More Latin American cities adopt tools to help citizens participate in planning processes


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An increasing number of Latin American cities are adopting a participatory planning model in accordance with the needs expressed by citizens, who at the same time are more and more organized and equipped to track the performance of government authorities. Innovative programs centered around transparency and accountability were implemented in 2016, both by city governments themselves as well as by citizens, to monitor progress toward concrete goals using clear indicators.

For example, the Programa Ciudades Sustentables (Sustainable Cities Program) – which is supported by Fundación Avina – is a platform for citizen participation to hold municipal governments accountable to a series of indicators related to urban sustainability. In Brazil, the government of the city of Campinas formally incorporated these indicators into its environmental planning policies.

In addition, in the city of San Martín de Los Andes, Argentina, following an intense participatory process, the local government presented its first “Plan de Metas” (“Government Management Plan”), an instrument for urban planning and communication with citizens. The government management plan methodology was developed with support by Fundación Avina; it is adapted by participating local governments to include specific goals, objectives, and indicators, and officials are then required to report their progress in implementing the plan to the public.

Elsewhere in Argentina, six municipalities in the Greater Mendoza area started using the “SUMEN” app, a platform to enable citizens to track government management plans that was promoted by the local Nuestra Mendoza movement. The SUMEN app is based on a digital tool called “De Olho nas Metas” designed by Red Nossa São Paulo and Eokoe in Brazil. Both applocations were developed with support from the Civic Innovation Accelerator Fund, a joint initiative of Fundación Avina and Omidyar Network, as a complement to the government management plans to encourage citizen participation and increase transparency.

In the Alto Selva Alegre district of Arequipa, Peru, the “Plan de Desarrollo Concertado” (“Unified Development Plan”) for 2016-2018 incorporated the government management plan methodology for the first time. The document now contains all of the fundamental components of a government management plan: it is consistent with the elected official’s campaign platform, it covers the official’s entire term in office, and its contents are the product of a rigorous diagnostic and planning process that involves citizens.

Principal Allies:

Argentina: Estudio Smoke, IBM, Nuestra Mendoza, Red Ciudadana San Martín de los Andes Cómo Vamos, Polo TIC Mendoza, Puerto 80, Universidad Champagnat,

Universidad de Aconcagua, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Universidad Tecnológica Nacional

Brazil: Government of the City of Campinas, Rede Social Brasileira por Cidades Justas, Democráticas e Sustentáveis, Programa Cidades Sustentáveis

Peru: Citizen initiative “Arequipa Te Queremos”, District Government of Alto Selva Alegre

Countries Impacted: Argentina, Brazil, Peru

See the full 2016 Annual Report here.

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