Centro Latinoamerica para la Competividad y el Desarrollo Sostenible

Centro Latinoamerica para la Competividad y el Desarrollo Sostenible

Picture of Centro Latinoamerica para la Competividad y el Desarrollo Sostenible

Centro Latinoamerica para la Competividad y el Desarrollo Sostenible

Alajuela, Costa Rica 

INCAE Business School


CLACDS supports leaders in the private, public, and civic sectors in implementing changes promoting a more prosperous, equitable and environmentally sound Region. The Center achieves its mission through applied research, change management processes, and human capital development.

Main Activities 

CLACDS provides research, change management and human capital development services to support its partners (individuals and organizations) in advancing shared goals. The principle of sustainable development guides all of CLACDS work - only development strategies that improve economic, social and environmental ends will be viable for Latin America in the medium and long term.

Organizational Structure

CLACDS is INCAE Business School’s (*) principle research organization, and serves as an action-based think tank for the Region’s governments, integration organizations, private sector and civil society. CLACDS also provides analytical and programmatic support to bilateral and multilateral development organizations working in the Region. CLACDS was founded in 1996 with support from the Central American Bank for Economic Integration, the AVINA Foundation and INCAE Business School. Since its founding, it has been recognized as a Regional leader in applied research in business policy and strategy.

(*) INCAE is a private, non-profit, multinational, higher education organization devoted to teaching and research endeavors in the fields of business and economics. It is devoted to managerial training, from a global perspective, of individuals capable of successfully holding top management positions in Latin America. With more than 45 years of experience in Latin America, INCAE Business School has graduated 54 full-time MBA programs and 37 Executive MBA programs. INCAE was founded in 1964 as a joint initiative between the governments and the business communities of the Central American region. Since its founding, INCAE has had the academic advisory of Harvard Business School.


Among the many partners with whom CLACDS has, or is working:
In addition, CLACDS has worked with dozens of the Region’s business associations, including the various chambers of commerce, chambers of industry and all the Region’s Corporate Social Responsibility organizations.

Priority Research Areas

CLACDS current programmatic priorities are:

Affiliated Programs

CLACDS has “spun off” two internationally recognized programs with very interesting and specific missions. Both coordinate closely with CLACDS and provide interesting complements to CLACDS. The skill and experience base of both organizations could be useful in potential UNEP-CLACDS/INCAE collaboration. These initiatives are:
  1. Ecobanking (www.ecobanking.com) is a program created to improve the Latin American financial sector’s competitiveness through better environmental management, environmental and social risk reduction, and by designing innovative financial products. The program is now engaged in training globally, in partnership with InWEnt and UNEP-FI.
  2.  The Sustainable Markets Intelligence Center (CIMS, at www.cims-la.com) was formed in 2003 to support Latin American business in the identification of opportunities in markets for “sustainable products.” CIMS has focused primarily on agricultural products. However, in 2008, the organization began work in tourism.


Prof. Lawrence Pratt
Prof. Andrea Prado