2021 Award "Best Practice in Citizen Participation"
15th Edition 2021
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- You can support up to 5 proposals.
Social Kitchens Program - Community Kitchens Modality (Mexico City)
The community kitchens are part of Mexico City's Social Kitchens programme and are an example of co-management of social services, in which the government and neighbours in areas of high and very high marginalisation work in public-social partnership to provide low-cost meals.
With the start of the 2018-2024 administration, a series of transformations began in the community kitchens. The first step was to design a strategy at the beginning of 2019 to make the daily operation more effective and use the allocated resources efficiently. A thorough review of compliance with the programme's guidelines by the Management Committees (made up of at least 3 neighbours responsible for operating each canteen) was undertaken to ensure the provision of a quality public service. This review resulted in maintaining only those canteens with positive results and functioning in accordance with their operating rules. The increase in the efficiency of the programme's operation meant that with a smaller number of canteens the number of meals and territorial coverage could be increased. Currently, 20% more people are benefiting from the programme than in 2018.
During the second half of 2019, a community strengthening exercise was carried out that focused on life around the canteens. Community integration processes were encouraged that allowed the dining halls to be revalued as privileged spaces for the confluence of local urban dynamics, with the potential to become hubs for neighbourhood socio-economic development.
In addition, a process of technological and digital updating was initiated to better monitor spending and the service provided. Each canteen now has a digital device (tablet) that allows them to be in permanent communication with the programme monitors and the dynamics of paper reports were transformed into a digital one, generating greater efficiency in communication and daily operations.
In 2020, the community kitchens had to adapt to the operation in the context of the pandemic in order to maintain their operation, considering it essential for the care of the population, and reinforcing health protection measures, including providing food only to take away.
In mid-2020, a substantive part of the programme's operation was modified. Initially, the government provided the non-perishable inputs for the preparation of food rations by contracting a company for their procurement and distribution; in June 2020, economic support began to be provided directly, seeking to boost local consumption of the inputs used by the community kitchens.
In the medium term, it is planned to consolidate the use of technological tools by the staff who monitor the programme and the management committees, in order to improve the processes of control, monitoring and data generation for decision-making, the constant improvement of the quality of service and accountability to the public.
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