One the main objectives of the Programme on Latin America and the Caribbean is to enhance the degree of collaboration with researchers and research centres in LAC countries.
The first Ford grant played a crucial role in the promotion of interaction and research collaboration between CIS and several LAC institutions and researchers. The project’s funding of LAC researchers’ visits to CIS proved to be an important and successful step in the process of accomplishing this goal.
The visits of André Urani of IPEA (Brazil), Adriana Marshall of IDES-CONICET (Argentina), Carlos Larrea of FLACSO (Ecuador), Marisa Bucheli of the Universidad de la República (Uruguay), Sudhanshu Handa of the University of the West Indies (Jamaica), and Diana Alarcón of COLEF (Mexico) contributed to the creation of endurable linkages between these scholars and researchers at CIS, as well as between their institutions and the University of Toronto. The research carried out by Gillette Hall - then a recent Ph.D. graduate from the University of Cambridge - while visiting at CIS also contributed to the creation of linkages between CIS and several Peruvian research centres such as GRADE and the Universidad Católica.
The second Ford grant allowed us to enhance our existing linkages - and to create new ones - with LAC researchers and institutions. Three of the visitors from the first round - Adriana Marshall, Carlos Larrea, and Diana Alarcón - paid a second visit to CIS under the second Ford grant. The visit of Andrea Vigorito helped to strengthen our linkages with the Universidad de la República of Uruguay. The visits of Pilar Romaguera (Universidad de Chile), Eduardo Loría (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México), and Jaime Saavedra (GRADE, Peru) also contributed to the strengthening of existing personal and institutional ties. The visits of four other LAC scholars - Miguel Cabal (Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia), Carola Moreno (Universidad de Chile), Hernán Román (Universidad de Chile), and Darío Milesi (Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento, Argentina) - contributed to expand CIS’s research focus on the impact of economic reforms on the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector in Latin America. Milesi’s visit also contributed to the creation of new and important institutional linkages with the Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento - co-organizers of the August, 1998 conference in Buenos Aires.
The second Ford grant also allowed us to create new linkages with Cuban researchers and research centres. The visitors program funded a six-week visit to CIS of Viviana Togores of the Centro de Estudios de la Economía Cubana, a research centre of the University of Havana. The program also funded one-day visits of three other Cuban scholars - Juan Triana (Director, Centro de Estudios de la Economía Cubana), Antonio Romero (Director, Centro de Estudios de la Economía Internacional), and Alejandro Durán (Dean, Faculty of Economics, University of Havana) - to give seminars on the impact of the economic reforms in Cuba to interested audiences from the academic, private, and public sectors.
The CIS also helped to develop student and faculty exchange programs between the University of Toronto and LAC institutions. For instance, a student from the International Development Studies (IDS) program at the University of Toronto spent nine months in Mexico working as a research assistant of Prof. Clemente Ruiz, a participant in our research program of the impact of economic reforms on the SME sector.