Generating sufficient budgetary spaces and investing more and better in children and adolescents is one of the best strategies that countries have to accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Since 2013, UNICEF annually organizes regional meetings on how to move forward with this strategy, and these meetings have been effective: the Latin America and the Caribbean region has been pioneer in the public investment progress towards the fulfillment of children's rights, going from the quantification and estimation of national and subnational public resources destined for children to the analysis of the quality of that investment.
This year´s International Seminar on Investment in Children, is a new regional meeting, and the first hosted in a Caribbean country. This event is organized by UNICEF and the Government of the Dominican Republic, through the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Development, the Ministry of Finance and the General Budget Directorate, and aims to provide a privileged space for reflection, dialogue and exchange, in order to continue sharing experiences and tools on financing a better investment in children and adolescents with the governments of the region, decision makers, international and regional experts, civil society organizations, academia, private sector and other relevant actors.
The expectation is that the reflections of this valuable space for dialogue and exchange, together with the lessons learned from the region's experiences, contribute to the efforts to continue in the indispensable and urgent task of improving investment in children in the countries of the region, and therefore advance the achievement of the SDGs.
Download presentations and speakers' biographies
Economic context of Latin America and the Caribbean: economic growth, fiscal space and expectations for 2019
Presenter: Alonso Segura Vasi, Ex-Minister of Economy and Finance of Peru, Founding Partner of HACER PERÚ, Professor of Economics at PUCP.
The National Development Strategy, investment in children and adolescents and the Sustainable Development Goals
Presenter: Yván Rodríguez, Vice Minister of Planning, Ministery of Economy, Planning and Development of the Dominican Republic.
Panel 1.1. Social investment in children in the region. Trends, effectiveness and challenges
How equity and universality can improve financing of public investments in children
Presenter: Alexandra Yuster, Associate Director on Social Inclusion and Public Policy, Programme Division, UNICEF HQ.
Early childhood expenditure in the Dominican Republic: realities, effectiveness analysis and trends
Presenter: Ayacx Mercedes, Deputy Director of the General Directorate of Special Programs of the Ministry of the Presidency, Dominican Republic.
Panel 1.2. Alternatives of financing for public investment in childhood and adolescence for the achievement of the SDGs
Social spending in children and adolescents in European and Latin American countries. An analysis in comparative perspective
Presenter: Fernando Filgueira, UNICEF Regional Consultant/Principal Investigator of the Social Protection Program of CIPPEC, Argentina.
Public-private partnerships as alternatives for financing public projects
Presenter: Jean Philippe Pening, Advisor in Municipality of Bogotá, Colombia.
Simultaneous discussion session on country experiences:
a) Methodologies and institutionalization of the measurement of public investment in children at national and subnational level
- Luciana Díaz-Frers, Director, National Directorate of Tax and Income Policy, Ministry of Finance, Argentina
- Gabriel González-Bueno, Child Policy Specialist, UNICEF National Committee, Spain
- Aida Cristina Quintanilla Lara, Head of Dept. Analysis and Investigation of Financial Administration and Public Production, Guatemala
- Mercedes Carrasco, Advisor to the General Budget Office, Ministry of Finance, Dominican Republic
- Jaime Durán Chuquimia, Vice Minister of Budget and Fiscal Accounting, Ministry of Economy and Public Finance, Bolivia
- Yoly Colindres, Systems Analyst at the Directorate for Children, Adolescence and Family, Ministry of Development and Social Inclusion, Honduras
- Ana María Guemez, Social Policy Specialist, UNICEF Peru
- Karine Tomaz, Auditor of the Laboratory of Public Policy, Public Ministry of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
b) Processes to improve the quality of public spending on children from different angles such effectiveness, efficiency of public expenditure in children and also on transparency and participation in the budget cycle
- Carlos Calderón, Social Policy Officer, UNICEF Peru
- Jair López, Analyst of the Technical Office of the Social Sector, Secretariat of Government General Coordination, Honduras
- Guillermo Valentino, Director, Budget Evaluation Office, National Budget Office, Ministry of Finance, Argentina
- Marcelo Ventós, Member of the Working Group on Investment and part of the Asociación de Organizaciones No Gubernamentales orientadas al Desarrollo (ANONG, Uruguay), Redlamyc
Panel 2.1. Investment in social protection as a national development strategy
Social protection that prioritizes children: the experience of the Dominican Republic
Presenter: Altagracia Suriel, CEO “Progresando con Solidaridad (PROSOLI)” Programmme, Vice Presidency of the Dominican Republic.
Towards a Universal Child Benefit in Brazil: What Needs to be Done and What can be Expected?
Presenter: Sergei Soares, Researcher, Applied Economic Research Institute (Ipea), Brazil.
Towards a social protection floor, emphasizing investments in children
Presenter: Judith Alpuche, CEO, Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation, Belize.
Panel 2.2. Public investment in health and education, universal coverage and the transition to quality
Reforms to the health system to achieve universality. The Peruvian experience
Presenter: Midori de Habich, Former Minister of Health of Peru.
Universal health system: coverage and financing challenges in Mexico
Presenter: Héctor Villarreal Páez, General Director, Economic and Budgetary Research Center, Mexico.
What is and is not useful to reduce high school dropouts? A review of interventions from the evidence
Presenter: Rafael de Hoyos, Lead Economist, World Bank.
Investment trends in public education in the Dominican Republic
Presenter: David Lapaix Ávila, Director of Financial Programming and Economic Studies, Ministry of Education of the Dominican Republic.
Panel 2.3. Public investment in protection against violence in childhood, a Latin American and Caribbean debt
Analysis and costing of early childhood protection policies against violence
Presenter: Javier Curcio, FCE-UBA researcher and international consultant in public finances for children.
For more information:
Latin America and the Caribbean 30 years after the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child
Almost 30 years after the signature of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, ECLAC and UNICEF Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Office present this study as an account of the achievements made towards ensuring children’s and adolescents’ rights, together with the challenges that governments communities still need to address in order to guarantee the full development of children and adolescents.
Making visible these pending debts with Latin American and Caribbean children is a call for coordinated action and for the design and implementation of universal and inclusive social policies, so that all children born with the same inalienable rights can exercise them, regardless of their conditions of birth.
UNICEF’s Engagements in Influencing Domestic Public Finance for Children (PF4C): A Global Programme Framework
UNICEF presents the Global Programme Framework to influence public financing for children, which provides the necessary tools to accompany national and subnational governments throughout the public finance management process with a focus in children.
This is intended not only to advocate for greater allocation of resources for children and adolescents but to improve the use of the funds that are available, making the budget cycle more efficient and transparent, using a results-based approach and, in a special way, orienting it to the reduction of persistent and emerging disparities in the countries of the region.