Internship field report from Luis Salvador @ the United Nations ECLAC, Chile

July 20, 2015

Landing an internship at the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) was always a priority for me. ECLAC, which deals directly with an array of policy issues facing the region, is one of the most respected organizations in Latin America. It offers guidance and direction on a wide range of policy topics including environmental sustainability, poverty and inequality, inter- and intra-regional integration, and trade. As someone who is interested in pursuing a career that focuses on development and social policies in Latin America, being able to intern at ECLAC in Chile has been great. It not only has been an eye-opening experience, but has complemented my interests, previous work, and future goals. In the past weeks, I have gained a greater appreciation for the complexity of the issues facing Latin America, and a better understanding of the extent of the relationships between countries and regions across the world.

The project I am working on for the division of international trade and integration deals directly with Ecuador, my native country. The objective is to evaluate how the country’s productivity and industrialization goals can be complemented through economic integration with other nations in the Community of Andean Nations (CAN). I am primarily focusing on analyzing public procurement in Ecuador (and other members of the CAN), and how it can be used as a tool to incentivize more productive economic integration amongst the members of CAN. My project is part of ongoing cooperation between ECLAC and the Ministry of Commerce in Ecuador.

In addition to my work, I’ve attended various conferences on issues such as trade opportunities between Latin America and the Asia Pacific, corporate social responsibility, territorial planning in Argentina, and the development of an input-out matrix for South America. Having the opportunity to hear and learn from policy leaders and experts such as the Executive Secretary of ECLAC, the Ambassador of the European Union in Chile, and the Secretary of Planning of Argentina in the past weeks has been priceless.

Being in Santiago for the month of June was exciting for a soccer fan like me, since Chile hosted the Copa America, a tournament similar to the World Cup, but only for South American countries. Fans from all over the continent came to Chile. It's winter here, and in the past few days the Andes Mountains have become covered in snow, making for a magnificent view from Santiago, a valley city near the mountain range.

Luis Salvador graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelor's degree in Economics and Political Science in 2011. He spent one year working for the Career Center at the University of Michigan and then two years working in Ecuador. First, he worked for an NGO dealing with microfinance and then for the Ecuadorean government in the institution dealing with public procurement. He is interested in public finance as well as economic and social policies, with a focus in Latin America.

This internship was supported by the Annenberg Fund for International Policy Education.