “Our goal is not to rebuild.  It is to build back better,” […]

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