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IDB Fund approves $600,000 grant for program to support civil society organizations that promote transparency and accountability

The Inter-American Development Bank’s Multilateral Investment Fund announced today the approval of a $600,000 grant for a program to support targeted projects of civil society organizations to increase transparency in public and private sector economic activities.

Resources will support projects and help disseminate successful initiatives. A Regional Fund for the Promotion of Transparency (FONTRA) will be created to cover activities in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay.

The Fund will finance around 30 grants of between $10,000 and $30,000, with a maximum of $50,000. MIF resources will be used to cover approximately 40 per cent of the projects on average. Each institution will be required to match at least 20 percent of the total cost of each project. All grants will have a maximum duration of one year.

“This program will help reduce the economic cost of corruption, resulting in direct savings to society,” said IDB Team Leader Daniel Shepherd. “It should also contribute to better government and private business practices and help level the playing field for private sector operations with improved efficiency, promoting a more equitable economic development,” he added.

The program will be presented at a series of promotional events and announced online through the Internet (Visit: Specific calls for proposals are expected to be issued later this year and in 2007, but meritorious proposals may be submitted at any time. Proposals will be assessed on their technical merit, innovativeness, replicability and adherence to the program’s objectives.  A final regional conference will  assess and disseminate the results of the program, which will be executed over a period of  three years.

The Institute for Communication and Development (ICD) will be the executing agency for the program and will benefit from support from the Partnership for Transparency Fund (PTF).

ICD is a non-profit civic organization founded in Uruguay in 1986 to support civil society and citizen participation by producing information and activities to promote awareness for a democratic, inclusive and equitable development based on ethics and transparency. PTF is a spin-off organizations of Transparency International and has been working to assist civil society organizations that combat corruption since 2000.

“An important aspect of this program will be the participation of various private companies and other donors interested in providing financial support”, said Shepherd. “One of the benefits for these companies is that by rooting out and reducing corruption, they can help to lower cost of doing business.”

“By bringing in companies and private sector associations at the national level through a consultative council, the program will attract increased support and improve its sustainability,” Shepherd added. “Increasing transparency in the participating countries will improve market functioning and the overall business climate.”

The Multilateral Investment Fund, an autonomous fund administered by the IDB, supports private sector development in Latin America and the Caribbean, focusing on microenterprise and small business.

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