Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean reaffirmed the importance of planning for development as a mechanism for tackling structural inequality in the region, during the twenty-seventh meeting of the Presiding Officers of the Regional Council for Planning held on Thursday in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
The gathering was led by Javier Abugattás, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Center for Strategic Planning (CEPLAN) of Peru, in his capacity as Chair of the Regional Council for Planning; Raúl García-Buchaca, ECLAC’s Deputy Executive Secretary for Management and Program Analysis; and Cielo Morales, Director of ECLAC’s Latin American and Caribbean Institute for Economic and Social Planning (ILPES).
During the meeting, representatives from 16 countries of the region reviewed the progress made to date and compliance with the agreements adopted by the Regional Council for Planning, a subsidiary body of ECLAC and the main intergovernmental forum guiding the activities of the ILPES.
The authorities reiterated their interest in the ILPES continuing its applied research, technical cooperation, consulting and training in relation to planning for development, the territorialization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and public administration.
In the context of the meeting, Raúl García-Buchaca of ECLAC affirmed that the 2030 Agenda, approved by the 193 countries represented at the United Nations General Assembly, has repositioned planning as one of its means of implementation.
“As ECLAC’s Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena said, planning is back. But not just any planning – planning for development, and that entails greater and improved efforts from the countries of the region,” the regional commission’s senior official asserted.
Cielo Morales pointed out that the 2030 Agenda poses great challenges for countries, principal among which is public policy coherence.
She added that “planning for development has been repositioned as an ideal instrument for linking the development objectives of the different levels of government to budgeting and public investment.” She also highlighted the work of the ILPES and its contribution to forging a regional vision on planning for development.
During the meeting, ECLAC presented the progress made by the Regional Observatory on Planning for Development, a space for analysis, information and collective production of knowledge for governments, academia, the private sector and civil society on planning for development in Latin America and the Caribbean, which – less than a year after its implementation in October 2017 – has more than 116,694 registered users.
ECLAC also reported on the Plan Barometer, a tool for characterizing the instruments, processes and systems used in planning for development.
The countries agreed to hold the next meeting of the Regional Council for Planning in Uruguay in 2019.
The Presiding Officers of the Regional Council for Planning meets once a year. It is currently made up of Peru as Chair, along with Ecuador, Guatemala, Paraguay, the Dominican Republic and Uruguay.