More than 40 cities throughout Latin America, including major cities like Sao Paulo, Brazil which has 11 million inhabitants, have adopted ordinances requiring incoming elected city managers to present a government management plan (Plan de Metas) with objective performance goals when taking office. The law also requires that they annually inform citizens of progress toward these goals. Through the adoption of these plans, Avina and its allies have contributed to strengthening democracy and civic participation in municipal governance.
As part of the government management plan in Sao Paulo, the city created a web portal called Observa Sampa (Observatório de Indicadores da Cidade de São Paulo – Indicator Monitoring System of the City of Sao Paulo) where every citizen can find information about, comment on, and track progress toward the goals established by city managers. The portal is based on a model that was proposed by Rede Nossa São Paulo, a network of engaged citizens and organizations, and officially adopted by the city government.
This model is part of an open government initiative in Sao Paulo, comprised of several activities to promote citizen participation in the planning, monitoring, and evaluation of goals for the public sector.
This experience in Sao Paulo represents an important step in the consolidation of substantive democracy in Brazil and throughout the region. This progress came about thanks to the building of relationships between civil society organizations and the municipal government, along with the use of innovative technology to ensure public participation and access to information.