Universidad Católica Boliviana

The Instituto de Investigaciones Socio-Económicas (IISEC) of the Universidad Católica Boliviana “San Pablo” is a research centre that aims at generating interdisciplinary knowledge through empirical evidence of the Bolivian and Latin American economy and society to achieve inclusive and sustainable development. Launched in 1974, IISEC is one of the most long-standing and prestigious research centres in Bolivia. The research emphasis of IISEC has shifted since its creation, from macroeconomic management during the 1980s, economic and social policies in the 1990, to development, sustainability, governance, poverty, inequality and social cohesion, currently. The centre has two senior researchers, two research officers, and thirteen research assistants (following a policy of preparing students in economics and political sciences for future high-quality academic research) as permanent staff. It also works with fifteen research associates in different activities.  

The centre manages two major international research projects. First, the Inclusive Community Development to Improve the Quality of Life in Vulnerable Rural and Urban Regions in Bolivia, part of the worldwide VLIR-OUS Project of the Belgium Development Cooperation. The project is aimed at increasing food security in Bolivia. This project is led by one of the senior researchers of the centre and three research assistants, as well as seven associated researchers. Second, the Social Debt Observatory, part of the Latin American Social Debt Observatory Network coordinated by the Organisation of Catholic Universities of Latin America. The Observatory collects data and generates indicators and research to inform public debate and public policy with respect to a specific definition of “social debt” in the country. This project is led by one of the senior researchers of the centre, two researchers, and ten research assistants, and produces data, a databank, research papers, policy briefs, and performs outreach activities such as seminars and written pieces for the media. 

IISEC seeks to disseminate its research and impact academic and public debate through a series of communication tools, such as the Latin American Journal of Economic Development (published by IISEC twice a year since 2003), its Working Paper Series (indexed to RePec), academic essays and books, and the documents of the Social Debt Observatory. It also organises at least six workshops each year through its Workshops on Applied Research series, as well as other seminars and conferences. Senior researchers and researchers have published in peer-reviewed international academic journals, books, and working papers series, as well as a diversity of local academic publications.