Photo by Flavia Carpio on Unsplash

by Camilo Hurtado-Parrado

The major changes that ABA Colombia went through during 2020 (e.g., election of a new board, modification of by-laws, and vision and mission redefinition) resulted in positive, relevant, and promising changes in the focus and activities of the Chapter during the last 6 months.

In alignment with its updated mission of contributing to the professional and scientific development of Behavior Analysis in Colombia, the Chapter created a new subcommittee lead by Board Members Yors Garcia and Diana Vergara and behavior analysts in different regions (within and outside Colombia). This committee is dedicated to aggressively increase the dissemination and recognition of the science and profession in Colombia and the region. Efforts have included strengthening social media presence (Facebook @colombiaaba, Twitter @AConducta), networking with other Chapters, and scheduling open-access and regular events (one monthly) with experts from Colombia and abroad in different areas and topics. The first events addressed the role of applied behavior analysis in the Latin- and Ibero-American region and globally (Dr. Gladys Williams) and the professionalization of Behavior Analysis around the world (Dr. Neil Martin). The number of viewers (beyond 1,000 as of February of 2021) and feedback from the audience show promise of the relevance and impact of these efforts. The topic of the future events will include a panel of experts on applied behavior analysis in Latin America, the study of cultural phenomena from a behavior analytic perspective, and the role of behavior analysis in education. All the events will be broadcasted live and free every last Thursday of the month, and then will continue available in the YouTube channel of the Chapter.

In alignment with ABA Colombia’s vision of representing nationally and internationally behavior analysis as a science and a profession, the Chapter’s Board met in February 2021 with Dr. Neil Martin (director of International Development of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board) to receive initial guidance on the steps necessary to (a) develop a set of minimum standards for the practice of behavior analysis in Colombia, and (b) establish a system of recognition for institutions and individuals that practice behavior analysis, including those that provide behavior-analytic services. The result of this initial effort was the creation of a subcommittee that will develop a proposal for such system of standards and recognition. It is expected that the official outcome of the “ABAI Task Force in International Education and Practice,” to which Dr. Wilson Lopez-Lopez continues contributing to representation of ABA Colombia, will also provide guidelines and resources that will support the efforts of this subcommittee.

We are excited about the positive impact that the changes in ABA Colombia’s leadership and efforts have already produced over the last months. This is especially the case considering the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic brought to our country and region. These outcomes encourage us to continue contributing to the experimental, applied, and professional Behavior Analysis in Colombia and Latin America.

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