Luis Ravina, the Navarra Center for International Development (NCID) Director, traveled to Guatemala between February 17 and 22 along with Junior Researcher IvÃ¡n Kim to meet with representatives from the public, private, academic, and cooperation sectors. The visit was intended to establish new relationships and strengthen collaboration with known institutions to carry out future research projects in the country.
Two of the meetings were with university colleagues, one at the Research and Projection Institute on Economy and Plural Society (IDIES) of the Rafael LandÃvar University and another at the University of the Isthmus (UNIS). In the first case, IDIES shared its different research projects, including microfinance and the analysis of public policies and fiscal policy, among others. In both meetings, it was discussed the role of the Centro de InvestigaciÃ³n para el Desarrollo Regional (CINDERE), an associated center of the NCID at UNIS, and the possibilities of strengthening it through collaboration with research partners. Also in the research sector, there was a visit to the National Economic Research Center (CIEN) to explore the possibility of collaborating in a future NCID-CINDERE research project, and another to the Central American Institute of Fiscal Studies (ICEFI), which has been in Guatemala for fifteen years, to know its work.
Also to receive context, the NCID-CINDERE visited the Technical Cooperation Office (OTC) of Spain, which reported on the active projects of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) related mainly to water and sanitation, and met with a delegate of the European Union in Guatemala, who introduced the possibilities and requirements for the financing of research projects, where the EU has undernutrition, climate change, governance, and entrepreneurship as priority issues.
Regarding public institutions, Dr. Ravina and NCID-CINDERE researchers IvÃ¡n Kim and Rodrigo Asturias met, on the one hand, with representatives of the Municipality of Guatemala to learn about the MuniTec project, technology training centers for young people in different areas of the city financed by international cooperation. On the other hand, there was a reunion with senior officials of the Bank of Guatemala, who provided context on issues of institutional and economic news of the country and were willing to collaborate with the NCID-CINDERE projects. Similarly, there were two fruitful meetings with the manager of the National Statistics Institute (INE), Mauricio Guerra, and with officials of the Chamber of Commerce, the first with the objective of accessing in greater depth certain data necessary to promote research in Development Economics, and the second, related to the private sector, to know the scope of its work at the departmental and municipal levels.
Finally, Dr. Ravina, Kim, and Asturias also visited the headquarters of the 2020 Foundation and the Connected Cities Foundation, which has agreements with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and with which the NCID-CINDERE explores the financing of future field research. The 2020 Foundation, meanwhile, is a multidisciplinary analysis center that, through research, analysis and proposals, promotes institutional strengthening and a rule of law that fosters an increase in investment and productivity. At the meeting, the representatives of the NCID-CINDERE were able to learn more about the fiscal situation in Guatemala and received inputs for the preparation of future documents on topics of special interest for the country's development.