The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has launched a digital platform aiming to promote a more transparent and inclusive form of governing in Latin America by bringing citizens closer to their governments.
The platform, according to the IDB, will act as a digital lab and churn out ideas to help governments streamline public sector management.
Together with regional governments, GobAPP.com has launched yoGobierno.org (where citizens put forward ideas on how to improve government practices), SomosAfro.org (where inhabitants of afro-descendent communities present project ideas and priorities) and virtual collaborative manuals (Gob247.org), among others.
Almost every Latin American government – including Uruguay, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Chile and the Dominican Republic – has supported the initiative, the bank said in a press release. The Organization of American States (OAS) is also participating in the venture.
The program will promote hackathons and online voting, besides persuading people to use social media and smartphones to keep a tab on governance.
“Citizens labs are a physical and virtual space where citizens and officials can generate new solutions to all types of social needs,” said Carlos Santiso, chief of the Institutional Capacity of the State division at the IDB, which created GobAPP.com. “We seek to jointly find new solutions and room for innovation, so governments can be more efficient, effective and open.”
Latin Americans are the world’s most active users of social media that – together with apps, mobile services and other information and communications technology solutions – provides valuable alternatives when it comes to conceiving new means of development, modernization of the state and improvements in the quality of citizen services, the bank said.