IDRC began supporting research in Uruguay 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, such as political parties, academics, industry, and unions.

Trade and economic growth

Since 1998, our support has enabled the Mercosur Economic Research Network 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. The network has expanded to the rest of the region as the South American Network on Applied Economics. It 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

155 activities worth CA$16.6 million since 1976


Our support is helping

  • enhance women’s economic empowerment and address gender disparities
  • maximize South America’s commodities boom for small- and medium-sized enterprises
  • enhance opportunities for vulnerable youth, giving them a voice in policy-making
  • build tools to measure information and communication technologies in education
  • slow the spread of leishmaniasis (skin infections) in bordering regions
  • train people in the extractive sectors, e.g. large-scale iron ore extraction and petroleum prospecting