Prosperity with Equity: The Challenge of Cooperation in the Americas

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Prosperity with Equity: The Challenge of Cooperation in the Americas
  • Economic prosperity with equity
  1. As a social actor, what do you believe is the biggest challenge of the region in terms of equitable economic growth?
  2. Can you provide examples of public policies created to support equitable economic growth and which could be replicated at a regional level?
  3. In which way are you or your organization contributing to the building of an equitable economy?
  4. In your opinion, what should be the hemispheric strategies to build prosperous and equitable economic systems in Latin America and the Caribbean?
  • Social prosperity with equity
  1. Which major challenges hindering equitable social development are currently affecting Latin American and Caribbean societies?
  2. Which public or private strategies are currently being implemented to improve these conditions?
  3. Which other strategies would you recommend to address the issue of social inequity in the region?
  • Democratic governance and citizen participation
  1. Which citizen participation mechanisms are currently being used in the region?
  2. What are international organizations, local and national governments doing to promote greater citizen participation?
  3. In your opinion, how does citizen participation support better democratic governance?
English
JackieAZ
JackieAZ's picture
Welcome to the Forum

Welcome to the Forum Prosperity with Equity: The Challenge of Cooperation in the Americas

My name is Jackie and I will be the moderator of this virtual forum from Tuesday, 21 October until 11 November. I will then organize all that was discussed here and report it. So, please, share your experiences, opinions and suggestions within this subject in the Americas and the Caribbean.  

I'm from Colombia, where I have been working on issues related to social innovation, social design and creativity as tools for social change. I am currently an Advisor for Antioquia - Social Innovation Centre (CIS) of the National Agency for Overcoming Extreme Poverty (ANSPE) 

Please tell us about your work and experience of your organization. 

Review the questions from previous guidance and we'll start with those in Part A

Looking forward to your contribution, please feel free to contact me if you need anything. 

goxley
goxley's picture
Equity

Hi Jackie,

We are on to  the next summit and the discussion in this forum seems to be very loaded since there are many perspectives to the questions posed based on one's location.

In the Caribbean and more so Trinidad and Tobago I believe the need for a common ground among leaders of government in addressing equity should be encouraged. The islands have many natives of other islands living and working in them thus the need to have a change in immigration/emigration laws to serve the islands. Those countries with a higher GDP can help those with a lower GDP by subsidizing goods and services exchanged.

My organization support as many organisations as we can afford with the advice and expertise of the services we offer. Our work is inhibited by the beauracratics of personalities and vision of authoritative figures.

Education institutions are coming to terms with the reality of competition among the many organisations as they compete for government funding. Those organisations that can access funds via social or other connections impress upon others the inequity that we try to address in the implementation of mandates. There is very little that can be done in this area since the problem begins and ends in the headsof governance.

JackieAZ
JackieAZ's picture
Hi Goxley

Hi Goxley

Thank you very much for your great comments on the subject, It is always good to know how civil society is helping to improve the state of the cities. 

Acccording to your experience how does citizen participation support better democratic governance?

Best, 

goxley
goxley's picture
Democratic Governance

Jackie,

We have a long a varied experience of Civil Society participation in Trinidad and Tobago. As a citizen from the age of 5 years old I have been encouraged by my teachers to share among the needy in my class in the school and in the community. These simple projects nurtured a sense of compassion for those less fortunate.  This manner proceeded me to secondary school and became rooted as i was encouraged to join organisations that supported this vision. One of which was the Boy's Scout Association and the Legion of Mary. As an adult I have founded my own CSO and is now in full participation within my country.

With respect to governance, the constitution of Trinidad and Tobago carries within chapter 4 a space for Civil Society (social and community organisations) to share at the highest level of the land. The selection and conduct of business at this level of Civil Society has been an elitist system which is now being challenged. In addition there have been established organisation that are side by side with political parties and have been given support and first preference to any and all positions among state borads and other boards that require representation by CSOs.

I will say there has been a space for CSOs in the governance and participation in Trinidad and Tobago but the people who are leaders in the Civil Society Organisations have allowed themselves to compromise their integrity by joining the political directorate in the exchange for positions of authority in the various state organisations. This compromise has brought about a confusion in the minds of other organisations that want to move forward with integrity but are forced to reduce their furvour and interest in development. Some also complained about discrimination in funding among those who serve the political directorate and those who want to complete an honest project. They resort to fund raising which limits their capacity. Others have their funding witheld for no apparent reason.

In other areas we see where persons with political aspirations use the Civil Society organisations as a stepping stone. While this can be acceptable, on becoming a politician they continue to impress the society that they are Civil Society representatives thus clouding the separation of powers.  Trinidad and Tobago now have 900 registered CSOs. The government held an election after usurping the Interim Board of CSOs ending up with 74 candidates and 35 voters. They eventually aborted the election.

I strongly believe the source of coruptuion in the Caribbean is the point where the person cannot move from one state of being Civil Society to that state of political representative. This can be seen in the latest move to have the Civil Society Board established in Trinidad and Tobago. Favouring personal organisations also favours corruption. Checks and balances are not addressed as those who have the knowledge and international experience are the supporters of this level of corruption.

I am able to discern this activty due to my full participation at the Commonwealth People's Forum and the OAS summit in the past and the workshops and dialogues in the Forums such as these.

Thank you for this discussion.

All the best!

 

 

JackieAZ
JackieAZ's picture
Dear Goxley  

Dear Goxley  

Thank you, such a great comments. 

To continue the discussion, I encorauge the rest of the participants to make this kind of remarks, in order to have a stronger discussion and with the aim to build together. 

Thank you, Best 

 

 

asonaram
asonaram's picture
Equitable economic growth in the region

Our biggest challenge as a region with equitable economic growth is the under estimation of our business world, particularly the larger cooperate world, of not understanding the trueness in terms of success in hiring people today.

We hear a lot about innovation today, but why is it so essential to sustainable business success?

Innovation is the oxygen of business. Fail to invest in innovation and eventually you will suffocate and be crowded out by a competitor or by an entrepreneur who identifies how to deliver a solution that creates more value than yours (and those of your competitors). Focus too much attention on efficiency at the expense of innovation and eventually you'll end up getting really good at making stuff people no longer want.

To continuously innovate, companies must learn to manage a few key tensions that exist in every organization.

First, there is the tension between the executive mindset and the entrepreneurial mindset.

The executive mindset is focused on avoiding failure and making the trains run on time. The entrepreneurial mindset is focused on pursuing new solutions and willing to risk everything to pursue their success. Resist the entrepreneurial mindset too much and you will turn potentially valuable intrapreneurs and their ideas into entrepreneurs and potential competitors. Pay the executive mindset too little attention and risk unprofitability.

Second: the tension between exploration and exploitation.

Invest too little in exploring for new potential markets and you will starve the firm of future growth. Invest too little in exploiting the potential of current solutions and rob the firm of revenue and income needed to fund future growth. Companies must strike a balance.

If you go to any conference these days focused on “winning the war for talent” or “filling the skills gap,” you’ll often hear corporate leaders espouse the benefits of so-called soft skills and how they are lacking in today’s college graduates: written and oral communications; managing multiple priorities; solving problems; and collaborating with others. One fascinating stat listed in the Wall Street Journal article found that “mentions of critical thinking in job postings have doubled since 2009.”

I wonder how many of those mentions were in entry-level jobs aimed at many of today’s college graduates.

While top executives might talk about the broad skills they seek in their workers, those leaders are hiring very few, if any, entry-level employees. And while some companies and industries look for smart college graduates that they can train—chief among them the investment banks and consulting firms—most low-level managers are hiring for a job that needs to be done today and tomorrow, not five years from now. As a result, they often look for a very specific skill set. It’s why majors such as sustainability, sports management, and social media are popular on campuses that offer such narrowly tailored degrees.

Thus concluding that this is just some of what stagnates us from achieving equitable economic growth in our region

JackieAZ
JackieAZ's picture
Dear Asonaram 

Dear Asonaram 

Thank you for your comment related to Equitable economic growth in the region, It is clear in your comments the gap and the problematic situations the region is facing these days. 

 Can you elaborate more on how you or your organization is contributing with this Gap?

Best. 

 

 

hgalloster
hgalloster's picture
Libraries, knowledege and Prosperity

Libaries of any kind are necessary to break the backbone of INEQUALITY. Information to generate knowledge is the key to deploy development in our countries.  But unfortunately resources are scarce and governments and policy makers are not always aware of this need. That is why libraries of all around the continent have to work together to close this gap. Libraries have the knowledge and capability to cooperate and do much more for the people we attend and the whole community. Books, training programs, reading programs, access to information resources will make the diference between an informed society, able to auto-direct itself, and a uninformed society that suffers the changes, no that one that makes them.

I invite governments to support libraries as one of the keys to close the poverty gap.

Thank you.

JackieAZ
JackieAZ's picture
Dear Hgalloster 

Dear Hgalloster 

Thank you for your comments, in order to continue the discussion and to follow the initial questions. related to the three main dimensions of the Virtual Forum: Economic prosperity with equity, Social prosperity with equity and Democratic governance and citizen participation. 

Besides of what you already mention about the important role Libraries has,  

  1. Which major challenges hindering equitable social development are currently affecting Latin American and Caribbean societies?
  2. Which public or private strategies are currently being implemented to improve these conditions?
  3. Which other strategies would you recommend to address the issue of social inequity in the region?

Best, 

abe
great to be back

Having been out of the loop for a while it is wonderful to be back will read the comments and make a contribution at a later date

abe

JackieAZ
JackieAZ's picture
Dear Abe!

Dear Abe!

Welcome! looking forward to read your comments 

Best

 

JackieAZ
JackieAZ's picture
Questions and Forum Subject

Dear participants, 

A remark on the questions and subjects we have for this Forum: 

  • Economic prosperity with equity
  1. As a social actor, what do you believe is the biggest challenge of the region in terms of equitable economic growth?
  2. Can you provide examples of public policies created to support equitable economic growth and which could be replicated at a regional level?
  3. In which way are you or your organization contributing to the building of an equitable economy?
  4. In your opinion, what should be the hemispheric strategies to build prosperous and equitable economic systems in Latin America and the Caribbean?
  • Social prosperity with equity
  1. Which major challenges hindering equitable social development are currently affecting Latin American and Caribbean societies?
  2. Which public or private strategies are currently being implemented to improve these conditions?
  3. Which other strategies would you recommend to address the issue of social inequity in the region?
  • Democratic governance and citizen participation
  1. Which citizen participation mechanisms are currently being used in the region?
  2. What are international organizations, local and national governments doing to promote greater citizen participation?
  3. In your opinion, how does citizen participation support better democratic governance?
Haroldsocial
Haroldsocial's picture
La política de la acción

Los espacios de encuentro y discusión como lo son los foros de las americas deben de trascender al ejericio de consulta y opinión, se debe avcanzar en la construcción de mecanismos reales que le sirvan a la comunidad internacional en su integración en la superación de los problemas comunes y especificos de cada país. Por eso este en mi concepto es el principal reto que se debe abordar.

La equidad en el desarrollo, debe trascender a la concepción del sumnistro de bienes materiales que en nada aportan al cambio de actitud de las personas que viven en la pobreeza.

Las políticas publicas que apuntan a la equidad y el desarrollo, deben de permitir a las personas concebirse como actores clave del desarrollo, de su desarrollo y el de las comunidades en las que de habitan; hay que permitir y fortalecer el ejercicio de la ciudadanía con acciones integrales que hagan del indicduo, un ciudadano en todo el sentido de la palabra, capaz de analizar sus problematicas y proponer soluciones a las mismas.

JackieAZ
JackieAZ's picture
Buenas Tardes Harold!

Buenas Tardes Harold!

Gracias por tus comentarios, estamos de acuerdo con lo que comentas sobre la importancia  de los espacios de discusión y sobretodo pasar a la acción, es por esto que queremos saber ¿cómo desde tu organización o tu vida estas aportando a generar esos espacios de equidad y participación ciudadana?

Saludos 

 

JackieAZ
JackieAZ's picture
Harold! 

Harold! 

Si quieres puedes participar en el foro que esta en Español! tenemos abierto en ambos idiomas, puede ser mas interesante que lo tengamos en el idioma original del foro que en este caso es Ingles

Saludos 

Armando Alfonso...
Armando Alfonso Avellaneda Ardila's picture
La Cooperación Internacional

Mucho Gusto soja Armando Avellaneda presidente De Una ONG en Colombia de la Organizacion Creadora de Oportunidades para el Mundo "Crear" from FUNDADA El año 1964, La Organizacion ha Venido Trabajando en Temas de Cooperación Internacional Agrupando los Directorios Internacionales en Temas de Cooperación de Cualquier del Indol es Decir Proyectos autosostenibles, Viene Trabajando y gestionando en la Cooperación nacional e internacional, en la cual sea, Cada Una de Sus Acciones Más representativas sí ven reflejadas en Trabajo de las Naciones Unidas "Hombro a Hombro", El Cual sí Construye colectivamente párrafo a Presentar Programas y Proyectos estafa Soluciones, Sostenibles de automóviles, reales, Posible, del como voceros y Representantes de la Sociedad Civil. En Colombia TENEMOS Muchas Organizaciones Trabajando Pero No Hay Un verdadero Mapeo de Organizaciones Que trabajen en cooperacion, Porque No crearlo ya Que Nuestra Cumbre de las Américas en sí Presentan Actores de Todas los Perfiles Institucionales Los Cuales le Sirven a la sociedad es Nuestra Propuesta gracias 

Traducción comentario realizada por la moderacióndel foro

"Nice to meet you I am Armando Avellaneda President of a Colombian NGO of the Organization Creator of Opportunities for the World "CREAR" founded in1964, the Organization has been working in International Cooperation, Grouping International Directory Themes of International Cooperation of indol to say self-sustaining projects, Working and managing national and international cooperation, Every One of the more representative actions are reflected in United Nations "Shoulder to Shoulder" work, which itself builds collectively paragraph Submiting Programs and Projects, Sustainable automobile, real, Possible, spokespeople and representatives of civil society. In Colombia we have Many Organizations Working But we don´t have a real mapping of organizations working in cooperation, why not create now,  our Summit of the Americas Presented itself Actors of All Institutional Profiles Which will serve to society is through Our Approach,Thank you "

JackieAZ
JackieAZ's picture
Buenas Tardes Armando ! 

Buenas Tardes Armando ! 

Gracias por los comentarios y el archivo que compartes, muy interesante lo que propones y lo que haces desde tu organización. 

Me gustaria saber cuales son tus comentarios y propuestas desde las 3 temáticas que el foro plantea? puedes profundizar un poco en esto?

Saludos 

 

JackieAZ
JackieAZ's picture
Armando!

Armando!

Si quieres puedes participar en el foro que esta en Español! tenemos abierto en ambos idiomas, puede ser mas interesante que lo tengamos en el idioma original del foro que en este caso es Ingles

Saludos 

goxley
goxley's picture
Reply to Armando

Armando,

Civil Society already has its arm of the Summit. You can read the information on the website of the OAS under Civil Society for more information.

What is required within each state is a cor-ordinated body of Civi lSociety that will truly represent the views of Civi lSociety. The social actors within Civil Society has to become less dogmatic and more cooperative to reduce their egos and look for the common good in society. 

What we have exisiting now is contrary to Civil Society since each organisation has found themselves affiliated in some way or another to a political party thus they cannot fully represent the views and ideas of civil society.

Another roblem is social links. Persons who associate with a particular body (funding organisation or other international body) tend to prey on the innocence of simply formed innocent organisations. The people of these organisations need to address these issues before allowed to proceed forward to represent civil society. Objectivity has to be claimed so that ransparency is resolved. Making rules for one set of people can no longer work. 

Let us get together and make it better through this summit I hope we can proceed with laying some foundations as we move towards a better hemisphere. A typical example is the number of people participating in this forum. I have sent copies of the announcement to many organisations and some replied they are willing to participate. They are probably still trying to get validated.

I do hope we can find some solutions to put forward in this forum.

Gale

 

Vedev
Economic prosperity with equity

The biggest challenge for the region in terms of equitable economic growth is the lack of a financial market and exchange the products of each country in the region. Like other regions have done, it takes a regional currency that would be as competitive in the level of economic development of the Caribbean region as was done for the euro.

In the case of my country (Haiti) , I think we should think first of the local development tax mobilization . To decentralization, This will allow communities to be independent and provide services (security , health, food etc ...) to the population. Once the right conditions are met , proceed to attract large investments that can generate jobs, and can produce and create. These policies must take into account the sectors that can help sustain economic growth such as agriculture, tourism, business sector.
In the case of agriculture, for example , there must first be an agrarian reform , encourage the latifundia ( or group of farmers for production) and develop major sectors including cocoa , coffee, mango, vetiver , the jatropha as well as garden produce

JackieAZ
JackieAZ's picture
Dear Vedev, 

Dear Vedev, 

Thank you for the  comments about the first subject of the forum, will be great if you can complement the answer on the two other topics, specifically on: 

  • Social prosperity with equity
  1. Which major challenges hindering equitable social development are currently affecting Latin American and Caribbean societies?
  2. Which public or private strategies are currently being implemented to improve these conditions?
  3. Which other strategies would you recommend to address the issue of social inequity in the region?
  • Democratic governance and citizen participation
  1. Which citizen participation mechanisms are currently being used in the region?
  2. What are international organizations, local and national governments doing to promote greater citizen participation?
  3. In your opinion, how does citizen participation support better democratic governance?

Thank you  

goxley
goxley's picture
I will like to agree with

I will like to agree with osanaram.

He has identified the gap between the haves and the have not. In the services sector in Trinidad the Chambers have become an intimidating force and presence because of their conduct in business. While some organisations are in service and will put costing and financing in one perspective these businesses are using another method which puts the dollar before people. 

The question upon us now is what suggestions do we have that can be promoted in the SVC.

Gale

goxley
goxley's picture
Translation

Jackie

Is there any way we can have the spanish translated so we can respond to the post.

Please and thanks.

Por favor y gracias!

Gale

JackieAZ
JackieAZ's picture
Hi Goxley! 

Hi Goxley! 

Off course! I will do it !

Thank you 

 

goxley
goxley's picture
Dialogue Proposal

I will like to make a proposal to the discussion on a dialogue I have been suggesting for our CivilSociety Body in Trinidad and Tobago. So far it seems to be working.

To describe this I believe it is straight forward. The base holds the registration for all CSOs since we must have a line Ministry and Government prepares their projects for implementation in sectors. From the sectors we have our regional bodies which will include representatives for the National Board; at the Regional Level we have the different bodies that will manage the everyday implementation projects within the different regions.

I invite responses to this please so we can put forward a solid implemntation project to the Heads of governments in April 2015.

Thank you,

Gale 

JackieAZ
JackieAZ's picture
Hi Goxley 

Hi Goxley 

Thank you for enrich the dialogue. 

Best, 

 

johnquelch
johnquelch's picture
Equitable Economic Growth - Skill Hiring and Job Growth

Historically, economic growth in this part of the world has resulted in less than equitable outcomes, with the least benefitting being the minority groups, and low income communities. Many development decisions and initiatives have resulted in projects that exclude these same communities from shared benefits generated in the economic sphere. Governments and large companies that govern the public and private sectors of our countries tend to forego the shared development of the lower echelons of economic contributors. ‘Strengthen the Strong, Sustain the Weak’

Here in Guyana, we are faced with various problems that contribute to this. Over 75% of our University graduates cannot find jobs or even the support to find income-earning ventures to sustain their livelihood. The jobs exist, but they are given to the elite group of unskilled but experienced persons built on the ideals of cronyism and nepotism. What we need to do is hire by skill. There is a huge number of University trained and skilled graduates who are willing and eager to make a difference, to add various levels of innovation and skill-based competence to our economy. Along this line, it is essential that our investors seek to assist young entrepreneurs to develop and build their ideas and business scope so that the untapped uncompetitive parts of our economy become more accessible to the various levels of society.  This solves our high unemployment ratio, and also gives economic opportunities to the vast minority of skilled potential workers. Equity.

Another way is the investment in growth within our existing workforce. Oftentimes, it becomes customary for employers and the ‘controllers of the wheel’ to stagnate positions within their businesses, which over time, leads to job dissatisfaction and monotony. Expressing your interest in promotion opportunities and the employer’s subsequent agreement to build your skill base is key to ensuring successive proficiency within the workplace. This, if practiced across the board results in the efficiency of skill and experience being the most prominent driver for equitable economic development.

JackieAZ
JackieAZ's picture
Dear John, 

Dear John, 

Thank you for comments and the context you made about Guyana economic situation, can you elaborate more on the other two subjects (social equity and citizen democratic participation) we are facing within this forum?  

Best 

 

CProvidence
CProvidence's picture
Democratic Governance and Civic Participation

Now more than ever, the notion of democracy is being questioned in Guyana. Apart from blatant levels of corruption and the dire need for constitutional reform, the lack of civic participation contributes to the threat to our democracy.

It is easy to create linkages between the current political situation in Guyana with the social and economic challenges faced as it relates to equity. Those who cannot afford services such as health and education, and in many cases justice, are left at the mercies of poorly managed, government provided institutions. This means in essence, that a decent and comfortable standard of living is afforded only to those who can afford the 'luxury'. Such a situation immediately devalues the lives of those who are middle and low income earners, and creates a societal elite of very few whose voices are usually prevail over the majority.

Democracy cannot thrive in such a society. The strain of 'trying to make ends meet' usually places the majority of people in a position of disinterest as it relates to political matters. They are more concerned with getting a raise of pay, or housing or grants that support their child's education. As such, politicians play on their vulnerability by wooing them with promises of these very 'luxuries' and failing to deliver very soon after they have secured political office.

The question of democracy and civic participation in Guyana leaves much to be desired in light of our most recent Parliamentary sitting whereas the joint oppositions intention of carrying a No Confidence Motion was trumped by the government by a prorogation of Parliament.

In a democracy, where the people have elected their representatives, and their representatives have joined forces against a ruling party because they have failed to deliver on their promises, the voice of the majority should be heard even if it compromises the office of the current government. That is democracy, and judging from recent event, we are far, far from it.

ShemP
ShemP's picture
Social Prosperity with Equity

I believe one of the major challenges hindering equitable social development in the LAC region is unemployment. The overall development of the region can be fixed if we collectively address unemployment. As recent as 2011 the unemployment rate was 21% a reduction from 28.5% in 2006 (World Bank Report, 2014). Youth employment remains the biggest issue for most countries. Governments in the region need to investment a lot more in the development of youth. As of 2011, 46.1% of Guyanese youth were unemployment (World Bank Report, 2014). Youth represents the highest population in Guyana. Though access to education is high in the region, quality is low. Also, more often than not the skills acquired in school rarely match the needs in the labour market.

In addressing unemployment in the region we also need to pay particular attention to gender gaps which show that more women are unemployed then men. These are all pertinent development issues we need to work more proactively as a region in addressing as we move forward post 2015.

To address social inequalities in the region we should adapt a holistic and human rights based approach to development. We need to ensure inclusive participation and that marginalized groups benefit significantly from development initiatives. Adapting a rights-based approach to development and addressing society inequalities enables key players to identify human rights violations as both causes and consequences of development. Including a rights-based approach in all aspects of development particularly as we move post 2015 can address all of the social inequalities we currently face in the region. However, amplified advocacy is needed to ensure that governments and other key stakeholders buy into this approach for development. 

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