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IDRC has supported Mexican researchers since 1974. A strong focus on agricultural research has helped to improve corn farmed in poor areas and to preserve hundreds of local corn varieties.

IDRC-funded researchers have also studied health problems that disproportionally affect the poor, such as infant and child mortality, dengue fever, malaria, and, more recently, Zika. IDRC collaborates with Mexican researchers to address these and other challenges such as fighting inequalities in education, employment, and social inclusion.

Tackling health issues

When Mexico committed to eliminating the use of DDT — a pesticide largely used to control malaria — the National Institute of Public Health designed an alternative mosquito control strategy and virtually eliminated malaria from Mexico. Developed with IDRC support, the mosquito control strategy became policy in Mexico, and it has been replicated in Central American countries.

Several IDRC grants also enabled the Institute to uncover the link between manganese exposure and motor and intellectual deficiencies in children living in central Mexican mining communities. The findings contributed to the implementation of an environmental management plan to decrease manganese levels in the air. Ten years later, results indicated a 50% reduction of the concentration of manganese in the air and significant improvement in motor neurological tests. 

Promoting digital technologies

IDRC was one of the first development agencies to embrace digital technologies to foster development and reduce poverty. The Centre helped establish Diálogo Regional sobre la Sociedad de la Información (DIRSI), a research network focused on telecommunications policy that plays a significant role in influencing pro-poor policies in Latin America. Following an analysis of the Mexican government’s proposal to increase taxes on all telecommunication services, DIRSI identified how the reform would threaten internet affordability for low-income people. As a result of their study, no tax increase was imposed on telecommunication services.

Total IDRC Support

212 activities worth CAD $31.8 million since 1974

Research is enabling women to benefit from mobile e-banking.
IDRC / James Rodriguez

Our support is helping to:

  • reduce illegal activities and violence in border regions
  • improve economic growth in rural-urban territories
  • increase quality maternal health care for indigenous women
  • enhance economic opportunities in Latin America, especially for women
  • create healthy food environments to lessen obesity and reduce disease
  • open up mobile banking for seven million families — especially women


Explore research projects we support in this region.