The Canada-Southern Cone Technology Transfer Fund, or TTF, is a two-phase funding program that supported Canadian organizations wishing to share and adapt Canadian expertise and technology with partner organizations in the Southern Cone of South America (Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay). The first phase, from 1997 to 2002, funded 25 projects, with funding totalling $18 million. The second phase, running from 2003 to 2010, has contributed $15 million to 17 projects.
For a list of active, and recently closed projects funded through the TTF please see the Project Browser's Canada-Southern Cone Technology Transfer Fund - Phase II.
The TTF was initiated by CIDA to build linkages that could lead to sustained forms of mutual cooperation, including commercial, social, academic, and scientific cooperation. CIDA's overall objective in the Southern Cone countries is to contribute to the achievement of greater equity.Footnote 1
The Fund was specifically designed to support technology transfer, which means the sharing of specific Canadian approaches or models incorporating unique Canadian knowledge, expertise or experience with strong and solid partner organizations in the Southern Cone who are interested and capable of successfully adapting it to meet pressing local development challenges.
The TTF supported activities in the following priority areas: social development (with an emphasis on health and education), environmental management, public sector reform and economic development. These activities contributed to building the capacity of Southern Cone partner organizations to modernize the state and deliver public goods and services in a participatory and equitable manner, in keeping with the priority areas of each country.
The projects funded typically involved training, technical exchanges, and other advisory services in areas where Canadian institutions have strong capacities that respond to the priorities of their South American partners.
As emerging market economies, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay have made considerable progress since the early 1990s. All three countries, however, continue to be faced with significant development challenges related mainly to staggering levels of inequity: In Chile, 20 percent of the population lives below the poverty line; and in Argentina, the proportion is 33 percent. Market liberalization has also excluded many and increased their social and economic vulnerability. Paraguay, which is not a motor economy, is the poorest of the Southern Cone group, and 55 percent of its population live below the poverty line.
Despite some differences in their development challenges, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay all recognize the necessity of reducing poverty and inequity and all are pursuing reforms aimed at improving the effective and efficient delivery of social programs, decentralizing public services, improving transparency and increasing the role of civil society in policy development and implementation.
At this stage in their reform process, these countries do not need high levels of donor assistance. Instead, they can benefit significantly from well-targeted cooperation in support of their efforts to tackle key social and political reforms intended to make their societies more equitable, through the transfer of relevant know-how and institutional experiences. This is particularly true in the areas of social development, public sector reform, and the environment, where Canada has recognized expertise, strong institutions, and well-developed institutional models.
Equity is measured by comparing different groups within a society by their income levels, their level of access to services, their level of ownership of productive assets and of political and social participation and decision-making.