Despite considerable political and economic reforms that have accompanied the advent of the 'Third Wave' of democratisation in Latin America since the early 1980s, the quality of democratic governance remains uneven and highly problematic throughout the region, and deep-rooted poverty is a persistent challenge. In fact, while economic growth has made great strides over the past few years, Latin America remains the most unequal region in the world. Based on the many changes that the region has undergone over the past few decades, Latin America is a rich laboratory of experimentation from which other areas in the developing world can draw lessons.
In recent years, both national actors and international donors have gained a greater appreciation for the importance of context and politics in a development setting. A growing debate centers on the ways in which poverty and political systems inter-relate interact, and how the donor community and specialised agencies can best engage local actors in promoting a pro-poor development agenda.
This Conference seeks to highlight the strategic and practical experiences, best practice and lessons learned by donor agencies in Latin America in promoting pro-poor development agendas aimed at reducing extreme poverty and inequality - and address their relevance in other parts of the developing world. It will also identify some of the common political factors that impact – positively and negatively – on progress towards these objectives.