A Laboratory of Development – The Impact of Social Policies on Children in Latin America and the Caribbean

The Latin America and Caribbean region is distinguished by the range of policies that it has developed to respond to both the opportunities and risks of contemporary globalization. From efforts to increase macroeconomic stability and major programs of economic reform, through innovative investments in social welfare and protection, to fresh approaches to compensating those providing environmental goods and services, the region has been at the forefront of developing new economic, social, and environmental policies.

Prepared at the request of UNICEF in Latin America and the Caribbean, this paper explores the concept of the region as a laboratory for development by focusing on progress made in meeting the region’s obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the policies that have supported this progress, and the lessons that can be drawn for children’s future prospects.

The paper first provides an overview of regional trends that have led to positive outcomes for children and identifies countries that have made especially fast progress. The paper’s second section explores major policies that have had an impact on children’s lives. Finally, the paper outlines the major challenges that the region must confront if it is to continue improving the lives of children.

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Next Generation Pakistan: Insecure Lives, Untold Stories

Next Generation: Insecure Lives, Untold Stories is one of the largest pieces of qualitative research ever conducted in Pakistan and is rooted in a determination to listen to the voices of young people. It is the first to systematically collect their stories, with 1,800 gathered from across the country. It also includes the results from a nationally representative survey and a series of expert interviews.

The report shows that violence is a binding constraint to realising the potential of Pakistan’s young people. Not just political violence, but criminal and domestic violence, starve young people of opportunities and make it harder for Pakistan to benefit from the demographic dividend that could transform its future (May 2014)

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Ensuring Stable and Peaceful Societies

On April 24th and 25th, the President of the UN General Assembly will lead a thematic debate on ensuring stable and peaceful societies. At the request of the President of the General Assembly, I prepared a memo which highlights why peace and stability is important for sustainable development and how it might be addressed in the post-2015 development agenda. The outcome of this discussion will be included in the President’s summary and will be available as an input in the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (April 2014)

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Fueling a New Order? The New Geopolitical and Security Consequences of Energy

Paper by David Steven, Bruce Jones and Emily O’Brien that examines impacts of the major transformation in international energy markets that has begun. The United States is poised to overtake Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world’s largest oil producer and, combined with new developments in natural gas, is on track to become the dominant player in global energy markets. Meanwhile, China is in place to surpass the United States in its scale of oil imports, and has already edged out the U.S. in carbon emissions. (April 2014)

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A Laboratory for Sustainable Development? Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Post-2015 Development Agenda

The Latin American and Caribbean region has a unique opportunity to exercise leadership and influence over the post-2015 development debate. The region’s countries have shown a commitment to the Millennium Development Goals by creating new approaches to achieving prosperity and delivering high standards of social welfare. Recently, the region has successfully captured the leadership positions at the UN in the lead-up to the 69th General Assembly, allowing it to advance its innovative development policies and models within the debate and lobby for its concerns.

A Laboratory for Sustainable Development?, written by David Steven and Alejandra Kubitschek-Bujones discusses the opportunities and obstacles to agreeing on a post-2015 agenda that will benefit the region and explores ways in which regional players might influence the agenda. More about the report and CIC’s work on post-2015 here. The reports are available for download below – English version on the left and Spanish on the right.

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