For Raul Novoa, being a project manager in the capital markets and financial institutions division of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) does not only provide him with the opportunity to reorganize financial markets –- but more importantly to restructure the lives of people.
“You are not making promises, you are doing something that makes a difference,” said Novoa, who recently spearheaded the provision of a US$ 16 million IDB credit to help improve industry clusters in Argentina’s Norte Grande region.
Novoa explained: “My main contributions in the US$ 16 million loan to the Norte Grande’s region were in the form of technical expertise due to my extensive experience in the Bank and in the productive area of Argentina.”
As an IDB team leader, Novoa is tasked to determine innovative international and regional interventions that will produce significant impact in areas that have a potential for knowledge generation as well as developing sector strategies and evaluations for particular projects.
“The team leader gathers all the data necessary to evaluate the economic, financial, social, fiscal and environmental [feasibility] and sustainability of the projects,” shared Novoa.
His most recent projects with the bank include credit programs for enterprise restructuring and production development and employment in San Juan, Brazil and a social entrepreneurship program in Argentina.
In his 15-year tenure at the bank, Novoa noted that bureaucratic processes within governments usually hinder the design and implementation of development projects.
“The main challenges to achieve my working goals are related to the negotiation and execution processes with the government,” Novoa said.
We need to make an effort to try to change our culture, to get good institutions, good services and products,” Novoa said.
“A country may obtain millions of dollars in loans from different entities, can receive aid form different organizations, can be the beneficiary of all the charity of the world, but if people don’t change their way of thinking, becoming more responsible towards work, more serious in their business relationships and more honest, no development path will be reached,” he continued.”
Holding a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata in Argentina, Novoa worked as a consultant in the private sector before joining IDB’s Argentina country office in 1993.
Novoa did postgraduate studies at the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America in the Caribbean Institute of Economic and Social Planning in Chile and at Vienna University of Economics, in Austria.
In the future, Novoa hopes to become a regional specialist at his current IDB division to share his expertise to other countries and learn from other professionals as well.