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Latin America & Caribbean

A new path away from violence: the story of Raul

Jessica Gallegos's picture
Also available in: Español

Raul is short, skinny and has an enormous smile. Looking at him, it was hard to believe that this fifteen-year-old had long been feared in his community as a gang leader and had been the author of horrible crimes in Colonia Santa Marta in El Salvador.

Building pro-growth coalition for reforms: The Caribbean Growth Forum

Andrea Gallina's picture

Nighttime in St George's, Grenada

What does it take to make reforms work in small island countries?

At the end of June 2013, twelve Caribbean countries presented a roadmap for growth in three areas -logistics and connectivity, investment climate, skills and productivity- to a broad audience of private sector representatives, international development institutions, regional organization, civil society and media. That event culminated a 7-month long phase during which policy-making was not the result of close-doors meetings, but a process of intense negotiation, consultations, and consensus building among all actors of each Caribbean country’s societies. All of which was documented in real time and in a transparent fashion by each government. Yes, business was not “business as usual”.
 
Reforms priorities were agreed and a calendar for implementation brushed on a power point slide in the wonderful framework of five stars Bahamian hotel…After the workshop lights, projects and microphones shut down, many of us went home with a familiar sound in our ears: and now what? Was it another “talkshop”?

Prisons as places of inclusion

Sergi Perez's picture
Also available in: Español

Fotografía de la cárcel de Quencoro, en Cusco, Perú.

Visiting a prison does not leave you feeling indifferent. After exhaustive security checks, you find yourself amid a sea of personal stories – many of them tragic – and the statistics begin to take on a human face. Life in prison is much more difficult than we imagine: discipline, strict schedules, cells shared with up to 20 strangers and views of the horizon that end with a security fence.

Confirming the dreadful situation of most Latin American prisons is nothing new. Overcrowding and the lack of health strategies are, along with corruption and the absence of effective reinsertion plans, some of the challenges faced by authorities across the region.

Hackers for a revamped Bus System in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Diego Canales's picture
Also available in: Español


What happens when you grab an interdisciplinary group of skilled and highly motivated hackers, give them the task of improving the bus system of the city; and grant them full autonomy over the transport raw data which they had been trying to put their hands on for the last years?
 

Can the World Bank make a difference in a large middle-income country like Brazil?

Jiro Tominaga's picture
Also available in: Portuguese

One of the major aspirations of the World Bank is to make a real impact on the countries’ development. But when the Bank is a small player relative to the size of the country, can it be what we call transformational?

Lessons I learned while building shared homes in Port-au-Prince

Lora Vicariot's picture
Also available in: Español


Delmas 32 is a tangled web of narrow alleys, defined by haphazard housing and makeshift structures. This community has been digging its way out of the 2010 earthquake, slowly but surely, and large piles of sand, rubble, bricks, and rebar pushing to the sky are a constant reminder of the work that remains.

Channeling Caribbean diaspora dollars back home

Qahir Dhanani's picture


“We have the money, but it’s just not that easy to find the deals back home.” These words, from a Barbadian entrepreneur in Silicon Valley tell the story of a successful tech entrepreneur whose family left the Caribbean almost a generation ago. They moved to the USA and over the years he was able to build a successful business based in Northern California.

Going the last mile in Nicaragua: local communities pave the road to end poverty

Stephen Muzira's picture
Also available in: Español


I remember a visit to Nicaragua like it was only yesterday. Three years have passed, and it is still etched in my mind. I was visiting a road construction project when I realized that the paving surface was not the typical asphalt I was used to seeing on many road projects but some form of concrete like paving blocks known as adoquines.

“La buseta”, “el pesero” and other things we miss in public transportation from Bogota and Mexico City

Leonardo Canon Rubiano's picture

Safe, Clean, Affordable Transport is the motto of the World Bank’s Transport Sector. Evidence from several analyses for urban transport systems suggests that improving the transport system:
  • reduces passenger travel times, 
  • reduces GHG emissions due to transport, 
  • reduces vehicle operating costs for the transport system, and 
  • reduces transport-related road accidents (injuries and fatalities). 

La jeune fille qui a construit sa propre maison : « Je n'ai pas à demander à quelqu'un d’autre de le faire pour moi »

Kamilah Morain's picture
Also available in: English

En Haïti, le recrutement de jeunes femmes pour les former à ce qui a toujours été perçu comme des métiers majoritairement masculins est une tâche difficile. Notre équipe a découvert que, si de nombreuses familles voulaient profiter de l'occasion qu’offrait la formation pour éduquer leurs filles, elles étaient hésitantes parce que la formation offerte était dans des rôles non traditionnels.

En effet, ces étudiantes allaient apprendre des professions attribuées à des ouvriers/artisans tels que la maçonnerie, la menuiserie, la manœuvre d’engins lourds, la plomberie et le câblage électrique. Les pères et surtout les mères se sont farouchement opposés à ce que leurs filles exercent ce type de métier, mais pour des raisons différentes.

Chez les pères c’était souvent la même question qui revenait : «Pourquoi vous ne leur apprenez pas à faire quelque chose de plus respectable, plus adapté pour une fille, à être secrétaire, ou travailler dans un hôpital ?". Quant aux mères, la principale raison du refus était la crainte pour la sécurité de leurs filles, de peur qu’elles puissent devenir des cibles faciles pour des hommes sans scrupules, au sein de professions à domination clairement masculines.
 

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