Guidelines for discussion. Implementation of an Information Access Policy for the Brazilian Development Bank BNDES

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The document we present is the result of a joint work among different regional organizations of the civil society interested in promoting the transparency and the access to the information of the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES), given the importance that this one has in the countries within the region.

This collective effort among Brazilian organizations and from other Latin American countries began in the seminar “BNDES Investment in Latin America”, organized by the Brazilian Institute of Social and Economic Analysis (IBASE) in March 2013, that sought to exchange experiences regarding the Bank’s investments within the region and analyze its performance in topics such as transparency, safeguards and socio-environmental criteria, monitoring and control mechanisms, among others.

Among the results obtained in the workshop, an initial diagnosis that showed a break-up of networks and organizations around objectives and common agendas was carried out, parties mainly focused in the projects and public policies cycle, and, to a lesser extent, in the flow of regional investments. In addition to the little articulated options, the lessons learned in prior processes of influence in Multilateral Bank and in the National Development Banks were not being added.

This demonstrated the need of a second seminar execution: “Transparency and access to BNDES information within the region”, organized by Rights, Environment and Natural Resources (DAR) and IBASE in June 2013 whose objective was to establish common guidelines that take part of a Transparency Policy and Information Access to BNDES Proposal and also establish a joint work strategy among the region’s civil society to articulate agendas and common objectives.

In both seminars, there was time to exchange ideas with the Bank’s representatives regarding the reasons that make the implementation of an Information Access Policy necessary that complement the recently promulgated Access to Brazilian Information Law.

As a result of this second seminar, an analysis, coordination and influence strategy was proposed. Within the framework of this strategy, a commitment of the region’s civil society organizations to work the guidelines of a Policy Proposal of Information Access to the Bank and counter-arguments related to the limits stated by the institution’s representatives that would prevent the implementation from a Transparency Policy applicable to its total operations was performed.

The organizations that participated in this first stage of the document preparation are: Environment and Society Association (AAS); Center for Economic and Social Rights (CDES); Center for Work and Agricultural Development Studies (CEDLA); CONECTAS Human Rights; Rights, Environment and Natural Resources (DAR); FUNDAR, Center of Analysis and Research; Foundation for the Development of Sustainable Policies (FUNDEPS); Brazilian Institute of Social and Economic Analysis (IBASE); Amazon Legal Network (RAMA), and individually, experts such as Roland Widmer and Ricardo Verdum.