On Wednesday, August 12, the sixth session of the Webinar Cycle of Committees, Commissions and Working Groups of the OLACEFS was held.

With the active participation of more than 800 people, the session entitled Citizen Control in Times of a Pandemic was held in which issues were addressed related to the exercise of citizen control and the use of information and communication technologies in a political, economic and social context marked by the tension generated by the current pandemic.

The session began with words of welcome from Camilo Benitez, Comptroller General of the Republic of Paraguay, who also highlighted the role of citizen control as a pillar of democratic institutionality, especially considering that current societies demand high levels of accountability, management transparency, and results that improve the quality of life of citizens.

Then, Marie-Hélène Bérubé, Program Agent for Gender Equality and Ethics at the Canadian Audit and Accountability Foundation (CAAF) took the floor to present a series of publications called Collaborating for Change: How CSOs and Audit Offices Can Hold Government Accountable for Sustainable Development Goals, which was developed in collaboration with Women Deliver. The objective of these publications is to provide civil society organizations (CSOs) with information, strategies and tools to collaborate effectively with audit offices and oversight bodies. She then listed a number of benefits of general collaboration between civil society and supreme audit institutions; she explained what the role of CSOs in auditing could be and highlighted the value that these organizations could add to the audit process in the actions of governments to address the pandemic.

Finally, I would like to inform you that these publications can be accessed by anyone on the CAAF Collaborating for Change page (in English) and the page on Gender at the OLACEFS (in Spanish).

Continuing with the session, Alberto Herrera Aragón, CEO for Colombia and Mexico at Change.org, talks about how citizen action has developed in Latin America, using the concept of reticular citizenship. At the beginning, he gave a brief review of the history of civil society in Latin America and how it has become more professional and sophisticated over time to become an interlocutor with power and in defining agendas for social change. He then pointed out the problem generated by a dissociation between increasingly professionalized and technology-driven CSOs and the social bases that these organizations generated. This dissociation is called reticular behavior. Finally, he indicated the characteristics of the reticular behavior and its impact on behalf of the new (dis)organized civil society.

It should be noted that, this week, we will have the opportunity to learn more about the initiatives that the Commission for Citizen Engagement – CPC is developing in the framework of the activities of the OLACEFS, so we invite you to follow the Organization’s social networks (LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube)

The presentations shared by the exhibitors, in addition to the webinar video, are available below:

Presentation by Marie-Hélène Bérubé

Presentation by Alberto Herrera Aragón

CAAF Collaborating for Change page

Page on Gender at OLACEFS

For more information about the webinars, as well as the actions carried out by the SAIs, and the COVID-19 Blog, visit the page:

Regional actions in times of COVID-19