The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) announced in August the opening of the public consultation process to receive input on the proposal for the new Access to Information Policy (PAI). This process will last 150 days and will include asynchronous queries and direct exchanges.
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The Inter-American Development Bank is one of the main multilateral institutions that finances projects in a large part of the Latin American countries. In the IDB’s field of work, transparency and integrity are essential. It is in this area where reforms are promoted that seek to improve the quality of regulations and institutions, as well as expand access to information.
In this sense, the IDB announced a new Access to Information Policy Proposal, which will replace the Bank’s current Access to Information Policy, in force since 2011. It is around this new draft that the public consultation is carried out. , which was launched on August 29 of the current year and will last 150 days.
The objective of the public consultation lies in the possibility of receiving, either in written or verbal form, opinions and inputs from those parties that want to contribute to enriching the quality of the document and the organization’s understanding of the perspectives and perceptions of the various civil society actors regarding access to information on Bank activities in the region.
The period of time stipulated by the procedure is divided into three phases. Initially, in September, three virtual synchronous dialogues were established (in English, Spanish and Portuguese), which will allow the Bank to collect opinions and identify new references that can enrich the new PAI. As of October, the second part of the procedure began, we are talking about the asynchronous consultation phase, which will be available for a period of 90 days, where the final version of the new PAI document will be strengthened. Face-to-face meetings will also be held in Costa Rica (October 25), Uruguay (November 15) and in a Caribbean country not yet defined (November 3). In principle, to participate in the virtual consultation instances, it will be necessary to register in advance on the Virtual Platform for Public Consultation Processes and request access to the consultation. Finally, regarding the third phase, it has a stipulated duration of 30 days throughout the month of March and seeks to inform the participants about the closure of the consultation process and the inputs received and considered, both those that were included as those that were not included in the final version of the policy approved by the Board of Executive Directors.
Since one of our main pillars of work is based on transparency, we have sent a letter, along with other regional civil society organizations, detailing our concerns and recommendations to strengthen and improve the consultation process. They are structured in seven main pillars, among which we can mention: update and organize the information regarding the consultation process in a single place on the IDB website to ensure that all interested parties and affected communities are effectively informed ; incorporate a 30-day public period to submit comments and recommendations to a second draft of the IAP; proactively solicit input from stakeholders to facilitate their participation in consultation processes, so that civil society has the opportunity to shape the debate; eliminate the barriers that exist in the consultation plan to guarantee effective participation, barriers that revolve around, above all, the electronic platform, which is a condition to be able to participate in this instance; confirm and disseminate in advance the calendar with the dates and places of the face-to-face consultations planned for the second phase; open a public comment instance for the implementation guidelines of the future PAI; and, finally, meeting with civil society at the Annual Meeting of the IDB Group in Panama 2023.
In this way, we hope to be able to collaborate with the IDB’s management to ensure that the consultation process is truly fruitful and participatory and that it enables the Bank’s new Access to Information Policy to be strengthened and perfected.
To access the draft of the new policy that is being submitted for public consultation, click here. Comments and suggestions on the draft can be sent to the following email: email@example.com
Gonzalo Roza – firstname.lastname@example.org