At IRI, democratic governance is understood as a system in which citizens participate in government planning and decision-making, while those in office exercise responsiveness to citizen needs with accountability and transparency. IRI works alongside political and government actors, citizens and civil society to bring government closer to citizens, transforming government into a responsive, transparent and effective institution.
Since 2007, IRI has worked with the mayor of Soacha, Colombia to increase government transparency and accountability. IRI and the municipal government inaugurated the Salón de la Transparencia in 2008, where citizens can access information on local government projects, development plans, services and budgets. IRI helped the city institutionalize this service, incorporating the office into the government’s organizational structure and assigning the necessary budgetary and staffing resources.
The Salón has been successfully replicated in other cities in Colombia and has helped re-establish citizen confidence in local government and democracy. To date, the Salónes have responded to more than 30,000 citizen inquiries about government processes.