Directorio Legislativo is an independent, non-profit organization working to strengthen democracy and make law- and policy-making in Latin America more transparent, representative and participatory. They improve access to public information and enable the creation of spaces for legislators and politicians to engage with external specialists, civil society, and the public at large. Under the premise that democracies require informed and active citizens who understand the basis of their citizenship, politics and government, DL created a social business activity that offers the services of political analysis, regulatory information and training to the private sector in multiple countries in Latin America. The revenue generated by this activity enables DL to carry out their projects independently and autonomously. They are careful to ensure that no entity, industry or sector constitutes more than 30% of their total revenue to avoid any undue influence on their institutional decisions or financial stability. They also decline any funding directly related to supporting a donor’s product or point of view.
Theory of Change
Through the creation of autonomous, flexible, democratic and independent spaces for inter-sectoral actors, pluralism and social diversity can be harnessed to strengthen legislative powers and democratic dialogue.
Directorio Legislativo performs political analysis, tracking bills and proposals to analyze impact-, stakeholder- and conflict-mapping regarding policy creation, flagging legislative activities, and political contextualization. They monitor legislation across countries in Latin America through the lens of the agriculture, finance, foods, telecommunications, and health sectors. Their pilot project in Colombia, “Joining the Dots with Politically Exposed Persons” is a concentrated effort to identify conflicts of interest and illicit bribery schemes in public sector project contracting. Additionally, they provide training on regulatory processes and parliamentary openness. DL also runs the Latin American Legislative Transparency Network that promotes access to information in Latin American parliaments in order to collectively establish a regional agenda and national plan. Every two years, they run a Legislative Transparency Index, which quantifies congressional transparency and compares these scores across the region. Their ‘Hello, Congress?’ portal and Pleno Ciudadano app allow citizens to message their concerns to legislators in order to bridge the divide between them. In Argentina, DL hosts multi-sectoral dialogues with legislators, stakeholders, and the public to educate citizens and inform policies from renewable energy to anti-trafficking measures.
In 2019, Directorio Legislativo organized 400 volunteers across Argentina to gather and publish information about 329 Argentinian legislators, including their contact and social media information, key aides and staff, reports, statements and meeting diaries and lobbying efforts.