More Links in Peace Programs

Previous Work in Nicaragua

Access to Information

At the invitation of then-President Enrique Bolaños and leading civil society organizations, The Carter Center joined Nicaragua in its efforts to provide an effective mechanism to exercise the fundamental right to access to public information. The Carter Center continued to partner with the Nicaraguan government and civil society to support the passage of a strong access to information law, which took place under the leadership of President Daniel Ortega on May 22, 2007, and went into effect at the end of December 2007.

Voluntary Openness Strategy

An important part of the Carter Center's Global Access to Information Initiative in Nicaragua was supporting the adoption of a Voluntary Access to Information Strategy (EVA) by select pilot ministries, modeled in part on the Carter Center's initiative in Bolivia. The EVA is a strategy document that lays out guidelines for voluntary disclosure of public information, including dissemination through new Web sites, organizing of files, and training of civil servants. Six pilot ministries, including the Ministry of Health, Emergency Social Investment Fund, the Tax Office, the Budget Office, Rural Development Institute, and the National Institute for Statistics and Census, committed themselves to adhere to the EVA and began the process of implementing the voluntary strategy. The EVA pilot project helped to build a culture of access to information both within government and among Nicaraguan citizens.

The pilot ministries gained valuable experience in anticipation of an access to information law, with the intent of creating a platform for implementation and compliance with the new mandatory legislation. In addition to providing technical support for the EVA, The Carter Center in partnership with the Office of the Presidency, published a handbook for public servants regarding the value of access to information and the administrative duties.

In January 2007, The Carter Center co-sponsored a final event to recognize the advances in access to information made by the pilot ministries involved in the Voluntary Access to Information Strategy (EVA), and to capture the valuable lessons acquired.

Drafting an Access to Information Law

Upon the government's request, The Carter Center provided observations on the various drafts of the access to information law, based on the emerging international norms and lessons learned in other countries. Additionally, Center staff met with members of the congressional committee and responded to specific questions and concerns. Many of the recommendations were taken into consideration in the final iteration of the law.

Civil Society Participation

A key component of any access to information culture is the participation of civil society. The Carter Center's Global Access to Information Initiative has helped support consensus among civil society and government regarding access to information legislation. The Carter Center worked closely with the civil society consortium formed to provide a cohesive voice to the recommendations of Nicaraguan civil society. The consortium actively promoted the passage of the law and the inclusion of access to information in the public agenda, sponsoring workshops and awareness-raising activities. The Center facilitated a number of trainings and organizational meetings for the civil society consortium.

Field Presence

The Carter Center opened a field office in Nicaragua in October 2005 for six months and re-opened in October 2006 to provide ongoing support and continuity to Nicaragua's access to information agenda. Project staff met regularly with members of government and civil society, provided training and expertise on access to information, and brought supporters of access to information together to share ideas and take coordinated action to promote access to information. The office closed in January 2007; however, The Carter Center remains committed to supporting the stakeholders as they work to implement, enforce and use the law.

For more information regarding the Nicaragua Access to Information Project or any of the Carter Center's work on the right to information, please contact program director Laura Neuman at

Donate Now

Sign Up For Email

Please sign up below for important news about the work of The Carter Center and special event invitations.

Please leave this field empty
Now, we invite you to Get Involved
Back To Top