Fostering the development Transversal and Socio-emotional Skills in Latin America
The International Seminar "Connecting technical and methodological advances with the design of public policies for the development of Transversal and Socio-emotional Competencies throughout the life cycle: A need and a challenge" was held in Santiago from 18 to 20 October.
This activity is part of the project Inclusive Development in Latin America: An Opportunity for Governments and Social Actors (DIALOGAS), coordinated by AGCI, thanks to the support of the European Union, through the ADELANTE programme; and the collaboration of the Italo Latinoameriacano Institute (IILA). Participants included public institutions from Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Peru and Paraguay, which in turn form part of the Regional Cooperation Roundtable on Transversal and Socio-emotional Competencies (MESACTS).
The opening session was chaired by the Executive Director (S) of the International Cooperation Agency of Chile (AGCI), coordinating entity of the Dialogas Project, Eugenio Pérez; the National Director of the National Training and Employment Service (SENCE), Pedro Goic; the First Counsellor of the European Union Delegation in Chile, Luis Cuervo; the Deputy Director of Education of the National Planning Department of Colombia and Coordinator of MESACTS, Laura Pabón; and the Executive of the Vice-Presidency of Social Development of the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF), Bibiam Díaz.
Eugenio Pérez stressed that "despite a significant decrease in some countries, poverty in Latin America has not disappeared; it continues to be a scourge that impacts our conscience and aspirations for justice and equity, since it affects nearly 30% of the regional population". In this context, he added that "the DIALOGAS project is one of the first triangular cooperation experiences between Latin America and the European Union under the Adelante programme; a fundamental opportunity to strengthen South-South cooperation through the exchange of regional experiences and the search for innovative cooperation instruments, which are key to achieving sustainable development".
At the meeting, Pedro Goic stated that "these capacities should be installed in anyone who lives in a community. In recent years, from the Ministry of Labor, from SENCE, Chile Valora, we decided to look at these skills, because it is not enough just to have technical knowledge. In addition, he added that "these skills should have an impact on our most vulnerable populations, because it is in this development where we risk the real growth".
For his part, Luis Cuervo stressed that "the DIALOGAS project is an initiative that focuses on establishing a plurinational network between ministries and agencies in 7 Latin American countries to strengthen these competencies within the framework of education and inclusive development programmes to reduce poverty". He stressed that "DIALOGAS is an example of multi-stakeholder cooperation in the region; a necessary new form of cooperation to combat current global challenges and thus achieve the goals of the Sustainable Development Objectives proposed by the United Nations".
Laura Pabón pointed out that "our challenge is for more and more people in the region to have the skills to progress in a rapidly changing world and to be able to capitalize on all the impacts of these skills in the areas of work, education, health and social. In order to do this, we have to think about integral interventions and not isolated sectorial ones. We must consider that the formation of these competencies is a cumulative process throughout life and there are several factors that influence their development and that their learning is not limited solely to schools.
Later, Bibiam Díaz said that "we know that a more educated society is key to development. That's why today, more than ever, Latin America faces the challenge of ensuring that its citizens accumulate the skills to perform successfully in all areas of their lives. He also stressed that "it is important to be able to measure these skills, to know how they accumulate and how they are made sustainable in people's careers.
The objective of the DIALOGAS project is to gather experiences in the transfer of Transversal and Socio-emotional Skills to vulnerable populations within two years, starting in January 2017. In this way, to encourage their integration into the public policies of each of the countries of the region, especially in the framework of programmes to combat poverty and promote social cohesion.