Hivos International

Transparency & Accountability

Over these last couple of months, Latin America has been vibrating and changing: we’ve gone from celebration to mourning, from anger to relief in a matter of days. Just one month ago, we awoke to the news of a murder attempt against our friend David Valle, LGBTI community leader in Honduras and member of Somos CDC, a partner organization of Hivos.

At the end of April, Moore Stephens submitted the final version of Malawi’s first Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative report to the Multi-Stakeholder Group. Over the last two months I have shared the top ten insights I gleaned from the report and 10 questions I have after reading the report.

The High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development Goals was held from 10-19 July 2017 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.  43 countries submitted voluntary national reviews and over 2458 stakeholders reportedly attended.

Five years ago to the day, I started working for the Open Government Partnership (OGP) as “independent civil society coordinator.” It has been an incredible privilege to help shape OGP into a platform that really brings civil society to the heart of government. Through my work, I’ve had a front row seat to see civil society reality up close at the country level and - zooming out - to have a global snapshot of how OGP and civil society are doing. I’ve seen daily the innovations, the challenges, the steps forward and steps back, and now is a good moment to reflect on the journey so far.

Elections are key milestones for democratic engagement, and referendums such as the UK’s Brexit poll are innovative ways for citizens to be more directly involved in the decision-making process.

For El Salvador it was not easy. In the process, five people were killed and one of them tortured. Community leaders lived under threat for years. However, a few weeks ago, our country became the first in Latin America to put a ban on metal mining in all its forms. For a nation as small and impoverished as ours, to make this sovereign decision against the interests of a powerful transnational company is an unprecedented event that we consider a triumph of community work.

Malawi’s new Access to Information Bill signifies a new dawn particularly on the road to enabling increased disclosure in public contracts. 

Hivos Director of Operations Sanne Nolst Trenité toured a number of Hivos projects and partners in Indonesia at the end of April until early of May this year. For staff at Hivos Southeast Asia, her visit provided opportunities to meet her and discuss developments important to Hivos with her. Interaction, engagement, inspiration, acceleration and support were recurring themes throughout her visit.

Human rights should be considered proportionally in any governmental policy related to the Internet in a way that will hopefully spur the private sector to follow.

The Civic Engagement for Open Contracting Program was formally launched in the Philippines on January 24, 2017. This was done in conjunction with a meeting that sought to validate findings and results of the Philippines scoping study and provide inputs before the annual Philippine country plan was implemented. 

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