Tag Archive for: IFIs

Representatives of civil society meet with the president of the IDB to address challenges for sustainable and inclusive development in Latin America. At the meeting, recommendations were presented to the bank to strengthen the promotion of sustainable development in the region.

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”.

25 civil society organizations from Latin America that are part of the IDB Working Group, among them Fundeps, met on Friday, November 10, with the president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Ilan Goldfajn, with the purpose of strengthening dialogue and identify opportunities to bring the institution closer to the populations of the region it tries to serve.

The representatives of civil society presented to President Goldfajn recommendations to strengthen the link with civil society and communities impacted by IDB projects and recommendations to consider in the IDB’s 2023-2030 Institutional Strategy, which is in the process of being prepared. President Goldfajn then opened the floor to listen to specific topics of interest from different member organizations of the group.

The IDB Working Group described the meeting as a positive sign from the bank’s new administration, in the sense of an openness and willingness to strengthen dialogue with civil society. The meeting with President Goldfajn follows a previous meeting that took place during the 2023 IDB Annual Meeting held in March in Panama, and a meeting with the IDB Country Vice President, Anabel González, during the Common Finance Summit that took place in last September in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia.

“These spaces for dialogue represent a sign of the bank’s rapprochement with civil society”, said Carolina Juaneda, from the Bank Information Center, coordinator of the Working Group on the IDB. According to Ivahanna Larrosa, regional coordinator of the Coalition for Human Rights in Development, “the general perception is that it was a good meeting to present our messages and move forward in improving the bank’s dialogue with civil society.”

Civil society representatives pointed out that the IDB Group’s 2023-2030 Institutional Strategy must promote a fair, community-based energy transition that puts people and the environment at the center. Other recommendations of the Working Group were that the bank: comply with the highest environmental and social standards and respect for human rights in its activities and the projects it finances, prioritizing and strengthening the implementation of the Environmental and Social Policy Framework (MPAS), and improving upstream planning to identify suitable projects; prioritizing quality investments, redoubling the principles of good governance, especially transparency, access to information, participation and accountability; strengthen your commitment to the impacted communities, guaranteeing comprehensive reparation to people; ensure a responsible exit from unsustainable projects and operationalize the commitment not to tolerate retaliation.

Civil society organizations seek substantive participation in the IDB Group Annual Meetings that will be held in March 2024 in the Dominican Republic. The opening of President Goldfajn and his team to work towards greater interaction of organizations and communities in the region, with the Bank’s administration and teams, is celebrated.

About the IDB Working Group

The IDB Working Group is a group of more than 60 civil society organizations, both from the region and internationally, that influence the IDB Group, promoting the highest environmental, social and human rights standards. supporting communities adversely impacted by projects financed by the bank. Some of its members have been working for three decades to strengthen the IDB’s processes of participation, transparency, access to information and respect for human rights.


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Gonzalo Roza, gon.roza@fundeps.org

From September 25 to 26, in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, the eighth Annual Assembly of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) was held, an event that brings together its members, business representatives and civil organizations to discuss the direction strategy and initiatives of the organization. At this meeting, the AIIB announced the approval of the first loan in Argentina, intended to finance a wind farm in Tierra del Fuego.

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”.

The main objective of the Annual Assembly is to share the Bank’s progress and receive suggestions regarding its strategic direction and operations. It also provides information and encourages exchanges on policies and projects financed by the AIIB in terms of social and environmental impact.

The central theme of the 8th Assembly was “sustainable growth in a challenging world” and highlighted the importance of addressing the global climate agenda and supporting key infrastructure demands for AIIB member countries. The meeting program covered a variety of Thematic topics that include the latest trends and priorities of the Bank. The public sessions were grouped into three thematic streams: sustainability, connectivity and multilateral cooperation. They addressed issues related to the development and implementation of sustainable environmental infrastructure, as well as the promotion and strengthening alliances that improve infrastructure connectivity both in Asia and in other regions.

First AIIB project in Argentina

A particularly relevant event for Argentina was the announcement, during the event, of the approval of the project called “Energy transition of the province of Tierra del Fuego” for an amount of 65 million dollars. This project marks a milestone, as it represents the first financing granted to Argentina as a member of the Bank, which it officially joined in March 2021. The funds will be used for the construction of a wind farm near the city of Río Grande. . According to the AIIB, the main objective of the project is to establish the wind energy generation capacity in the province of Tierra del Fuego and it “is aligned with the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the Nationally Determined Contributions of Argentina, for which will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase the adoption of renewable energy.” This initiative arises from the need to take advantage of the wind resources that the province has and the lack of interconnection in local networks for the materialization of projects of such magnitude.

However, it is important to highlight that given the scarcity of information about the project, it is essential to analyze in depth how the project will be carried out, and what the true implications could be in terms of socio-environmental impacts. For this reason, at Fundeps we are monitoring this project and have made a request for information to the AIIB about details that are not yet clear. For example, although an Environmental and Social Management Plan (PMAS) and a Stakeholder Participation Plan (PPPI) have been published on the Bank’s website, the documentation related to the Environmental Impact Assessment is not yet available. and Social, the Environmental and Social Due Diligence Report or information related to the public hearings planned for the project, among other relevant documentation.

This information is key to identifying the real impacts of the project and verifying whether access to information about the project and the participation of the local population is effectively ensured. In turn, another aspect that raises doubts is the role that the CAF (current Development Bank of Latin America) will have in relation to the project, since it has been presented as a co-financed project between both multilateral institutions.


Candela Jauregui


Gonzalo Roza, gon.roza@fundeps.org

Last week, the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) took place in Morocco. Likewise, a counter-summit was organized that gave space to civil society and social movements to discuss the neoliberal policies promoted by these institutions. Below are some reflections on these events, their limitations and potential, and the particular situation of Argentina.

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”.

The Annual Meetings, which this year took place between October 9 and 13 in the city of Marrakech, are spaces where panels are organized with IMF directors and staff, while civil society has its own forums and exhibition spaces and discussion. At the same time, countless closed meetings occur in parallel to the entire official agenda. All of this aims to be able to discuss how the international financial architecture is organized, which determines under what conditions funds are lent mainly to countries in the global south. The role of civil society in these spaces is to bring their concerns and represent the voices of the people affected by this complex lending infrastructure.

For example, the Coalition for Human Rights in Development presented a report where of 38 projects evaluated, in 36 reprisals were identified against people who defended rights and complained against said loans. This shows that, although the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) make high-level proclamations regarding the importance of human rights, there are no measures or real addressing of the negative consequences on defenders who suffer abuse by security forces. security and the police, judicial persecution, the disproportionate use of force, surveillance, and gender violence and sexual harassment in the particular case of defenders.

Likewise, the Environment and Natural Resources Foundation (FARN) presented in a panel on the IMF’s climate strategy regarding the Argentine case. It was made visible how the need for foreign exchange from exports is pushing the fossil fuel extractivist model and going against the country’s climate change mitigation goals. The emblematic example is Vaca Muerta, which if fully exploited would use the equivalent of 11.4% of the CO2 budget. In this case, we can see how the short-term foreign trade balance needs override any analysis of environmental impacts and put the environmental sustainability of the planet at risk.

Faced with this, in general the authorities and staff of the IFIs present on the panels insist that existing policies are the ones that work, they dismiss the proposals of civil society with their own data and are not very receptive to any criticism. For this reason, spaces like the Counter Summit appear, where the conversation flows in a more critical and sincere way about what is happening with the impacts of loans and projects, allowing a space to unite voices in order to change injustices. that today affect so many countries and communities.

The Counter Summit opened on October 12 with a march, and over the next two days there were both small group and plenary discussion sessions. Finally, on Sunday the 15th, the plenary session closed with a reading of the conclusions, which included the cancellation of illegitimate debts, policies that respect planetary limits, climate and social justice, and promote food sovereignty. Also, let end financial colonialism, that there be financing for projects that allow adaptation to climate change, social security and universal health coverage, and a special proclamation for the rights of women who are those who are most negatively impacted by austerity policies.

Argentina and its link with the IMF

According to Noemí Brenta, Argentina has a very particular relationship with the IMF, since it is the middle-income country that has been under its agreements the longest, directing economic and fiscal policies. Today, not only does it have almost 30% of the IMF’s loan portfolio, but it is a good student: throughout all these years and of 22 agreements, only 5 were suspended by the organization. Therefore, it can be stated that the guidelines recommended by this organization have had great influence on the decisions of the different governments.

However, compliance with the policies has implied a notable deterioration in people’s quality of life. On the one hand, the conditionalities impose that the income that the country has be used to pay creditors (that is, to the IMF and other debtors as well), which in turn implies that social expenses are cut and there is no investment for the country. development. On the other hand, the extractivist model is deepened through the agro-industrial production of commodities, the exploitation of fossil fuels and mining – lithium mining is very popular today due to its potential to contribute to an energy transition towards other renewable sources. This has negative consequences on the environment, does not take into account the impacts on the use of scarce and non-renewable resources such as water, and limits the development of the communities that live in the exploited territories.

Mariano Féliz suggests that the impacts on the paid labor market have clear gender biases, since it is women who have to face intensified unpaid and reproductive tasks, while receiving fewer public services. IMF policies that promote women’s participation in economic activity do so from an instrumental perspective because it improves macroeconomic indicators and provides labor that usually accepts worse working conditions. However, while the employment rate for adult women increased, the employment rate for men, especially young people, decreased. All of this only results in the capitalist tendency to overload women with care tasks for their own homes and communities, for example, through the organization of popular soup kitchens.

For the logic of financing agreements and governments, human rights are an ideal that is difficult to fulfill rather than an obligation. The panorama then in Argentina makes us have to think about how to build a political movement against unsustainable and illegitimate debts, against abusive conditionalities that are detrimental to fundamental rights and people’s lives. It also forces us to reflect on how these Levels of indebtedness and precarious lives are linked to the growth of far-right electoral options, which ultimately also promote anti-democratic discourses and practices.

The challenges are many, they are complex and involve a lot of political articulation. However, the context is urgent, since there is no sustainability of life possible under the policies of austerity, impoverishment and extractivism. We have to continue building collective narratives, mobilizing and supporting communities by defending their territories.


Carolina Tamagnini, carotamagnini@fundeps.org

On August 22-24, the 15th BRICS Summit took place in South Africa, where heads of state of the member countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, whose acronym is the acronym) met at a high-level forum to discuss key issues for the most prominent emerging economies.

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”.

During the XV Summit, the Heads of State met with members of the business sector in dialogue with the New Development Bank to outline the main axes that will guide BRICS policy. This year’s agenda included the potential “de-dollarization” of global trade, with China and the yuan at the forefront of this ambition, as well as the possible effects of the Russian-Ukrainian war on cooperation between member countries. However, the emphasis was on the expansion of BRICS to include the countries that have submitted official applications for membership: Argentina, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

Finally, during the summit, Argentina, as well as the rest of the countries mentioned above, was formally invited to join the BRICS as from January 1, 2024. Since it is an international forum that does not imply a supranational integration process, the decision to join will be at the discretion of the Executive Power that takes office on December 10. Some of the presidential candidates, such as Javier Miliei (La Libertad Avanza) and Patricia Bullrich (Juntos por el Cambio) have expressed critical positions regarding the accession, alleging a strong difference with the international actions of the BRICS countries, especially in reference to their violations of international law, such as during the war in Ukraine.

In this sense, it is possible to identify some key elements regarding the implications of Argentina’s participation in the BRICS. Mainly, reference is made to the quantitative dimension of the BRICS group, which concentrates 40% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s GDP, a percentage that, together, equals that of the United States (World Bank Data Center). In addition to these numbers, there are those that link Argentina specifically with the founding countries: the main recipients of Argentine exports include Brazil, China and India; while its main imports come from China and Brazil (OEC).

The role of the New Development Bank

The economic factor becomes more relevant if the possibilities of financing by the New Development Bank (NDB) are taken into account. The BRICS development bank was founded by the member nations of the bloc in 2014, during the sixth summit held in Fortaleza, Brazil. This international bank is positioned as an alternative to the IMF and the World Bank, with credits oriented mainly to infrastructure projects and which, according to the official website, prioritize “high-impact operations that are environmentally smart, resilient, technologically integrated and socially inclusive”.

Currently, the New Development Bank finances projects in only 6 countries (China, India, Brazil, Russia, South Africa and Bangladesh) for a total of US$ 32.8 billion. According to sources such as Ámbito Financiero, Argentina is already negotiating with Dilma Rousseff, who holds the presidency, a possible credit line that would help alleviate the pressure on the debts with the IMF. In order to join the NBD, Argentina must make a capital contribution of “US$250 million in sovereign bonds held by the Treasury, from the Guarantee and Sustainability Fund (FGS) of the National Social Security Administration (Anses) and other sources” (La Nación). A key element of participation in the NBD is that in their general strategy they commit to grant 30% of their loans in local currency of the recipient country, in order to mitigate the risk of foreign investment (NBD). In the case of Argentina, this could diversify the sources of financing and reduce dependence on the dollar and the IMF. However, there are still concerns about the bank’s transparency and the possibility of access to public consultations or information on the investment process (Diálogo Chino).

Since its creation, BRICS has positioned itself as an alternative multilateral cooperation forum for emerging economies, which emphasizes multipolarity and a “de-ideologized” positioning, prioritizing informal dialogue and trade exchange. In this sense, Argentina’s entry into the forum presents a space for rapprochement with the large economies of the world that are disputing an alternative model of financing for development.


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Lourdes Álvarez Romagnoli


Gonzalo Roza – gon.roza@fundeps.org


*Source of the image: El Cronista

“Demystifying Development Finance” offers insightful insight into Public Development Banks (PDBs) and their profound impact on the world. From the money they invest to the rules they set, these banks influence our lives and the well-being of the planet in ways we often underestimate.

In recent years, the PDBs have advocated playing an even greater role in addressing climate change, global poverty, and other crises. However, the case studies and evidence presented in this report show that BPDs are actually exacerbating problems they claim to solve. The push towards privatization, the extractivist and top-down approach, and the limitations of social and environmental safeguards often deepen inequalities, lead to human rights violations, fuel climate change and increase debt.

Produced by more than 100 civil society activists, this joint analysis aims to open a much-needed discussion about the role development banks play in today’s global economy and what we can do to hold them accountable.

On June 27, the IDB Group (Inter-American Development Bank, IDB Invest, and IDB Lab) announced the opening of the public consultation process for the preparation of its new Institutional Strategy. The process will be carried out through collaborations and face-to-face and virtual consultations with interested parties, including civil society.

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”.

In accordance with the mandate to review and prepare the Institutional Strategy every four years, the IDB Group announced a new opening of the public consultation process. The IDB Group is one of the main sources of financing for development in Latin America and the Caribbean and is made up of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB); IDB Invest, which works with the private sector; and IDB Lab, which focuses on developing innovative ways to drive inclusive growth.

The main objective of the consultation is to receive opinions and inputs from interested parties, among which are representatives of governments, the private sector and civil society for the development of a new Institutional Strategy. The process begins after the agreement of the main guidelines established by the Executive Boards of both the IDB and IDB Invest. Once established, the procedure is divided into two phases: the first phase consists of consultations with representatives of the government, private sector, and civil society, either virtually or in person, in the 26 borrowing member countries. In turn, it also includes the possibility that any interested party can contribute inputs through an online form that is available until August 15, 2023. The second phase begins after the approval of the new Strategy by the the Board of Governors, in March 2024, in which those who participated in the public consultation will be informed about the inputs received and will be shared with them the new Institutional Strategy of the IDB Group that will be valid until 2030.

In Argentina there are three dates established for public consultations: with civil society (08/04/23), with the private sector (08/10/23) and with the government (08/16/23). To access the dates of public consultations in the other countries, consult here. For comments or more information, you can contact the following email: consultaspublicas@iadb.org

From Fundeps we consider the opening of this process as an opportunity to strengthen the Bank’s dialogue with civil society. This is why we will participate in the process in the month of August by sending contributions to strengthen the next institutional strategy.


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Candela Jauregui


Gonzalo Roza, gon.roza@fundeps.org

This article aims to analyze the consequences of Argentina’s entry into the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. The structure of the Bank is analyzed, covering its characteristics and the performance of the institution in general terms, the repercussions of Argentina’s entry are considered, contemplating advantages and disadvantages and, finally, the effects associated with joining this institution are considered. to China’s projection on the international stage.

This document presents an analysis of the background and motivations that led Argentina to become a member of the AIIB and the implications that derive from it, as well as the possibility that Argentina advances in its incorporation into the BRI in the short term. In the same way, the challenges and opportunities that both initiatives represent for the country are addressed.

The “CONAFIPS COVID-19 Credit Line project” has made Ecuador the first Latin American country to receive a Latin American loan from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. This report reviews the project, emphasizing its fundamental characteristics, context, environmental and social standards, and main criticisms and concerns about it.

Within the framework of the Annual Meeting of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), held in Panama, a group of civil society organizations met with the president of the Institution, Ilan Goldfajn, in an attempt to strengthen the link between the parties.

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”.

Between March 16 and 19, the Annual Assembly of Governors of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and IDB Invest was held in Panama City. It is a debate forum in which the members of the institution, together with those who preside over the central banks and other high-level authorities, discuss and address issues on issues considered to be a priority.

In the opening speech, the current president of the IDB, Ilan Goldfajn, outlined some of the institution’s priorities, which revolve around social issues such as food security, poverty, inequality, health, and education. In turn, he emphasized the mitigation of climate change and adaptation to it, stressing the need to deal with the increasingly frequent natural disasters in the Latin American and Caribbean region. The importance of preserving the biodiversity through the elaboration of an Amazon Regional Program.

The Board of Governors commissioned the preparation of a capital increase proposal for IDB Invest in order to implement a new business model that increases its impact on development through the private sector. In addition, he reiterated the importance of preparing a new Institutional Strategy proposal for the IDB Group, whose approval is scheduled for the next annual meeting in 2024.

The limited participation of civil society

After repeated requests made by a group of civil society organizations, the Bank authorized their participation in the event, although in a limited manner and closed to those who received an invitation. In addition, it was possible to arrange a meeting with the president of the IDB on March 17. In said meeting, the need to generate spaces for dialogue and express the demands of civil society in relation to the bank was raised. Both the possibility of participating in the event and the possibility of meeting with the president represent positive developments, although it remains to be seen if these are real changes in the institution. For now, the bank has invited to continue the dialogue in the coming months to achieve a more effective participation in the annual meetings of 2024.

From Fundeps we have been following and participating in this process together with organizations in the region that make up the IDB Working Group, and we will continue actively in the dialogue processes proposed by the bank.


More Information
Governors endorse the vision, priorities and plans for the IDB Group | IADB
Open letter from civil society organizations to IDB President Ilan Goldfajn – Fundeps
The Brazilian Ilan Goldfajn is the new president of the IDB – Fundeps
Open letter to the IDB for the election of a new presidency – Fundeps


Candela Jauregui
Valentina Rasso

Gonzalo Roza – gon.roza@fundeps.org

More than twenty organizations from Latin America and the United States addressed a letter to the president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Ilan Goldfajn. They ask that the Bank strengthen its work by committing itself to respect for Human Rights and the protection of the environment and that spaces be created for greater articulation with civil society.

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”.

The organizations, members and allies of the Coalition for Human Rights in Development alluded in the letter to the commitment assumed by Goldfajn in his inaugural speech as president of the Bank to “take advantage of all opportunities for dialogue” and collaboration with governments, the sector private sector, academia and civil society to solve regional problems.

To strengthen the articulation with civil society, the organizations urged the Bank to open a space for dialogue with civil society at its Annual Meetings, not only because it is a good practice implemented by other multilateral organizations, but also because it is a unique opportunity. to include communities affected by projects.

Since 2017, the group of signatory organizations of the letter has been monitoring and enriching the Bank’s policies and projects that it hopes to continue carrying out. The organizations have contributed to the IDB Environmental and Social Policy Framework, updates to the Independent Consultation and Investigation Mechanism policy, and the Bank’s Access to Information Policy review process.

The organizations seek the IDB to ensure in its practices and operations the promotion and respect of Human Rights, particularly of indigenous peoples, and the protection of key ecosystems in the fight against climate change.

The next Annual Meeting of the Boards of Governors of the IDB and IDB Invest will be held in Panama from March 16 to 19.

Signatory organizations:

  1. Accountability Counsel
  2. AMATE El Salvador
  3. Articulación Salvadoreña de Sociedad Civil para la Incidencia en las Instituciones Financieras Internacionales (ASIFI)
  4. Asociación Ambiente y Sociedad
  5. Asociación Interamericana para la Defensa del Ambiente (AIDA)
  6. Bank Information Center
  7. Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)
  8. Coalición para los Derechos Humanos en el Desarrollo
  9. Cohesión Comunitaria e Innovación Social A.C. (México)
  10. Conectas Direitos Humanos
  11. Derecho, Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (DAR, Perú)
  12. Ecoa – Ecologia e Ação
  13. Fundación para el Desarrollo de Políticas Sustentables (Fundeps)
  14. Fundación CAUCE: Cultura Ambiental – Causa Ecologista. (Argentina)
  15. Gender Action
  16. International Rivers
  17. International Accountability Project
  18. Mesa de Discapacidad y Derechos (Perú)
  19. Plataforma Internacional contra la Impunidad
  20. Protection International Mesoamérica
  21. Sociedad y Discapacidad – SODIS (Perú)
  22. Sustentarse (Chile)
  23. Wetlands International / Fundacion Humedales (Argentina)

Read the full letter here: Letter to IDB President


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After participating in a series of face-to-face and virtual public consultations, a group of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) from the region sent comments and suggestions to the IDB in the framework of the revision of the Bank’s Access to Information Policy.

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”.

On December 28, 2022, the deadline established by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for sending comments on the draft of the institution’s new Access to Information Policy (PAI) ended. Thus concluded the Second Phase of the Public Consultation Process approved by the Bank and which lasted 90 days.

Within this framework, together with a group of Civil Society Organizations in the region, we sent a document with comments and recommendations in relation to the Draft Policy prepared by the Bank, which, although it incorporates some positive advances, is not enough to guarantee the right of access to information effectively in relation to the actions of the Bank and its customers.

Among the main recommendations and suggestions highlighted in the document, the following stand out:

  • Commitment to access to information as a fundamental human right. The Bank must establish clear commitments to guarantee respect for access to information as a fundamental human right. The right to information is also a key access right for the exercise of other fundamental rights, such as the consultation, participation and involvement of people and communities impacted by projects in decisions that affect or may have an impact on their ways of life. .
  • Implementation Guidelines. It is concerning that some criteria and parameters that will make the PAI effective are left to be addressed in the Implementation Guidelines. In this way, the effectiveness and force of the PAI will depend a lot on the Implementation Guidelines that do not require mandatory compliance as the PAI itself does. In turn, these Guidelines should be consulted through a meaningful participatory process with civil society.
  • Language ambiguity. The PAI contains a lot of ambiguous language and vague and diffuse commitments, which opens the door to different interpretations, including breaches and serious misconduct. Likewise, it prevents the establishment of clear requirements for the borrowers and also the responsibilities of the Bank itself. The Policy must avoid flexibility and ambiguity of language to prevent the use of discretion and non-compliance with respect to its guidelines.
  • Specification of what information is going to be published proactively, disclosure times, in what formats, channels and deadlines. The PAI must clearly establish what information it is going to proactively publish, through what channels or media, in what formats and in what terms. In turn, response times to requests for information are excessive, and the IDB reserves the right to extend these terms indefinitely. The Bank must define shorter and clearer terms in terms of its responses to requests for information, and must be aligned at least with the currently applicable international standards.
  • Country or customer proprietary information. Although the elimination of the “Exception specific information of countries” is celebrated, there is concern that other points of the policy may end up undermining the principle of maximum disclosure and the openness that is intended with such elimination.
  • Exceptions. The exceptions must be more precise and clear criteria must be established for their application, as well as the identification of the specific documents or information to which access will not be given under the exception.
  • Damage assessment. The inclusion of the assessment of the damage for the application of the exceptions is celebrated. However, clear criteria and scales must be specified to delimit its application. If an effort is not made to define these criteria and procedures in the body of the Policy (and leave them for the Implementation Guidelines), there is a risk that during their application discretionary use of exceptions will end up prevailing on the part of the Policy. of the Bank and borrowers. It is recommended to incorporate the criterion of public interest in the damage assessment, as a counterbalance to the damage, and to make the results of the damage assessment public in each specific case.
  • Open data, simple language, accessible formats and usability of the information. The information that is disclosed and published must be useful for those who request it, especially for the communities affected by IDB projects, paying attention to marginalized groups, such as indigenous peoples, Afro-descendants, people with disabilities, women, the LGBTIQ+ population, among others. others. The accessible format, the simple language and the generation of open data are related to the usability of the information. It is recommended that the IDB address the issue of accessible formats, simple language, and open data in more detail and in a transversal manner throughout the PAI, taking into account the importance of this aspect, especially for marginalized groups.

It should be noted that a large part of the recommendations and suggestions contained in the document were previously raised in the framework of the public consultations carried out by the IDB, both online and in person in Montevideo, Bogotá and Washington DC. Precisely, from Fundeps we participated in the face-to-face public consultation in Montevideo, Uruguay on November 15, 2022.

We hope that the inputs provided by civil society are considered by the Bank and contribute to strengthening the draft Access to Information Policy proposed by the institution, which is far from incorporating the highest standards in the matter.

To access the complete document with comments and suggestions sent to the IDB, access here


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Gonzalo Roza, gon.roza@fundeps.org