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At the IDB, we believe that together we can go farther. Our partnership network is making positive differences in Latin America and the Caribbean every day, and this blog is our channel for telling that story. Stay tuned for literature on partnership perspectives, stories from the field, changing trends, outlooks for development and the region, information on ways and opportunities to partner, and more. Thanks for stopping by.
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The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Inter-American Development Bank, its Management, its Board of Executive Directors or its member Governments.

O Canada! New Priorities After Five Decades of Collaboration

By - Jul 2 2014

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On July 1st, Canadians both at home and abroad celebrated Canada Day, the anniversary of the 1867 enactment of the British North America Act that gave birth to the country we so value today. In honor of this day of celebration, we would like to spotlight Canada’s partnership with both the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region, a partnership which has financed innovation, encouraged sustainable and inclusive development, and long prioritized the growth and prosperity of LAC. One of the IDB’s oldest partners, as its relationship with the Bank can be traced back to the 1964 establishment of the Canadian Fund, Canada is also one of the most active, consistently investing in new sectors, launching new initiatives, and identifying new approaches to development in the region.

Today, hear from Diane Jacovella about Canada’s vision for development, as well as the priority agenda it shares with the IDB. As Assistant Deputy Minister of the Global Issues and Development Branch of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD), she reminds us of the key role both government and business can play in development efforts, and the transformative impact made by partnership every day.

Q: One of your priorities is partnering with the private sector for development. What can such partnership add to development endeavors?

A: We believe that the private sector is the basic driving force behind economic growth and is essential to achieving meaningful development outcomes that raise people out of poverty and put them on the road to prosperity. It is the primary source of economic growth, job creation, government revenue to finance essential public services, and the goods and services required to improve people’s quality of life. The government of Canada is committed to strengthening its engagement with private sector actors as partners to help reduce global poverty. For example, we have done this through support to the MIF, whose innovative programming has brought private sector actors together to provide goods and services that people living in poverty need, innovative technology, and know-how from which governments and citizens can benefit.

Q: Some of our recent collaborative interests have been targeted, as one promoting women’s economic empowerment. How do these efforts make an impact beyond helping immediate recipients? What can they do for the development of the region in general?

A: If Latin America and the Caribbean is to meet its full potential, it will need to rely on the talents, creativity, and entrepreneurship of the entire population. When women have greater control over household spending, their children tend to be healthier and better educated, sowing a future of more empowered and productive citizens. Women’s economic empowerment is also a matter of gender equality and ensuring women’s rights, allowing women to secure their livelihoods and make investments in their futures. And as women take on more prominent economic roles, they change perceptions, gain a better bargaining position within their societies and their families, and can better make and influence decisions. Canada has been a world leader in championing women’s economic empowerment through its development programming. This was emphasized at the global Conference on Women’s Economic Empowerment hosted jointly by Canada and UN Women in Ottawa in October 2011. We believe the Inter-American Development Bank can play a key role to help us deliver on our commitment to partner with likeminded organizations to help break down barriers impeding women’s economic empowerment through, for example, increasing women’s access to financial services, markets, and information on how to increase their productivity.

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