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Municipal and state governments in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico win 2014 GobernArte Prize

More than 9,000 votes were cast in an online evaluation to help select programs that use technology to improve social inclusion in Latin America and the Caribbean 

Four municipal and state initiatives from Brazil, Colombia and Mexico – in alliance with the private sector and civil society – won the 2014 edition of the GobernArte prize for subnational governments given by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

Of the 101 projects submitted for the GobernArte prize, the four winners demonstrated the ability to use technology to improve access to public services for the most vulnerable citizens, based on criteria of impact, sustainability, adaptability, innovation and citizen participation.

Here are the four winners of the GobernArte 2014 prize.

Category 1: Civil society alliance with a state, province or department. The integrated strategy to safeguard public safety, from Colima in Mexico. The initiative brings together citizen participation and technology to generate projects that facilitate the rehabilitation of young drug users. It also helps young people and women who are victims of domestic violence obtain technical work skills, and provides support for children who have been victims of violence. In addition, the strategy provides mechanisms to resolve neighborhood disputes.

Category 2: Civil society alliance with a municipality. Online democracy, from Cali, Colombia. The initiative ingrates www.cali.gov.co with social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter and www.ciudadanosactivos.com through a “Democracy and online participation” section to receive continuous feedback, identify problems and propose solutions together with responses from the municipal government.

Category 3: Private sector alliance with a state, provincial or department-level government. Geekie Games, from Mato Grosso, Brazil. Geekie Games is an online platform for students to prepare for the national federal university entrance exams by identifying their areas of weaknesses and competency levels. Students can also develop practical exercises and study plans to strengthen their understanding of subject areas.

Category 4: Alliance between the private sector and the municipal governments. The electronic records program, from Vitoria, Brazil. To overcome problems involving lost or illegible documents, the initiative developed a software management tool for the public health system that links all public health facilities. The system uses electronic medical records produced by different professionals in varying formats and timeframes to generate indicators, which are then used for public health policy decisions.

“I thank all who participated by presenting projects to the GobernArte Prize and congratulate the winners,” said IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno. “Each edition of the prize is a demonstration of the capacity of all levels of governments in Latin America and the Caribbean to find innovative solutions to meet the needs of citizens, and in this instance, working with civil society and the private sector.”

“With this prize, the IDB and the region wish to recognize the innovation that is occurring between government and civil society, and between governments and the private sector, to resolve problems through digital means,” he added.

This is the second edition of the GobernArte prize, but the first that allowed citizens to evaluate projects online to complement the decision by the panel of experts. In total, 9,440 persons cast their preferences.

The GobernArte Prize is supported by the IDB’s Fund for the Strengthening of the Institutional Capacity. It seeks to identify and recognize best practices in public sector innovation at a subnational level, with the objective of communicating these practices to broader audiences and practitioners in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Information on the winners will be available in www.iadb.org/GobernArte. The awards ceremony is to take place in the first quarter of 2015.

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