América Solidaria Internacional’s executive director, Sebastián Zulueta, visited Washington to host a roundtable discussion on the emerging challenges and evolving relations between NGOs and public donors, hosted by the Inter-American Dialogue, which took place Wednesday, April 26th.
Also joining the discussion were the following key actors: Mark Feierstein, who has served at the White House as special assistant to the president for Western Hemisphere affairs, as well as at USAID as acting deputy administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean; Miguel Castilla, Manager of the Office of Strategic Planning and Development Effectiveness at the Inter-American Development Bank, former ambassador of Peru to the U.S., and Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center; and finally, Manuel Orozco, senior fellow at the Inter-American Dialogue and director of the Migration, Remittances and Development Program, also a senior adviser with the International Fund for Agricultural Development.
In attendance were representatives of key stakeholder organizations, including: the World Bank, the OAS, ECLAC, the Pan-American Development Foundation, Global Communities, Partners of the Americas, Habitat for Humanity International, Fabretto Children’s Foundation, the Hunger Project, UnitedHealth Group, DevTech Systems, SwissContact, Pro Mujer Inc., the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and Worldfund, and regional embassies, including Peru and Costa Rica.
The presenters led a lively conversation covering topics such as the consequences of a sharp reduction in official US aid to Latin American social projects, alternative sources of funding from the private organizations and how NGOs can continue to advance their mission in the face of various challenges. Sebastián Zulueta argued that we need to foster a culture of solidarity to avoid cases like Chile, which evaded participating in official development assistance to overcome poverty upon joining the OEC given its identity as a poor country.