Inclusive & Accountable Governance
Before 1980 a handful of countries in the region had democratically elected sub-national governments. Today the overwhelming majority of the countries in the region elect sub-national government leadership through universal suffrage. Similarly, sub-national governments in the region are being transferred more resources and they are often spearheading pro human development policies.
Greater financial responsibility, increased powers and new service delivery responsibilities have also brought greater risks and an increased focus on institutional strengthening. Corrupt practices occur in all societies and all levels, but sub-national governments in newly democratic countries (like most of the Latin American and the Caribbean region), are particularly vulnerable. Because local governments are considered to be closer to constituencies, lack of transparency and accountability and the prevalence of corrupt practices can have a more immediate and corrosive impact for democratic governance than in other levels of government.
How to Address these Challenges
Through our offices in each country, UNDP works in Latin America and the Caribbean with government counterparts (at the national and sub-national levels), civil society organizations and academic institutions. In response to country office requests, UNDP supports the design, implementation and evaluation of projects, programmes and initiatives in topics related to decentralization, strengthening of local governance and the promotion of transparency and accountability. We help forge policy dialogue and project implementation including:
- Policy Advice and Advocacy about challenges and opportunities, in line with UNDP priorities;
- Supporting Sub-National Public Management initiatives, including capacity building and systematization and dissemination of best practices and lessons;
- Advocating for strengthening local governance systems; and
- Supporting ways to increase transparency and accountability in local governments, access to information and the decision making process.
Local Governance and Decentralization
Local governance and decentralization represent a fundamental building block for a broader and improved democratic governance framework to improve public policy, the decision making process, accountability and human development. UNDP focuses on empowering policy and decision makers and institutions at the sub-national levels (states, departments, provinces, municipalities, counties, municipalities, parishes), as well as advocating and promoting and expanding inclusive participation. MORE >
Transparency and Accountability
A majority of countries in Latin America and the Caribbean are party to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). UNDP supports the mainstreaming of anticorruption across human development sectors. Through the regional Transparency and Accountability in Local Governments (TRAALOG) initiative, led by UNDP’s regional service center in Panama, we support offices in each country to address transparency and accountability in local governments, as a means of strengthening democratic governance, improving the delivery of social services, making policies more responsive to people’s needs and promoting ethics and oversight of decisions and policies. MORE >
This regional project facilitates external transparency (as seen by citizens) as well as internal transparency (as seen by government actors); contributes to the effectiveness of policies, with indicators for early alerts and operational solutions to obstacles, and to the execution of these policies; encourages high levels of interaction with citizens through access to information, the reception and systematization of public opinion, and the integration of these opinions into the co-management of policies; more
This regional project provides technical assistance and skill training for t effective functioning of political economic and social consultation bodies, from the perspective of strengthening citizenship and participation. Through this project RBLAC particularly supports the creation and functioning of economic and social councils. more
Supports offices in each country to address transparency and accountability in local governments, as a means of strengthening democratic governance, improving the delivery of social services, making policies more responsive to people’s needs and promoting ethics and oversight of decisions and policies. more