Working Group Three
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Working Group ThreeNon-State and Multilateral Actors: examining roles and responsibilitiesGroup three focused on the role and responsibility of the private sector, other non-state actors, and international and regional development banks with regard to the right of access to information. The group identified which actors hold the most vital information, considered the arguments for and against extending the reach information requirements, and contemplated ways to positively motivate the engagement of non-state actors.


Issue Statement

  • Which non-state actors most need to disclose information and provide greater transparency within our regional context?

  • Which can help in our cause for greater transparency in Africa?


Main Discussion & Considerations

  • Very wide range of non-state actors – local, national, and international

  • Different degrees and types of transparency are needed

  • Some non-state actors, both domestically and internationally, such as churches or foreign sovereign capital, may lie beyond our reach


Regional Findings

  • Many sectors at the national level lack basic transparency, including political parties, local non-state actors, and private companies.

  • Important moment for testing or influencing IFI disclosure policies, especially at the World Bank and the African Development Bank.

  • Traditional authorities and rulers in some countries receive international funds or control important resources—especially the land—with a worrying absence of transparency.

  • MNCs that require disclosures in their home countries do not reach to many vital concerns, such as their impact on labor and environmental rights. Voluntary codes of conduct for MNCs are insufficient.


Recommendations & Action Points

NON-STATE ACTORS:

  • Test and monitor the World Bank’s revised disclosure policy

  • Participate in the African Development Bank’s disclosure policy, under review in 2010

    • Specifically, oppose and challenge provisions that allow national governments to veto disclosure of information held by international financial institutions

  • Participate in the Civil Society Working Group on the AfDB, ahead of the consultation process

  • We must further the development of, and subscribe to, a common global standard of aid effectiveness. We recognize and welcome the efforts of the IATI.


Recommendations & Action Points

NON-STATE ACTORS CONT’D:

  • As the extractive industry has begun to see the sunlight of transparency, stakeholders and civil society organizations should similarly work for transparency in the armaments, pharmaceutical, and construction sectors.

  • Traditional rulers should voluntarily disclose information and should be subject to national FOI laws.

  • Those who advocate for FOI in Africa have a special responsibility to lead by example, especially through voluntary efforts to provide transparency, including the disclosure and dissemination of finances.

  • Organizations should adopt a code of conduct including principles of freedom of information.


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