Latin America is at a crucial stage of its development. Democracy has spread in the vast majority of its countries. There is a growing middle class demanding better public services, more inclusion and participation. The region has an important proportion of the natural resources existing worldwide and Latin American people are optimistic regarding the future. Even though Latin American countries face similar challenges and opportunities and that there is more political integration, in practice there are very few spaces to study common issues and find innovative solutions.
In addition, the region lacks capacities to produce scientific knowledge and to transform it into technological innovations. Although Latin America represents 10% of the world population, the region produces less than 3% of the scientific knowledge and 0.2% of the patents that are generated globally. The best strategy to overcome this challenge is by creating an ecosystem, both at the national and regional level, in which several people and institutions interact to produce and apply knowledge to solve problems faced by our societies using innovative approaches as well as to inform policies at the regional and national level.
In January 2013, 12 Latin American centres, with the support of the Think Tank Initiative, met to establish a space to undertake comparative research in order to inform regional as well as national policies and to strengthen the organizations members of the network. This is how the Iniciativa Latinoamericana de Investigación para las Políticas Públicas (ILAIPP, its initials in Spanish standing for Latin American Research Initiative for Public Policies) was created. ILAIPP´s objective is to generate evidence-based policy proposals that contribute to address Latin America´s key social, economic, and political challenges.
To fulfill its mission, ILAIPP has established the following specific goals: (i) To generate knowledge in order to enrich the debate and generate policy proposals aimed at contributing to the development of Latin America; (ii) To build a regional space that enables think tanks to exchange, discuss and learn on experiences influencing public policies; and, (iii) To promote actions that strengthen institutional capacities in the centres members of the network.
To date, the foundations for a proper operation in the network have been laid. The members of ILAIPP approve its strategic plan and articles of association that defines the networks objectives, governance and strategies. In addition, and based on the following criteria, centers that form ILAIPP agreed on a research agenda with the aim of conducting comparative research to enrich both national and regional public policies:
Four areas to guide research performed by the network during the following years were defined as follows:
- Economic policy for tackling poverty and inequality
- Democracy, decentralization, citizens’ rights and political culture
- Natural resources, environment and climate change
- Education, human capital and knowledge generation
Now ILAIPP needs a unique individual to lead the network to new heights. The Executive Secretary will be in charge of implementing the strategic plan and the research agenda coordinating efforts of twelve well-known Latin American think tanks and promoting collaboration with other knowledge producers institutions to enrich both national and regional policies.
ILAIPP mission is clear: To contribute in the improvement of the quality of public policies in Latin America. If that is your mission, we invite you to take a look at the job description and send your application by July 7th to be part of a network that is contributing to increase Latin American´s knowledge production capacities to build more inclusive, democratic and prosperous societies.