Strategies and tools for ‘ordinary’ members of the public to exert some control over the State

Aug 19, 2022 | New

Yesterday, 18 August, marked the National Day for the Fight Against Corruption in Colombia. Through our social networks, we carried out live training on the strategies and tools that ‘ordinary’ citizens can use to exercise their right to oversee Colombian public entities. Alejandro Alvarado, Director of Strategic Litigation, and Ivón Sepúlveda, Data Analysis Advisor at the Anti-Corruption Institute, were the experts in charge of teaching participants about the different actions they can perform in order to protect their fundamental, individual or collective rights.

Amongst the self-defense classes against corruption delivered by Alejandro, four legal and constitutional tools stood out: lawsuits, right of petition, group action, and popular action. You can use these tools to access public information or when you believe that your rights are being violated.

Likewise, Ivón Sepúlveda pointed out three key strategies that should be taken into account to exert greater control over the State:

Firstly, know the law and the actions that can be brought. This refers to ensuring that you have the capacity and legal knowledge to ask and demand information from public entities, as well as about the protection of rights, etc. To achieve this, see also: Examples of social control tools.

Secondly, know the different data and information platforms made available by the Colombian State and other civil society organizations. Some of those mentioned were: the State’s Open Data Portal, the DNP’s Investment Map, the Registry of Unfinished Works of the Comptroller, Colombia’s Anti-Corruption Portal – PACO – from the Transparency Secretariat, the INVIAS Portal and the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit’s Economic Transparency Portal. Then, on behalf of NGOs, there are: IntegriData from the Anti-Corruption Institute, CabilVeo from the Anti-Corruption Institute, Electoral Data from the MOE and the Citizen Monitor from Transparency for Colombia.

Finally, analyze and interpret the available data. To achieve this, you can take the free self-training course from the Anti-Corruption Institute called IntegriCamp. Here you will not only learn about data, but also about different types of corruption and how to fight it.

Watch the recording of the training here: