Advancing Transparency & Accountability On Guatemala’s Independence Day

September 15, 2017

Over the last two years, the Guatemalan government and civil society have worked together to address corruption, increase transparency and strengthen government accountability in the country.

In June of 2016, on the cusp of powerful citizen interest, Participación Civica, a project funded by USAID and implemented by Counterpart International, provided technical and logistical support to a coalition of six civil society organizations (CSO network for Open Government Partnership), in coordination with the Government of Guatemala and other state institutions, to develop Guatemala’s Third Action Plan under the Open Government Partnership (OGP). This initiative aims to secure concrete commitments from government to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance and provide access to information.

Guatemala's President, Jimmy Morales, at a government event

President Jimmy Morales speaks to Guatemalan civil society on the Open Government Action Plan, August 2016

With help from Participación Civica — including technical and strategic assistance like coalition building, facilitation, and convening assistance — the CSO Network met with the representatives of the Guatemalan Executive Branch, the Office of the Controller General, the Ombudsman’s Office and members of the Guatemalan Congress. Following three months of these unprecedented discussions and collaborations, the 2016 – 2018 Open Government Action Plan was announced and endorsed by President Jimmy Morales. The Plan provides a concrete and collaborative roadmap for the government to increase transparency and government accountability over the next two years.

This is the first time that a wide representation of Guatemalan government agencies and civil society organizations have worked together and established consensus on critical open government strategies.

Participación Civica and the Future of Guatemala

The 2016 – 2018 Open Government Action Plan shows the incredible potential of civil society and government collaboration, by harnessing the power of both sectors to build a more equitable, accountable and transparent Guatemala.

As Guatemala celebrates Independence Day today, the transparency, accountability and fight against corruption are the heart of the future for Guatemala. Addressing these fundamental issues will demonstrate for generations to come a turning point in the independence of the country — free from corruption and impunity that has far too long limited the stability and prosperity of Guatemala. We celebrate today with our local partners and civil society leaders as they continue to work diligently to realize the full potential of their country and their dreams.

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