The Difficult Road to Transparency in Latin America

July 12, 2018
03:00 pm - 04:30 pm

About the event

The establishment of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in 2011 ushered in a period of optimism among transparency campaigners. Launched with only eight participating governments, the Partnership has since developed into an alliance with almost 80 countries. Centering on the collaboration between civil society actors and their governments, the OGP’s main mission is to empower citizens by creating actionable transparency commitments intended to open government and improve lives. These commitments, however, have not consistently translated into heightened transparency, nor have they always led to tangible improvements in the daily lives of citizens. As a relatively new initiative, the OGP is still in the process of identifying effective ways of empowering citizens and making governments more accessible. In her presentation, Argentine journalist and civil society leader María Baron presented key findings from her research on the structures that allow for successful partnerships between governments and civil societies in Latin America. Drawing lessons from successful cases, Ms. Baron offered observations on strategies for forging ahead on the difficult road to transparency in Latin America. Comments by Nicolás Dassen followed.


  • María Baron, Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow

With comments from: 

  • Nicolás Dassen, Senior Modernization of the State Specialist, Inter-American Development Bank

Moderated by: 

  • Enrique Bravo-Escobar, Program Officer, Latin America & the Caribbean, National Endowment for Democracy


About the Speakers

María Baron is an Argentine journalist and global executive director of Directorio Legislativo, an organization that promotes transparency in government, democratic consolidation, and enhanced access to information throughout Latin America. She is also founding chair of the Latin American Network for Legislative Transparency, a group comprising 24 civil society organizations across 12 countries in the region. For her pioneering efforts in advocating for accountability and ethics in government, she received NDI’s Democracy Award for Civic Innovation in 2013. Ms. Baron is a member of the Steering Committee of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), and a board member of the Argentine Network for International Cooperation (RACI).

Nicolás Dassen serves as senior modernization of the state specialist at the Inter-American Development Bank’s Institutional Capacity of the State division. He previously worked as a private consultant in prevention and control of corruption issues, and as a legal advisor to the Argentine National Congress and the National Judicial Council. From 2000 to 2003, he served as principal analyst at the Bureau of Transparency Policies of the Anticorruption Office of Argentina. In that capacity, he was appointed lead country expert before the Follow-Up Mechanism on the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption (2003). He also represented Argentina before the Working Group Against Bribery of Foreign Public Officials within the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (2000–2003).


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Image Credit: Christian Schnettelker/Flickr