Major development projects involving infrastructure or extractive
industries - both in Latin America and other regions - tend to be
financed, either partially or totally, by international financial
institutions (IFIs). Given that these types of large-scale projects
could have adverse effects on local communities’ livelihoods, cultural
heritage and environment, IFIs have established mechanisms to guarantee
that the projects they fund meet international environmental and social
standards. Though not perfect, such mechanisms do at least allow
organised citizens to access project information and to demand concrete
ways to get engaged in project decision making. Using a successful case
from Mexico, this Brief reflects on the role of informed citizen
participation as a crucial factor facilitating accountability within
development projects with international funding.
Citizen participation from the onset of IFI-funded development projects
enables identifying environmental and social risks.
Local people’s participation is needed throughout all phases of the
project cycle, so they have the opportunity to make decisions regarding
their own lives.
Informed citizen participation can enhance accountability not only
within development projects, but also through spill-over effects on
accountability at the community and country level.
González, M. ELLA Policy Brief: Community Participation in IFI-Funded Development Projects: Latin America&#8217;s Experience. ELLA, Practical Action Consulting, Lima, Peru (2012) 6 pp.