Ecuador’s new ‘Vice-Minister, Technical Secretary for the Eradication of Poverty’, Andrés Mideros Mora, is an MPP alumnus and current PhD fellow at UNU-MERIT. In this brief interview, we ask how his studies in Maastricht helped his career, about the background to his role, and what he wants to achieve.
How has your time in Maastricht helped you?
AMM: Both the MPP and PhD programmes have been key to this position. My Master’s thesis was related to multidimensional poverty, I published it in the ECLAC review and it gave me the opportunity of being involved in several academic discussions regarding poverty reduction in Ecuador.
Besides, I have been in contact with government officials for my PhD thesis. In this sense Maastricht has given me knowledge and training that have been highly valued, as well as the opportunity to carry on policy relevant research. The latest is also true in the sense that my thesis has been discussed and used both for the National Development Plan and the Strategy for Poverty Eradication.
What is the story behind your appointment?
AMM: Ecuador’s National Development Plan (NDP) has taken an intersectoral approach since 2007. This means that instead of setting sectoral goals and policies, it provides a multidimensional framework for the policy cycle. Currently the NDP is called the National Plan for Good Living 2013-2017 (Good Living is an Andean paradigm currently used as an alternative for “development”).
The two instruments for the implementation of this plan are the National Strategies for i) the eradication of poverty and ii) economic structural change. Each strategy has an inter-institutional committee and a technical secretariat. This creates a challenge in the sense that these technical secretariats have the responsibility to guarantee inter-institutional coordination for the implementation of the national strategies and the development plan.
While I was doing field work for my own research I participated in the elaboration of the National Plan for Good Living and the very first draft of the National Strategy for Equality and the Eradication of Poverty. That is why I was in contact with the current Minister of Planning. I met him back in 2010 just before I went to Maastricht for the MPP. I was going to work with him at the Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion (when he was vice-minister).
What are your top priorities now?
AMM: Following the strategy for the eradication of poverty the main priorities are to coordinate with local governments to increase and improve water and sanitation infrastructure and services, to generate economic inclusion of the poor and vulnerable, reducing labour informality and enhancing people’s capabilities, and to consolidate an inclusive social protection system. The national objectives are to eradicate extreme income and basic needs poverty by 2017, and to integrate social and economic policies in order to eradicate poverty by 2030. It is not only to reduce absolute poverty but also to reduce income inequality while eradicating social exclusion.
This gives coordination challenges between different institutions of the Central Government, as well as with the National Assembly, local governments, private sector and to foster public participation. In addition, the technical secretariat has to produce policy innovation and to monitor the strategy.
My tenure is up to 2017, and the main priority is to achieve the national goals, while also producing policy innovation and generating new institutional arrangements to guarantee the design and implementation of the intersectoral approach.
Born in Quito, Ecuador, Andrés Mideros Mora holds a Master’s in Economics, with a major in Development Economics, from the Latin American Faculty of Social Science, FLACSO, Ecuador. He also holds a Master’s in Public Policy and Human Development (MPP), with a major in Social Policy Financing, from the University of Maastricht. He won best thesis awards for both his Master’s degrees.
Currently a PhD Fellow at UNU-MERIT, Mideros Mora works on poverty and inequality, socio-economic development, social protection and public economics, with occasional excursions into governance and politics. He has 10 years of experience as a researcher and consultant in development, public and political economics, focusing on poverty and inequality, social protection, microfinance, impact evaluation and policy analysis. He has also served in a number of international organisations and governmental institutions.
Mideros Mora’s new appointment was approved by the Inter-institutional Committee for the Eradication of Poverty, formed of the seven ministers for Planning, Politics, Social Development, Economic Policy, Labour and Production, Knowledge and Human Talent, and Economic and Social Inclusion.
A summary in English of the National Strategy for Equality and Eradication of Poverty can be found below.
Government of Ecuador, Flickr / S.Ansari / N.Dewar