The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) reached out to key organizations in the Caribbean region as part of the series of face-to-face consultations for the update of its new Access to Information Policy. Since the beginning of the process in 2019, when the consultation for the Policy Profile was launched and having successfully completed 20 real-time consultations, plus a 120-day deferred consultation period, the IDB reaffirms its commitment to move towards greater transparency and accountability.
The public consultation process for the new Access to Information Policy, in its virtual instances and during the time-delayed consultation through the Public Consultation Portal, allowed the reception of multiple contributions in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese from more than 9,000 of interested parties representing indigenous peoples, women’s groups, Afro-descendants, LGTBIQ+ collectives and organizations working in open government, transparency and access to information, achieving the highest standards of inclusion and diversity both geographically and in the profile of organizations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.
Following the conclusion of the virtual consultations, the Bank initiated a series of face-to-face meetings with representatives of expert organizations from the 26 countries of the region in order to generate even more opportunities for dialogue with civil society and to continue receiving input for the new policy document. The consultations, with a high level of attendance and participation, took place in Costa Rica, Jamaica, Colombia, Uruguay and the United States.
Jamaica: call for Caribbean countries
In Jamaica it was held the fourth face-to-face consultation in Kingston, bringing together organizations from Bahamas, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Surinam and Trinidad & Tobago.
The presence of participants from these 6 countries resulted in a diversity of views and opinions throughout the exchange led by Flavia Milano, Advisor to the Vice-Presidency for Countries and Marcelo Cerna, Chief of the IDB’s Access to Information Section who together presented the main changes introduced in the draft proposal and the consultation process.
The consultation had the confirmation of sixteen organizations experienced in the areas of access to information, transparency and open government, among them: Organization for Responsible Governance; Leadership, Esteem, Ability, Discipline (LEAD), Bango Barbados Association of Non-Governmental Organizations, Guayana Press Association, Transparency Institute Guyana Inc., University of Guyana, Jamaica Accountability Meter Portal (JAMP), Jamaica Social Investment Fund, National Integrity Action, Rise Life Mangament, Economist Association Suriname, Projekta Foundation, Association of Indigenous Village Leaders in Suriname (VIDS), Heroes Foundation, Caribbean Policy Research Institute, Ethics Research Centre and Institute of Law and Economics.
I see this event as a good (first) step in the process toward engagement with stakeholders and sharing relevant information. Consultation participant
The presence of these organizations in Jamaica was possible thanks to the coordinated work of teams from various IDB units that have been part of the process led by the Vice-Presidency for Countries, in addition to the important support of the Jamaican Representation.
Lorenzo Escondeur, IDB Chief of Operations in Jamaica, recognized the importance of the process and the added value of reaching the highest standards of inclusion and diversity positioning the IDB as a pioneer in its approach within financial institutions.
With this process we seek to increase trust, not only within our organization but throughout Latin America and the Caribbean Lorenzo Escondeur, Chief of Operations in Jamaica.
About the next steps and final phase of the process
The Bank extended the timeframe of the public consultation, after the growing interest and at the request of some organizations, to receive inputs from 90 to 120 days. This period closed on December 28, 2022. During that time, all interested parties were able to provide comments through the Virtual Platform for Public Consultation Processes.
In December 2022, the Bank started the process of all the inputs received and the preparation of the new policy document. This stage is expected to be completed by March 2023. With a date to be confirmed soon, the document will be shared publicly after receiving comments and recommendations from internal IDB teams.
All details and updates of the process in its last phase will be published on the Portal, as well as on the Access to Information web page and WiConnect.