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February 25, 2019
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Posted by NCID

The Navarra Center for International Development, Luis Ravina, was invited to deliver the inaugural speech for the 2019 academic year at the Universidad del Istmo in Guatemala. With the title A proposal for development for Guatemala, Prof. Ravina spoke about the importance of investing in quality education and to put the practice the university's motto: Knowledge to serve.

The professor did a quick oversight on the rapid changes that are affecting the whole population and focused on the role Guatemala plays in a globalized world. Prof. Ravina emphasizes on the importance of working towards and inclusive economic growth that lets nobody behind and he signaled four sectors key to meet such objective: health, education, quality and independence of institutions and the creation of opportunities for the youth. The whole text of his speech can be found here.

But that was just the beginning of a trip to Guatemala in which Dr. Ravina had meetings with representatives of different institutions to strengthen relationships and collaboration agreements, accompanied by research assistants Iv√°n Kim (NCID) and Rodrigo Asturias (of the associated Research Centre for Regional Development, CINDERE, of the UNIS).

The first meeting took place the same day 11 in the Industrial Bank, with José Miguel Torrebiarte, president of Grupo Progreso, and Mario García Lara, director of the 2020 Foundation, an organization that seeks to strengthen the State's institutions and with which it was opened the door to a possible joint work in the future.

Another important meeting was held on Wednesday the 13th in the Technical Office of Spanish Cooperation with its manager, Miguel González, who made different recommendations regarding the work of the NCID in Guatemala together with local institutions. On the same day, Dr. Ravina and company met with José Villatoro, Chief of Operations of the Inter-American Development Bank, who put them in context about the current situation in different sectors in which the NCID can collaborate eventually.

The following day, the NCID-CINDERE team met with Fernando Paredes, Senior Operations Manager at the World Bank, who talked about the work of the institution in Guatemala with a view to a future collaboration, and immediately afterward with Tom√°s Pall√°s and Stefano Gatto, delegates from the European Union, to discuss the socio-political situation of the country. That afternoon, in addition, there was a meeting with √Ālvaro Hugo, director of Works of the Municipality of Guatemala, entity with which seeks to reach a research project and concrete collaboration in various development issues.

Finally, days 15 and 16 were quite active, as they included meetings with representatives of USAID (Aura Sandoval, of Education, Mario Von Ahn, of Health and Education, and José Guillermo López, of Democracy and Governance), of the aforementioned Fundación 2020 and the National Network of Management Groups (Juan Diego Molina, Operations Technician), to consolidate the strategy and work plan of the center in the Central American country.