The Global Transparency Initiative (GTI) is a network of civil society organisations promoting openness at the international financial institutions (IFIs), such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the European Investment Bank and the regional development banks. CLD has been a member of the GTI since shortly after it was founded, in January 2010.
The GTI believes that people have a right to access information from public authorities, including inter-governmental organisations like the IFIs. IFIs exert significant influence over development paradigms and, as a result, exercise vast power over people’s lives. Greater transparency regarding IFI-supported activities can help reduce corruption, avoid negative social and environmental impacts, and increase participation, engagement and ownership over projects, thereby rendering them more robust and relevant.
Despite this, these institutions are not as transparent as they should be, and they remain far less open than national public authorities. There have been some encouraging moves towards greater openness by some of the IFIs, but there is still a long way to go if the current public disclosure policies are to make a real difference to the public accountability of these institutions.
The GTI aims to work with both the IFIs and civil society movements to promote greater openness at the IFIs and to contribute constructively to the debate about how the “right to know” can be implemented by the IFIs. Since it was founded, the GTI has developed a number of important knowledge tools to foster greater IFI openness including the Transparency Charter for International Financial Institutions: Claiming our Right to Know and the Model World Bank Policy on Disclosure of Information.
Since it joined the GTI, CLD has working in close coordination with another GTI member, the Access to Information Network (ATIN), based in the Philippines, on the review of the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Public Communications Policy. The two organisations worked together to prepare an initial submission to the ADB’s PCP review process, which was published in April 2010: Securing the People’s Right to Information: Will the ADB Rise to the Challenge?: Comments by the Global Transparency Initiative on the Public Communications Policy of the Asian Development Bank. The two organisations again prepared comments on the first draft of the new PCP, published in June 2010: Securing the People’s Right to Information: Will the ADB Rise to the Challenge?: Speaking Notes by the Global Transparency Initiative on the June 2010 Consultation Draft of the Public Communications Policy of the Asian Development Bank.
CLD and ATIN continue to monitor the development of the new PCP by the ADB. When the promised second draft of the new PCP is released, probably in October 2010, the two organisations will again provide detailed comments on it.