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The state of the art and challenges of planning for development in Latin America and the Caribbean
This document summarizes an ongoing project of the Latin American and Caribbean Institute for Economic and Social Planning (ILPES) that aims to provide an overview of the state of the art in planning for development in Latin America and the Caribbean, identify and analyse the main challenges in this regard and develop policy guidelines accordingly, including forms of cooperation by which ILPES can support the countries in this area. As a development management tool, planning is a fundamental discipline for furthering the strategy for sustainable and inclusive development with equality in Latin America and the Caribbean, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In accordance with the resolutions adopted at the fourteenth meeting of the Regional Council for Planning of ILPES, held in 2013, and the agreements of the twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth meetings of the Presiding Officers of the Regional Council for Planning of ILPES,1 held in 2014 and 2015, respectively, the present document is presented to the Regional Council for Planning for consideration at its fifteenth meeting, with a view to receiving feedback and preparing a revised and expanded version for publication in 2016.
At the start of the twenty-first century, the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean underwent major transformations in their government and public administration models, and one of the most notable of these was the repositioning of planning for development. Although the sectoral, territorial and urban expressions of planning were preserved in many cases, in the vast majority of the countries their use was weakened in the adoption of more comprehensive processes related to national development conditions. Along with the revindication of the State’s role in the development process since the start of this century, planning has reasserted itself as a valuable component in the matters of government; this can be seen in the transformation of institutional and regulatory frameworks and in the practice of planning itself in countries where, on account of the market reforms some of those countries implemented during the 1980s and the majority undertook in the 1990s, it had been virtually abandoned.
The document is divided into three parts. The first (part A) sets out the reasons for the recent transformations in government and public administration models and summarizes the defining features of contemporary planning for development in the region. It describes the broad vectors of global change and the challenges and dilemmas that must be met.
The second part (part B) highlights the lessons learned from important planning experiences in the region and the challenges that they pose, using nine case studies that outline planning trends in the in the region and emphasizing their obstacles and results. Previous studies by ILPES, by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) as a whole and by similar institutions are cited to support this evidence.
The third part (part C) connects the main findings with the components of a regional strategy to be implemented, with joint ILPES and ECLAC support, to construct a platform for planning for development and Latin American and Caribbean integration in line with the agreements of the Regional Council for Planning. It offers a medium-term proposal for work structured around the following components: (i) a repository of development plans and programmes, to facilitate a greater understanding of those that exist in the region and to allow them to be analysed and shared, (ii) a proposal for a white paper to promote good practices in the use of planning tools and methodologies, (iii) the construction of a2030 vision for Latin America and the Caribbean, and (iv) a regional capacity-building programme for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.