The challenge of international development requires a medley of ideas. At the Multilateral Investment Fund, we work in an array of topics that are at the forefront of efforts to spur the economic development of the private sector in Latin America and the Caribbean. Each week, this blog "Trends" brings you our latest research and thinking. 

Our complete list of blogs can be found here.

Boot camps to kick-start public-private partnerships in the Caribbean

By David Bloomgarden

The concept of public-private partnerships is in vogue in the Caribbean. Some governments mistakenly believe that PPPs allow the private sector to build and maintain infrastructure like roads, and provide public services like wastewater treatment, with little cost to the public sector. This is not the case. However, in certain PPP projects, private-sector efficiencies can allow governments to deliver much-needed and improved infrastructure and services with greater value to society.

Greening corporate value chains lowers environmental impact and lifts competitiveness

By Michael Hofmann

Adidas, one of the world’s top two sportswear manufacturers, recently ended its business relationship with 13 of its Asian suppliers as a result of their severe or repeated noncompliance with labor, health, and safety workplace standards at their factories. This is one example of large multinational corporations working harder to demonstrate to their ever-more-demanding stakeholders that they operate sustainably. As a result, companies’ sustainability strategies are increasingly directly relevant to their operations—and are resulting in positive financial returns. An analysis of S&P 500 companies confirmed that businesses that have built sustainability into their core strategies achieve financial profitability that is significantly higher than that of their laggard peers—by between 18% and 67%. 


Top down + bottom up = effective in Haiti

By Winsome Leslie

Five years after the cataclysmic earthquake in Haiti, there are encouraging signs of economic activity. In construction, two international chains, Best Western and Marriott, have opened hotels in Port-au-Prince in the last two years. Both have committed to hiring and training Haitian staff at all levels and to sourcing goods and services locally. Haitians in the diaspora are investing in new and existing businesses. Meanwhile, the Haitian government is keen on establishing meaningful partnerships with aid agencies and nongovernmental organizations to revitalize the country’s agriculture sector, with the goals of replacing foreign imports with domestic production and achieving better food security.

Would a Women's Club Break the Hegemony of the Men's Club?

By Maria Teresa Villanueva

You could play a game to find the seven differences in photographs of boards of chambers of commerce in Latin America and the Caribbean. At first glance, they all look very similar: white men between 50 and 60 years old, wearing suits and ties. A quick review of the composition of boards or councils of seven chambers of commerce in the region (in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, and Peru) reveals that 91% of their members are men and only 9% are women. 

Sports, theater, and circus arts ease at-risk youth into the workforce

By Claudio Cortellese

Trends is on vacation this week. This post ran previously on our blog. 

By Claudio Cortellese and Mariel Sabra 

For the vast majority of the 160 million youth between 15 and 29 years old in Latin America and the Caribbean, the transition into the labor market is anything but easy. Youth unemployment continues to hover around 13%—three times the rate of adults (5%). When broken down by gender, young women experience higher unemployment rates than their male counterparts (17% vs. 11%). And, of the young people who have been able to find a job, more than half are employed in the informal sector, according to the International Labour Organization