Trends

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.

Multi-stakeholder alliances: learning to see the world through the eyes of the others

By Francisco Larra Bujalance

Six blind Hindustani men set out to determine what an elephant looked like by feeling different parts of the animal’s body. The first man approached the elephant, and happening to fall against his broad side, at once called out, "The elephant is very much like a wall!" The second, feeling the tusk, cried, "What we have here is so very round and smooth and sharp that it is mighty clear the elephant is very like a spear!" The third happened to take the squirming trunk within his hands and said, "My God, the elephant is very much like a snake!" The fourth reached out an eager hand and felt the animal’s knee. He said, “It’s clear enough the elephant is very like a tree!" The fifth, who happened to touch the ear, said, "Even the blindest man can tell the fact that an elephant is very much like a fan!" The sixth seized on the swinging tail. "I see," he said, "the elephant is very much like a rope!" And so, these Hindustani men disputed loud and long, though each was partly in the right, and all were in the wrong. (This parable is attributed to Rumi, a 13th century Persian poet and teacher of Sufism.)

Getting Smart at the Sandpit

By Brigit Helms

By Brigit Helms and Maggie Dugan

The large Mexican city of Guadalajara is a thriving commercial center and home to 1.5 million people. But nearly 24,000 homes in Guadalajara have only a dirt floor and lack access to indoor plumbing and sanitation services. To tackle the challenge of people living without access to basic services in a large metropolitan area, 25 experts from different professions assembled a few months ago for a 5-day immersive workshop called a “Sandpit,” held in the community center in Guadalajara’s neighborhood of Zapopan.

What would you do with $2.2 trillion dollars?

By Elizabeth Boggs Davidsen

By Elizabeth  Boggs Davidsen and Charmain Love

The groundswell of businesses that want to be more purposeful and work alongside government and civil society organizations means that we should dream bigger about how to solve some of the biggest challenges the world faces today. And maybe money isn’t an excuse anymore, given a report by the New York Times (in the United States) and research by Grant Thornton (in the United Kingdom), showing that the balance sheets of companies in these two countries alone have $2.2 trillion in cash waiting to be used. 

The development mutants are coming … and we care

By Marcelo Cabrol

Mutants are organisms that mutate due to a change in their composition or structure. In the development industry, we are starting to recognize mutants that slowly, but inexorably, are beginning to compete in the space historically reserved for international financial institutions. How can we understand these changes? And how can we use these mutants to improve lives in Latin America and the Caribbean?

How women-led entrepreneurship can crush social and economic exclusion

By Brigit Helms

This is Paloma. Paloma is an 11-year-old Guatemalan girl. And she is my daughter. Honestly, I'm afraid for her future.
Michelle Obama told us, "No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half of its citizens."

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