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IDRC support of research in Uruguay began in 1976. Much of our early work generated knowledge for industry and agriculture to respond to technological change. Research in health has led to new knowledge about diseases such as mosquito-borne dengue fever.

Our assistance supported independent thought during the dictatorship of the 1970s and early 1980s. With our support, researchers informed policy discussions in multi-party consultations, as the country transitioned to democracy in the mid-1980s. It also helped shape the newly-elected government’s policy agenda by consulting key actors, including political parties, academics, industry, and unions.

Trade and economic growth

Since 1998, our support has enabled the South American Network on Applied Economics (Red Sur) to generate reliable, timely information for policymakers. Member institutions have informed government policies to compete in the global economy, stimulate economic activity through foreign direct investment, and foster growth that benefits the poor.

Based in Montevideo, the network supports past government efforts to harmonize economies in member and associate member countries. It has expanded throughout South America and focuses on the challenges and opportunities presented by the region’s natural resources export boom.

Improved coastal management

Since 1992, IDRC has supported EcoPlata, an initiative that addresses human activity and erosion on the Rio de la Plata, South America’s largest estuary. Canadian and Uruguayan researchers have enhanced understanding of how environmental factors and human activities affect the important spawning and nursery grounds of the corvina, a fish species. Among other achievements, EcoPlata developed an integrated coastal zone management system, which the government has adopted as policy. 

Total IDRC Support

156 activities worth CAD $17.6 million since 1976

Rice farmer scientists walk in Uruguay.

* These figures reflect IDRC’s investment up to 2018.

Our support is

  • helping Latin American countries meet their climate change obligations;
  • improving women’s economic outlook;
  • finding digital solutions to pressing social problems;
  • slowing the spread of leishmaniasis in bordering regions; and
  • increasing government transparency and improving service delivery.


Explore research projects we support in this region.