Transparency and Democracy

The Trust works with civil society organizations and the media to promote freedom, civil rights and good governance in the Western Hemisphere.

Empowering Collaboration between Civil Society and Government to Improve Transparency and Open Government in Costa Rica

This project will strengthen transparency and open government in Costa Rica through effective and sustainable mechanisms of collaboration between government and civil society.

Journalism, Citizenship and Democracy

This program aims to: (1) promote excellence in journalism, (2) improve access to information, and (3) foster cooperation between civil society organizations, journalists, and media in the promotion of democracy and accountability.  Among its accomplishments, this program has helped to established national access to information laws in El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras. 

Specific projects include:

Capacity Building for Journalists and NGOs

With support from the U.S. Department of State, The Trust is currently implementing a two-year project that builds the capacity of and promotes collaboration between journalists and NGOs in order to enhance government accountability and human rights in Nicaragua.  Through this project, journalists learn to report effectively and responsibly on issues pertaining to democratic processes.

Additionally, in Honduras and Nicaragua the Trust is implementing a program aimed at strengthening local community organizations that promote the rights of Afro descendants, women, youth and LGBT.  The program fosters partnerships between NGOs, universities and government agencies aiming at an increasing recognition of the human rights of minorities.

Regional Alliance for Access to Information and Freedom of Expression

In 2005, The Trust sponsored the creation of a regional coalition made up of civil society organizations from throughout the hemisphere.  The Regional Alliance is dedicated to promoting freedom of expression and access to public information.  It promotes the exchange of experiences, best practices, and international experts through technical assistance, advocacy and training programs, and regular meetings. In 2009, the Regional Alliance became an independent, self-sustaining network.  Since its establishment in 2005, the Regional Alliance has grown to include 22 member organizations in 14 countries.

To learn more about the Alliance, please visit http://www.alianzaregional.net/site/

Promoting a Culture of Labor Rights Compliance and Fair Trade Practices

This program promotes a culture of compliance with labor laws among local NGOs, unions, media, and businesses.  From 2008 through 2010, more than 2,000 people were trained in different labor issues.  Additionally, 34 local organizations in Central America received funding via sub-grants from The Trust.  The program includes the following projects:

  • Promoting a Culture of Compliance with Labor Rights in CAFTA-DR Countries

Through this project, the Trust works with labor unions, employers, and civil society organizations to: (1) raise awareness and understanding among workers regarding their rights under current labor laws and how to claim them, (2) build the capacity of both employee and employer organizations to comply with labor laws, and (3) build the advocacy and technical capacity of labor and human rights NGOs, labor rights attorneys, and public policy organizations.

  • Promoting a Culture of Compliance with the Labor Rights of Migrant Workers

The Trust implements this project in partnership with the OAS Department of Social Development and Employment.  It is carried out in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, and El Salvador.  Through this project, The Trust aims to: (1) build the capacity of NGOs that work with migrants to access and disseminate information, (2) build awareness among businesses that employ migrant workers about the rights of migrant workers and strategies for incorporating them into the workforce, and (3) strengthen the technical capacity of the ministries of labor in all three countries to develop and implement effective public policies regarding migrants.  Among its achievements, this project supported the creation of the Migrant Workers Unit within El Salvador’s Ministry of Labor and oversaw the establishment of a network of civil society organizations that promote the rights of migrant workers in the Dominican Republic.