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Best practices for promoting transparency at the local level

Transparency and Accountability in Local Governments
September 2011
Source : local2030

3 février 2020

UNDP Colombia’s Democratic Governance Practice Area intends, by the development of this document, to highlight the efforts made by Colombian Municipalities and Departments to improve the performance of their powers.The activities detailed in this book are efforts to reduce the risks of corruption and contribute directly to improving local governance, understood as the conditions of agreement between state and citizens on issues that are of public interest.
The aim of the formal distinction between each of the practices is intended to reveal independent decisions made by municipalities and departments that have translated into the improvement of subnational governance and the interaction between state and citizen.Decentralization in Colombia requires evidence of local autonomy and entrepreneurship to instill the belief that possible avenues for political, administrative and economic empowerment in Colombian territories exist.
The issues developed from these practices correspond to the components of integrity, visibility and accountability, understood as the variables that combine to provide the conditions necessary for transparency and, consequently, reduce the risks of corruption.The lesser the risks of corruption, the greater is the legitimacy of governments.Stronger institutional frameworks reduce the risk of corruption.
While the practices are developed in response to situations of low local government credibility and legitimacy rather than to temporary situations, they establish the challenge involved in becoming longterm preventive measures. UNDP highlights these practices because they manage to articulate the components of integrity, visibility and accountability through the implementation of different projects in municipalities and departments of different sizes. They in turn demonstrate that it is possible to create effective alternatives to prevent acts of corruption, regardless of the contextual conditions.
It is necessary to continue to highlight regional initiatives.The strengthening of institutions ensures legitimate governments and citizen participation in decision-making.The tools that are described through the practices become elements of democratization in different areas as they seek to promote conditions of equality among the citizens of the territories ; each one with equal care from government, access to information and training for participation.
Decentralization can only be maintained with solid municipal and departmental governments. This is achieved by institutions that are built as a result of a process of public consultation and open participation.Citizens must also be empowered in decision-making.Only processes that are appropriated by the citizens can be carried into the long term, while imposed processes will disappear prior to or with each change of government.
The democratic value of municipalities and departments that promote transparency is invaluable. Each of the practices described below has a deep impact on human development, as they increase the capacity of people to decide not only on the individual level but also in the sphere of public decision making.