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The Honduran Government has been working to develop capacity to effectively monitor public policy results and improve public spending effectiveness in a tight fiscal context. In this effort, it has moved toward consolidating reforms in key areas such as public financial management. It has begun the development of a second phase of its comprehensive National Public Investment System to support the planning, monitoring, and evaluation of the public investment portfolio.

St. Lucia and many of its Caribbean neighbors face a growing problem with keeping boys out of trouble. From leaving school, turning to crime, and abusing drugs and alcohol, the risky behaviors caused by unemployment and poverty contribute to social tensions and threaten tourist industry growth, which is so vital to Caribbean island economies. Lacking experience with programs to help “at-risk” boys, the Government of St. Lucia (GOS) reached out to the World Bank, which provided a South-South Facility funded grant to support St. Lucia’s participation in two related knowledge exchanges. St.

Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programs in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) have improved the lives of millions of poor households across the region by improving children’s education and health (human capital), reducing poverty, and ensuring a minimum income for the poorest households. Implementing CCT programs requires significant institutional capacity to coordinate work across social sectors, and to implement beneficiary targeting systems, management information and monitoring systems, and transparent operational and technical processes.

In Honduras, small cacao farmers were not equipped to enter a more competitive international market. These farmers traditionally had limited access to technical assistance, training, financial support, and other extension services. To assist these indigenous and Afro-descendant farmers with preparing their cacao products for international markets, an exchange with the Dominican Republic was arranged. The Honduran farmers learned to work on organic and environmental production across the value chain and increased their capacity in marketing, commercialization, and fair trade.

Honduras sought to minimize the adverse impacts of natural disasters by including disaster risk management (DRM) and environmental considerations into overall development and land use planning at the national, regional, and local levels. A study tour in Colombia, combined with two workshops in Honduras, led officials to develop an Action Plan that outlines immediate and long-term steps to better define institutional responsibilities and enhance technical assistance to municipalities to achieve resilient development planning.

Challenges in land administration, such as weak property rights and unequal distribution, have threatened the pace of economic growth in Honduras. The Government has prioritized improving land administration services, which included adopting a unified cadaster and land registration system. Through the Second Phase of its Land Administration Program (PATH II) and other means, the World Bank has supported Honduras.

Chronic malnutrition, or stunting, is a serious problem in Central America. Stunting rates in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama are greater than 20 percent and the cost of malnutrition in these countries is estimated to range from 2.3 to 11.4 percent of GDP.1  A growing number of studies show that community-based growth promotion (CBGP) programs can help reduce malnutrition rates.

In Honduras, Afro-descendent and indigenous groups are among the poorest in the country, and lack a voice in development. The government approved a plan to involve them in development, and also created a Ministry to promote their welfare. However, indigenous groups were unclear about their needs and priorities, and public agencies did not have the capacity to promote these groups’ inclusion in development programs.