2019-2020 Biennial Report

Report Cover

2019 and 2020 were among the most tumultuous years in recent memory in the Americas: at the end of 2019, street protests roiled cities across the hemisphere; in 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic upended all of our lives, affecting healthcare systems, financial markets, economies, politics, and social well-being. The pandemic laid bare the structural challenges faced by the region: weak healthcare systems, profound social inequality, and massive job informality.

In the United States, the tragedy that took place on January 6 of 2021 is a stark reminder of how important it is to have responsible leadership to protect the rule of law. The assault represented yet another trauma that has shaken us - we also recall the brutal murder by Minneapolis police of George Floyd in May 2020, which sparked protests against racial injustice in the United States and throughout the world.

The Dialogue remains firmly committed to fostering democratic governance, social equity, and prosperity across the entire hemisphere. This spirit guides the diverse efforts of the Dialogue’s staff and members.

This biennial report highlights just a few of our accomplishments during 2019 and 2020. Our Venezuela Working Group identified and advanced solutions to the country’s political and humanitarian crises, the most acute in the Americas. Our Working Group on Technology and Innovation in Education developed an agenda focused on quality learning experiences, effective teaching, and efficient management. Through partnerships with financial institutions, remittance companies, and diaspora groups, the Dialogue has developed programs to build assets, promote investment in social capital, and strengthen the knowledge economy in Guatemala. With our China–Latin America Finance Database, we remain among the few institutions disseminating credible data on Chinese finance in Latin America and the Caribbean. By digging beyond the headlines and analyzing the reasons for deforestation across the Amazon region, the Dialogue has heightened public understanding and clarified policy choices about what is possibly the region’s overriding environmental challenge.

At a time when countries are turning inward, cooperation and collaboration are more crucial than ever. The Dialogue is well-positioned to make a significant difference and have a strong impact. For almost four decades, we have worked tirelessly to strengthen democratic practices and the rule of law and improve the plight of marginalized peoples in the region.