The debate about public policies for development has focused on defining the best interventions to promote growth and inclusion. At the same time, less emphasis has been put on analyzing the capacities of government agencies and institutions to design policies and put them into practice. The recently released 2015 Economy and Development Report (RED 2015) by the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) seeks to contribute to the study of the capacities of the state to improve the effectiveness of public interventions and promote development in Latin America. Successful interventions require a motivated and able bureaucracy as a crosscutting component throughout the policy production cycle; effective public procurement systems; citizen participation to strengthen accountability and improve the provision of public services; and the establishment of monitoring and evaluation schemes aimed at translating experience into knowledge and learning to increase the effectiveness of the entire process.
On April 21, the Brookings Global-CERES Economic and Social Policy in Latin America Initiative (ESPLA) and the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) co-hosted Pablo Sanguinetti, chief economist at CAF, for a short presentation of the report. Following Sanguinetti’s remarks, Matthew M. Taylor, associate professor at American University, and Jorge Luis Silva Mendez, public sector specialist at the World Bank, discussed the topic. Elaine Kamarck, founding director of the Center for Effective Public Management and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution,moderated the discussion.