Saturday, August 27, 2011

UNESCO presents first results of IFAP Project “Transparency, Access to Information and Accountability in the Andean Region” in Bolivia

UNESCO presented the first results of IFAP project Transparency, Access to Information and Accountability in the Andean Region to key local counterparts in La Paz and Potosí (Bolivia) on 10 and 12 August.

A first meeting gathered the Bolivian Agency for the Development of the Information Society (ADSIB), the Vice-Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Education, the National Commission for UNESCO and civil society foundations Fundación Redes, Ayni and Jubileo.

Some of the most important, mid-term results presented during the meeting included the baseline on transparency and access to information prepared with the four participating Bolivian municipalities; the training programme on “ICTs for transparency and citizens’ participation” implemented in Potosi; the Guidelines on standards for the participative design and implementation of local e-government strategies in Bolivia; and a set of standards for budgetary transparency in local governments.

The research conducted so far has shown a strong need to strengthen capacities and invest resources so that ICTs are mainstreamed into planning, implementing and evaluation processes at the local government level. Similarly, information about the management of public funds needs to be more actively disclosed as well as key aspect of local policy decision-making processes. Citizens recognize the potential of ICTs, but their expectations are still low when it comes to their potential for development.

A second event, the 1st Seminar on Transparency and E-government, was organized in collaboration with NGO Ayni in Potosi on 12 August. The goal of this seminar was to share best practices on using ICTs to promote transparency and citizen participation and was attended by civil organizations, local civil servants, local leaders and citizens.  During the seminar, citizens and municipal employees presented their learning experiences using word processor, spreadsheets and Web 2.0 (internet, blogs, web browsers and other tools) to communicate, investigate and share information concerning the management of their city.

Other topics covered in the programme of the event were: how to achieve to achieve WSIS goals and action lines; how to use and demand public information at the local level; E-Government: achievements and development of standards to promote transparency in municipalities; Budget transparency: strategies to foster free access to budget information and promote citizen participation; Guidelines on using ICTs to promote transparency and e-government strategies.
Other outcomes of the IFAP project in Bolivia include the training of some 70 local civil servants and civil society leaders in ICTs for development; and the sensitization of national and local authorities on the implementation of e-government and information transparency standards in Bolivia.

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