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IDB and NGO analyze experiences to support citizens' participation in Latin America and the Caribbean

Senior officials of the Inter-American Development Bank and representatives of civil society will meet on Nov. 9-10 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, to exchange experiences, develop a closer relationship, and suggest courses of action to promote citizens participation in economic and social programs in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The meeting, which will include representatives from civil society from 20 countries in the region, will be inaugurated Nov. 9 at 8:30 a.m. by Executive Vice President K. Burke Dillon and Miguel Martínez, IDB regional operations manager for Mexico and the countries of the Central American Isthmus. Burke and Martínez will give an introduction to the subjects that will be discussed.

During the first day of the dialogue, presentations on IDB experiences in working with civil society and new Bank initiatives will be presented by Bank External Relations Advisor Muni Figueres; the chief of the IDB State and Civil Society Division, Edmundo Jarquín; and John Ferriter, senior IDB public information officer.

Representatives of civil society organizations, for their part, will make presentations on their experiences in participating in IDB programs that strengthen their sector and in community development projects.

Other presentations will offer examples of applying methods of participation in three areas: the strengthening of alliances between civil society and the state in Chile, a theme to be presented by Jorge Osorio, executive secretary of the Council of the Americas and member of the Consejo Ciudadano of Chile; the sustainable development program in the Darien in Panama, to be presented by Msgr. Rómulo Emiliani; and the activity of the civil society advisory group in Colombia, which will be presented by the Rev. Camilo Bernal.

On the second day the forum will be dedicated to analysis of a strategy document, requested to the administration by the IDB Board of Executive Directors, on citizens' participation in Bank activities.

At the close of the meeting, IDB President Enrique V. Iglesias will analyze the role of civil society in the Bank’s agenda and the opportunities and challenges of the future.

The IDB interacts on a daily basis with civil society, a process that is central to the Bank’s agenda as a result of the exchange of ideas and consultations with senior management, regional departments, technicians and experts in the offices of the Bank in each of the borrowing member countries.

The Bank works in conjunction with civil society at several levels: at the operational level in consultations and action to prepare and carry out programs; at the level of policy and the design of strategies and procedures for proposing initiatives and financing projects; and at the institutional level through activities to strengthen civil society as an essential element in democratic life.

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