21 Dec 2011

Initiatives to Increase Transparency in Elections in Latin America

An article by Marta Erquicia on Transparency International’s blog talks about civil society initiatives to monitor elections in four Latin American countries in the last months. The projects focused on the use of new technologies and social media to provide information to the public and collect reports of electoral violations.

In Argentina, for instance, TI’s national chapter Poder Ciudadano launched the campaign “Quién te banca?” (“Who is supporting you?”) to inform citizens about campaign funding and spending. Another initiative in partnership with other NGOs, called “Vota Inteligente”, published election programmes as a way to make voters better informed about what candidates stood for. A web platform allowed voters to identify candidates whose political positions were closest to their own.

In Nicaragua, an online application was created by the organization Etica y Transparencia to allow voters to report violations on election day. A similar initiative was implemented in Guatemala, where over 500 complaints were registered.

TI’s national chapter in Colombia also created an innovative tool to increase transparency about campaign funds. The software Cuentas Claras became very successful as a campaign finance reporting system, as it was used by many candidates and was later adoped by the National Electoral Council as the official application to ensure accountability of election campaigns.

Read the full article “Latin American elections: how to use social media to promote transparency” on blog.transparency.org. The picture featured above is from elespectador.com