By Camila Pereira, Director of Education, Lemann Foundation
With over 180,000 schools closed from March 2020 to August 2021, remote learning became the only option for Brazil’s 47 million students. Despite huge efforts by educators, public officials and families to support children while they were away from classrooms, a big impact on learning is expected. Brazilian education has long suffered from deeply entrenched inequalities and gaps that have been worsened by COVID-19. What solutions are needed for Brazil to overcome these inequalities?
By Felipe Bosch, Editor at Le Grand Continent and Co-founder of the Groupe d’études géopolitiques’ Americas Programme
The pandemic has shed light on the unavoidable need for concrete answers to the challenges of urban informality. The “best practices” discourse tends to oversimplify policy-making processes aimed at providing such answers. While regularisation policies are mainly associated with technical prescriptions imposed from a top-down perspective by international organisations, a detailed study of them in Latin America, based on a comparative case study of Mexico and Argentina, elucidates how bottom-up solutions to development problems might arise.
Technology is changing city dwellers lives, as well as how urban centres evolve to meet their needs. The pandemic has accelerated this transformation, and the digital transition has generated an explosion of data, especially in cities. In this context, the ability of local governments to manage urban problems will be paramount for the recovery, and the pandemic has helped us better understand the missing elements we need to govern cities effectively. For instance, the World Bank’s World Development Report of 2021 underscored that a data infrastructure policy is one of the building blocks of a good data governance framework, both to foster the local data economy and promote digital inclusion.
By Adriana Mejía Hernández, Vice Minister for Multilateral Affairs of the Republic of Colombia
The massive exodus of Venezuelan migrants is the world’s second largest migration wave and is unprecedented in the history of Latin America. Colombia, host to almost 30% of Venezuelan migrants, responded with comprehensive measures and most importantly, has approached the mass arrivals of migrants as an opportunity for development and growth. However, the lack of identity documents and irregular status of migrants are the source of many challenges to achieving an effective state response.
Por Carlos Santiso y Marcelo Facchina – respectivamente, director y especialista líder en ciudades inteligentes de la dirección de innovación digital del estado de CAF – Banco de Desarrollo de América Latina
Las tecnologías están cambiando la vida de las personas en las ciudades y la forma en que los centros urbanos evolucionan para satisfacer sus necesidades. La pandemia aceleró esta transformación de manera disruptiva.
By José Antonio Sanahuja, Director, Fundación Carolina, Spain, Special Advisor for Latin America and the Caribbean to the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
The response to COVID-19, the ecological transition and strategic autonomy are the three driving forces of the European Union’s (EU) broad transformative programme. This programme involves deep changes in its own social and economic development model and in its relationship with the world. It is a short-term reaction to a pandemic that has fast become a systemic crisis. But it is also the EU’s long-term response to an international context of globalisation in crisis and challenges to the international order. The future of EU-Latin America relations will be deeply affected by these transformations.
By Benigno Lopez, Vice President for Sectors and Knowledge, IDB
When discussing life after the pandemic, many express a longing to return to a pre-Coronavirus world. But instead of dreaming of the status quo, I hope Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) advances towards a better and “new normal”, born under the pressures of COVID-19, and far more equitable and collaborative than before. Critically, multilaterals will need to work together more than ever to help make this happen.
Por Maurizio Bezzeccheri, Director de Enel para Latinoamérica y gerente general de Enel Américas
Según datos de Naciones Unidas, la concentración media de la población mundial en zonas urbanas aumentará del 55% en 2018 hasta casi el 70% en 2050. Sin embargo, en América Latina y el Caribe a día de hoy este porcentaje ya roza el 81% de la población. Las ciudades ocupan solo el 3% de la superficie de la tierra, pero representan entre el 60% y el 80% del consumo de energía y generan el 75% de las emisiones de carbono. De ahí su importancia a la hora de impulsar la descarbonización para así hacer frente a uno de los desafíos más urgentes de nuestros tiempos: el calentamiento global. Sin duda son retos complejos que requieren de un esfuerzo conjunto público y privado y entre niveles de gobierno. Pero al mismo tiempo, nos regalan una valiosa oportunidad de avanzar en la dirección correcta, trabajando para crear ciudades sostenibles, resilientes, seguras e inclusivas.
Although we have talked about inequality and sustainability in Brazil for a long time (we held the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit in 1992 and the first World Social Forum in 2001 in Porto Alegre), the COVID-19 pandemic struck us in the middle of a “quasi” economic crisis, a declining Gini Index and increasing evidence of biomass destruction in Brazil’s Pantanal, Mata Atlântica and Amazonia forests.1
By José Antonio Ocampo, Professor at Columbia University, and former UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs and Finance Minister of Colombia
As we ring in the new year, the region needs a new development consensus, committed to reducing inequality, implementing stronger counter-cyclical macroeconomic policies, and spurring production and export diversification – including a major digital transformation. The consensus should accelerate a de-politicised regional integration, push the international environmental agenda forward and renew the region’s commitment to democracy.