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ECLAC Supports the Governor’s Office in Valle del Cauca, Colombia in Strengthening its Capacities

21 March 2024|News

The technical assistance given by the Bogotá Office seeks to promote civic participation in the formulation, implementation and monitoring of territorial public policies.

The ECLAC Office in Bogotá is making headway on the process of technical assistance to the Governor’s Office of Valle del Cauca (a Department located in southwestern Colombia), with the aim of supporting institutional capacity building and strengthening to promote civic participation in the formulation, administration, implementation and monitoring of territorial public policies. The goal is for citizens to play an active part in and influence public decision-making.

Civic participation is understood, in the context of this project, as people’s active involvement in the decision-making processes that affect their surroundings and quality of life, as well as in the public administration of their communities and countries.

In this way, the contribution of citizens becomes vitally important for democratic and sustainable development, at a local, regional and national level, so that governments can implement more effective public policies suited to societal needs and foster transparency and accountability, thereby improving the legitimacy of their decisions.

Civic participation also strengthens social cohesion and promotes a culture of dialogue and respect between different groups in society, as stated in ECLAC’s study Civic Participation in Public Affairs: A strategic element for the 2030 Agenda and open government.

The technical assistance provided by the ECLAC Office in Bogotá to the Valle del Cauca Governor’s Office is aligned with the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in Latin America and the Caribbean, a multilateral initiative that seeks to foster concrete government commitments to promoting transparency and increasing civic participation in public affairs debates and decisions.

Colombia is part of this Partnership that promotes minimum open government standards on fiscal transparency, asset declarations and strengthening civic participation. One of the Partnership’s principles is focused on governments getting citizens involved in public debates, having them provide input and contribute to an innovative, effective and responsive State, and it is necessary to promote spaces for consultation and feedback to achieve this.

Using this approach, it is hoped that the Governor’s Office of Valle del Cauca will take participation “to another level.” The aim is to carry out a process of co-creation of the guidelines for civic participation in the Department, based on a model that takes into account the diversity of territorial social fabrics. For that purpose, a methodology to analyze citizens’ demands is developed in order to prioritize public policy actions and accompany the knowledge management process in Valle del Cauca.

More specifically, ECLAC’s technical support will be focused on three products related to the creation of guidelines for civic participation policy from a territorial perspective; the building of tools for analyzing and prioritizing citizen demands; and support at territorial roundtables. This advice will harness ECLAC’s experience and knowledge of civic participation processes at a territorial level in order to consolidate methodologies that are applicable to diverse territorial and sectoral contexts. It is worth noting that this work is underpinned by data analytics to improve the process of policy decision-making based on the trends seen among the people of Valle del Cauca and their needs.