Our research grantees in Chile have contributed to policymakers’ understanding of the economy, labour markets, social services, and key resource sectors such as forestry, fisheries, and mining.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, support from IDRC enabled researchers to stay and work in the country despite the military dictatorship’s suppression of social science research. Driven out of universities and other publicly funded institutions, several researchers founded private research entities, whose work we funded. Later, the work of these institutions and the direct participation of many of their researchers in Chile’s political leadership contributed to re-establishing democratic institutions.

Rural development

We funded the region’s first research program on rural development in the late 1970s. Twenty years later, this program became the Latin American Center for Rural Development. Based in Chile, it investigates successful and failed development efforts in rural Latin America.

A five-year grant has enabled the organization to identify the factors at work when a region prospers, poverty diminishes, and the gap between rich and poor narrows. The research, involving 19 regions in 10 countries, is helping policymakers improve how they promote rural development. Lessons from the research have made their way into the Mexican government’s 2014 poverty reduction program, and a 2013 Colombian law on land and rural development.

Strong industry

From 1980 to 1995, we supported Chilean research on policies and practices to promote technological innovation. Researchers laid the groundwork for universities to analyze labour market trends and align educational programs with the skills industry needed.

Researchers also studied residential energy use, the need to use wood fuel more efficiently, and the potential for small- and medium-scale hydroelectric power generation. Chile’s energy management policies drew on this research.

Total IDRC Support

287 activities worth CA$38 million since 1974


Our support is helping

  • adapt to climate change in the Maipo River Basin, with enough water for residents
  • enhance opportunities for vulnerable youth
  • improve the well-being of people in rural-urban territories
  • create healthier food choices, lessen obesity, and reduce non-communicable diseases
  • lower violence in cities, where the region's homicide rate more than doubles the global average