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BASIC INFORMATION Paraguay is in a new historical phase facing important economic social and political problems Fully mobilizing its social capital could be a great step in achieving the mandates that the citizenship has demanded from the new government to strengthen democracy Not only does social capital have to do with invisible aspects of a societys functioning but it also has great incidence in its historical performance Among the examples of this are the interpersonal confidence levels the capacities to generate forms of cooperation the degree of civil conscience and the predominant ethical values Recent research indicates unanimously that social capital has great influence on macroeconomic results productive microeconomic performance political stability democratic governance and other key aspects Countries around the world with better development in these fields have mobilized social capital which materializes itself in very concrete expressions such as corporate social responsibility volunteering citizen participation and empowerment of poor communities Among the Latin American societies there is enormous potential in these aspects but public policies are very limited The Inter-American Development Bank IDB has created the Inter-American Initiative on Social Capital Ethics and Development with support from the Government of Norway to help Latin American countries mobilize social capital As an initiative of the IDB representation in Paraguay and the joint support of the State and Civil Society Division of the Regional Department of Operations 1 of the IDB and the Inter-American Initiative on Social Capital Ethics and Development of the IDB with support of the Government of Norway and the Development Institute of Paraguay a national seminar on this subject has been organized Among its participants are high level government officials from Paraguay political leaders businessmen religious leaders various leaders from civil society organizations universities and other sectors SOCIAL Colonial Paraguay basically what is now Eastern Paraguay lacked productive mines strategic seaports or lucrative plantation agriculture Through most of the colonial era it languished as a backwater of the Spanish Empire
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