In the last decade, we have been witness to and participated in significant changes that have transformed the world as we know it and that have challenged the manner in which we think and act in both the public and private worlds. Ideas, priorities, mechanisms and concepts that have been practiced for many years are now being reviewed and adapted to new realities.
In response to the new times, the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI) was established in 1996 within the framework of the OAS. CIDI adopted a new paradigm and philosophy for partnership for development in order to guide cooperation programs and policies. This new philosophy aspires to replace the forms of technical assistance that were historically based on the concept that development involved the transfer of funds from "have" to "have not" countries, largely ignoring the notion of cooperation as an instrument for collaboration, exchange, mutual support and joint action.
In the framework of this new cooperation within the OAS, the traditional relationship between donor and recipient has been replaced by a new method of participation and association that emphasizes joint action throughout the development cycle. Programs and projects are now determined by the recipients, which means that needs are defined by local governments rather than by the cooperation agencies. The basic objective has been changed to reflect the increased capacity of the communities to be the actors and craftsmen of their own sustainable development.
The study presented here forms part of the series entitled Trends for a Common Future, which shall explore the current state of cooperation in our region in each of CIDI's priority areas. The studies present, among other things, historical backgrounds, current situations, sectoral analyses and challenges to be faced in the new millenium.
It should be pointed out that the studies included in this series reflect the points of view of many well-known personalities in the Hemisphere and, although they do not necessarily represent the opinion of the General Secretariat of the OAS or its member states, strive to serve as a starting point for encouraging dialogue and exchanging ideas on the topics presented.
As a forum for inter-American dialogue, CIDI supports initiatives such as those presented here, which strive to open new paths of communication and promote its role in the creation of common agendas for development in the Hemisphere, thereby encouraging the creation of a community of nations.
Executive Secretary for Integral Development