2021 Award "Best Practice in Citizen Participation"
15th Edition 2021
Supports are subject to the following rules:
- You can support up to 5 proposals.
Virtual Neighborhood Councils (Rosario)
In 1995, the city of Rosario began its decentralisation and modernisation process through the Municipal Modernisation and Decentralisation Programme, the main axes consisted in decentralisation (delimitation of the Districts and the implementation of the six Municipal District Centres (CMD)), citizen participation, transparency, quality and efficiency in services and the training of human resources.
Within this framework, the Neighbourhood Councils were organised, which are permanent spaces for meetings between the Municipality, neighbours, institutions and the private sector of our city. They meet according to different geographical or thematic criteria.
With the outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic, the Municipality of Rosario, through the Secretariat of Modernisation and Proximity, redesigned its public policy linked to citizen participation to continue guaranteeing links with neighbours even in times of distance and uncertainty, and this was achieved by enabling and generating opportunities for meetings through the use of new technologies, adapting the mechanism according to the health situation, thus achieving the participation of sectors of the population that traditionally do not participate much, an innovative element of this experience.
The virtual format offers advantages such as not having to travel from one part of the city to another, being able to stay connected without having to neglect home or personal care issues, and the flexibility of the timetable as it takes place after the working day. Before starting in virtual format, an analysis was carried out with the outreach teams in each District to assess the real possibilities of connection in each territory.
In the framework of the subsequent social and compulsory preventive distancing phase, meetings were held with the protocols in force, taking advantage of the facilities of the Municipal District Centres (CMD), health centres and neighbourhood centres to carry out hybrid formats.
In addition, a monitoring and evaluation system was developed to record in minutes: the neighbourhood or sector covered by the council, the issues addressed, the main complaints, the age range, the number of participants and their data.
The promotion of effective participatory spaces in the framework of this global health emergency implies actively involving citizens in the debate on issues of public interest as never before, taking advantage of the collective intelligence that has emerged, as expressed in the various manifestations of solidarity and creativity that have arisen.
The Virtual Neighbourhood Councils promote the strengthening of unorganised citizenship in a context of pandemic, achieving greater participation of traditionally non-participatory sectors of the population, making use of new technologies and also this proposal contributes to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, especially to the achievement of SDG 16, locating the action in the need to promote citizen participation ensuring that decisions are inclusive, participatory and representative and that they respond to the needs of citizens.
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