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Opening the Americas

Construyendo una América Abierta

Alonso CerdanandFabrizio Scrollini|

The open data and open government communities have a more than 10 year tradition of coming together to exchange experiences and learn from one another. Although the pandemic changed the way we meet, today, at Open Américas/América Abierta, we are very pleased to gather more than 400 people from 28 countries who are working for greater transparency, participation, accountability, and collaboration: from ministers, judges and parliamentarians to civil society leaders, activists, and journalists who lead these efforts. 

Open Americas is and will be a powerful space for champions of the Americas to come together, share experiences and make plans to tackle the most pressing issues the community faces.

There has never been a better time to bring these leaders together.

The economic impact of the pandemic has exacerbated inequalities, and in many cases has shown the challenges that our governments face in responding to citizen demands efficiently, effectively and with respect for human rights

Democracy is also under threat. Not everyone thinks that democracy is the best form of government. This carries great risks for a region with a difficult human rights record. More than a quarter of the world’s population now lives in democratically-regressing countries. Together with those living in wholly undemocratic regimes, they make up two-thirds of the world’s population.

As world climate change effects grow, so do challenges in terms of transparency and participation to ensure sustainable development in harmony with our environment. And as technology advances, nothing guarantees governments and big companies will use it ethically and responsibly. The challenges aren’t the same for all the countries of the region and the world so not all approaches will work in every context. 

But just as these challenges emerge, there are also initiatives, proposals, and a group of committed people in different sectors to carry them forward. A quick look at the agenda for Open Americas shows that the region has an active community that recognizes issues to resolve and move forward, with a focus on collaboration between the different countries of the region, their governments and their societies. 

The agenda reveals old and new challenges, as well as organizations and individuals committed to creatively tackling them: The environment, the inclusion of LGBTQIA+ communities,  the role of algorithms in our democracies, fiscal transparency and public procurement, and countless other topics.

We are deeply grateful to the government and civil society of the Dominican Republic, especially the Camara TIC and the General Directorate of Ethics and Government Integrity, for welcoming this huge community in such complex times. 

Open Americas comes out of  the need to join forces with other organizations in this space, to think of innovative solutions, and bring people closer. It was created to offer a unique opportunity, after a long impasse, to rebuild networks and coalitions, strengthen friendships, and hold difficult but necessary conversations that get us a step closer to building a more democratic, inclusive, and open America.

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