From Shadows to Sunlight, Paraguay’s Road to Transparency

June 15, 2018. Lea Giménez Duarte, Paraguay’s Finance Minister speaking at IMF World-Bank Spring meetings seminar Restoring Trust by Curbing Corruption (photo: IMF)

This article is brought to you in association with IMF Blog

Current Paraguayan Finance Minister Lea Giménez Duarte knows first-hand that transparency pays off. In this podcast, Duarte says the changes began after the government passed a transparency law in 2014.

“We started to rethink about how we manage resources, and why it’s important for people to know what we’re doing with the resources,” she says. “And this brought about a huge wave of change in many areas, thanks to transparency.”

Giménez Duarte discussed transparency and corruption with Christine Lagarde and others during a seminar the 2018 IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings. She says Paraguay went from “managing the resources in complete darkness” to a transparent process where “sunlight came in.”

Corruption has a way to hide in small, dark, little spots and spread around very quickly.

-Lea Giménez Duarte

This enabled the government to redirect resources to the areas that needed them most, she says. For example, social programs increased by about 200 percent in coverage and 250 percent in size, she says. She also credits a fiscal responsibility law and public-private partnerships as major contributors to Paraguay’s improving economy.

“I think it’s a no-brainer; we have to do this,” she says. “We will never have enough resources in the public sector alone to finance the infrastructure that the country needs.”

Making room in the budget allowed the government to contain the wage bill and put resources in social programs and infrastructure.

But passing laws does not immediately win public trust. The entire purpose of having a transparency law is “to build the trust, the social fabric, if you will,” Giménez Duarte says, adding that it is an ongoing challenge, yet one that appears to be heading in the right direction. She says the political dialogue now routinely includes talk of transparency and fighting corruption.

“Once it’s out there, I think it’s for good …. civil society is hungry for transparency.”

Notwithstanding Paraguay’s success in promoting transparency, Giménez Duarte says IMF support is crucial to the effort.

“Corruption has a way to hide in small, dark, little spots and spread around very quickly. And then once you notice it, it’s perhaps too late,” she says. “Therefore, having indicators, having monitoring, and having someone overseeing this with a very ample view and linking it to the macro stability, I think will be very useful.”

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

UN chief welcomes resolution to 27-year-old disagreement over renaming the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

The US pipeline attack shows the energy sector must act now on cybersecurity. Here are 6 ways how

How trade-based money laundering works and its impact on world finances

Why is the World Health Organisation so much needed?

Remarks by Commissioner Lenarčič on the deployment of EU Medical Teams to Italy

The link between migration and technology is not what you think

UN space-based tool opens new horizons to track land-use on Earth’s surface

‘The clock is ticking’ on meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, says UN deputy chief

UN agencies call for more resettlement and end to detention of asylum seekers in Libya

NextGenerationEU: Commission gets ready to raise up to €800 billion to fund the recovery

Here are six bold ideas to accelerate sustainable energy innovation

Logo Mania: A call to action to our crisis of connection

Judges urge Security Council to serve interests of all UN Member States

Why financial services can kickstart Africa’s digital economy

Parliament approves seven-year EU budget 2021-2027

IMF: World cup and productivity

Connected Claims Europe on 18-19 September 2019, in association with The European Sting

A shocking new report reveals what we’ve done to the natural world

Bosnia and Herzegovina: EU allocates additional €3.5 million to support vulnerable refugees and migrants

Eurozone bank rescues ‘a la carte’ until 2015 then only bail-ins

EU’s tougher privacy rules: WhatsApp and Facebook set to be soon aligned with telcos

Nothing about us without us: how youth empowerment creates lasting change in the climate meltdown

It’s time for the circular economy to go global – and you can help

Dark spots on EU humanitarian aid spending

A reflection of health inequity in recent epidemics

Fuel crisis rapidly draining last ‘coping capacities’ of Palestinians in Gaza

MEPs hail minimum global corporate tax rate deal as historic

Closing VAT loopholes for sales through online platforms

COVID-19 Myths and Facts

A Sting Exclusive: EU Commission’s Vice President Šefčovič accentuates the importance of innovation to EU’s Energy Union

Brexit: €5 billion to help EU countries mitigate social and economic impact

Improvements to pension systems have made them better placed to deliver pensions

Easing ‘classroom crisis’ in Côte d’Ivoire, brick by (plastic) brick

State aid: Commission approves €1.1 billion Polish scheme to further support companies affected by coronavirus outbreak

ECB: The bastion of effective and equitable Europeanism keeps up quantitative easing

State aid: Commission approves German aid scheme to support airports affected by the coronavirus outbreak

Bertelsmann Stiftung @ European Business Summit 2014: Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement (TTIP) needs balanced approach

Green light for VAT overhaul to simplify system and cut fraud

What does strategy have to do with a platform approach?

This is the IMF’s latest take on the economy in 2020

EuroLat plenary in Panama: control of trade talks and fight against crime

Commission paralysed before the banking leviathan

Coronavirus: EU channels further support to Nepal and repatriates EU citizens

Vaccine hesitancy: a pregnancy related issue?

Impressions of China

Challenges in accessing Palliative Care from the perspective of Universal Health Coverage

4 innovative renewable energy projects powering Europe’s green future

South Korea once recycled 2% of its food waste. Now it recycles 95%

Is a deal over EU budget possible today?

EU agricultural production no more a self-sufficiency anchor

Partner countries get €3bn in loans to prop up economies affected by pandemic

Our food system is no longer fit for the 21st century. Here are three ways to fix it

IMF: The global economy keeps growing except Eurozone

The US banks drive the developing world to a catastrophe

Team Europe: Digital4Development Hub launched to help shape a fair digital future across the globe

UN chief pays tribute to Egypt’s role in avoiding ‘dramatic’ escalation in conflict across the Gaza-Israel border

3 ways to fight short-termism and relaunch Europe

More than speed: 5G could become the next big economic driver

Smart cities must pay more attention to the people who live in them

COVID-19 poses a dramatic threat to life in conflict zones

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s