Who we are:

The Third World Institute (ITeM) is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), not affiliated to any religious group or political party, and headquartered in Montevideo, Uruguay.
ITeM is the host or secretariat of several international citizen initiatives, such as Social Watch, Global Policy Watch the Latin American information service of Third World Network and the Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors.

ITeM was founded as a non-profit Civil Association in Montevideo on July 7, 1989. It is recognized as a legal person by Uruguay’s Ministry of Education and Culture (MEC) and was exempted from national taxes by a 1994 Presidential Decree. As of 1996, ITeM is a Non-Governmental Organization in special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

ITeM aims to*:

* Contribute to the construction of democracy, placing civil society organizations as key agents in this process. ITeM primarily supports organizations from Third World countries, and focuses its solidarity in furthering the interests and hopes of the world’s poor, of women and of oppressed minorities. By promoting networks and the socialization of information and knowledge, ITeM contributes to the construction of democratic, equitable and environmentally sustainable societies.

* Promote respect for human rights, in particular freedom of speech and free access to information. ITeM has pioneered the use of electronic networks as ideal tools for these purposes.

* Promote national and international networking among citizen organizations, for the exchange of experiences and the design and implementation of common interest actions.

* ITeM conducts research, disseminates its findings and furthers the adoption of policies aimed at implementing solutions.

* Extracted from the ITeM’s charter and its programs of action.

What we do:

The Third World Institute performs information, communication and education activities on an international level, concerning development and environment-related activities. It is a civil society organization, working for civil society, which encourages citizen involvement in global decision-making processes.

Citizen education:

ITeM’s foundational activity was the publication of the The World Guide (formerly the “Third World Guide”), a reference book conceived as an educational resource. The publication of the Guide in CD-ROM format (in cooperation with the University of Uppsala in 1990) was a pioneering exercise in digitalisation of a high volume of information. ITeM researched and developed the first Uruguayan Internet service provider (the Chasque Network) to the public outside the university. All other projects launched since then have revolved, in one way or another, around information and communications as the basis of education and democracy.

Products and services:

Originally a publisher of printed books and magazines, ITeM was an early explorer of digitalization and now all of its publications are online. The hosting of the Social Watch secretariat (since 1995) expanded the institutional activities to promoting citizen organizations and networks internationally, advocating in favor of the environment, promoting social development-oriented policies, or training groups and people with special needs.

These initiatives have been supported by contributions from individuals and institutions from around the world, such as the Ford Foundation, Bread for the World, Open Society Foundation, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), and the Coalition of the Flemish North-South Movement – 11.11.11. among others.


The members’ assembly elected the following ITeM’s authorities:

Executive Board:
– Cecilia Fernández  – President
– Carlos Abin – Secretary

Overview Committee:
– Celia Eccher
– Álvaro Padrón

Executive Director:
– Ana Zeballos

International Representative:
– Roberto Bissio


ITeM’s office is located in Canelones 1164, Montevideo 11.100, Uruguay
Phone: +598 98650207
item @ item.org.uy