Jesús Rodríguez, president of the General Audit Office of the Nation and of the Technical Commission of Good Governance Practices CTPBG-OLACEFS, virtually began last Friday, October 9, the first session of the “Post-Pandemic Governance” cycle.

The president of the CTPBG stressed that the meeting takes place within the framework of three axes that seek to guide global action in the wake of the pandemic: GPS for social progress, GPS for integrity and GPS for public policies.

For the first of these axes, Luis Felipe López-Calva, Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) participated as a speaker with his presentation “Effective Governance: Beyond Recovery.”

At the opening, Rodríguez stated that “On a global scale, we are in the crisis of the century and in our Latin American region, in economic and social terms, we are facing the second lost decade.” Regarding the ways to overcome the crisis, he emphasized that “it certainly depends on the global economy, but also, and very especially, on the capacity of the political systems of each of our countries to process the impacts of the pandemic, and that processing supported by democratic principles.”

López Calva opened his presentation by explaining that “we are in a process of institutional construction and Covid19 impacts us; the first phase was basically to control the health situation, the second phase to start a recovery process and the third phase continues to be the objective of building a new normality” However, he remarked, “we have been a bit trapped between this first and second phase; we have a situation where the health crisis has not yet been controlled – although it has stabilized in some cases – and we still have to think about how to get out of the strong effects of the self-imposed economic crisis in some sense given that the economy has been put into an induced coma, to call it what is, in order to control the health crisis.”

The UNDP regional director described the crisis as “systemic” because “it has affected in a very important way and put pressure on health and social security systems, education systems, labor markets, the fiscal situation, social protection and the relationship of trust between citizens and governments.” For the recovery, as it is a systemic shock, we will insist that we have to have a systemic response, we have to accept that we will end up with higher deficits and therefore innovative financing solutions are required.”

López Calva stressed that “we have four pillars for recovery; I am going to focus on governance. We have to rethink and universalize social protection schemes, we are talking about them being universal, inclusive and fiscally sustainable; we are going to try to promote more sustainable growth engines via a green economy; we have to invest more in digital disruption in an inclusive way, with a greater incorporation of financial, educational and health systems; and -very importantly- digital disruption has a very important effect on transparency, accountability and the construction of a better relationship between citizens and government. To have effective governance, we must think about what institutional changes we need in order to come out of this crisis stronger rather than weaker.”

Finally, he emphasized that “connectivity has to be the central topic of inclusion, connectivity for inclusion, because if something is becoming clear in this crisis, it is that connectivity gaps are generating greater inequalities. In terms of social security systems – and this is very important for transparency and control topics – improving and strengthening records in terms of social programs. We need better rules, more clarity in rules, and better records, to be able to expand our social programs.”

You can access the presentation and video of the event below:

Presentation by Luis Felipe López-Calva