Americas Quarterly Features IRI’s Smart Governance Conference and Expo

Government officials and vendors talk at the expo.In a recent web piece for Americas Quarterly, Ryan Berger highlighted the work of IRI in helping local governments identify and use information and communication technologies to improve customer service.

“The latest developments in information and communication technology (ICT) are no longer the rage among just tech-savvy enthusiasts.  Municipalities across the hemisphere are also starting to pay attention.  In Central America, mayors, municipal councilors and their advisors are embracing ICTs such as websites, social media platforms, mobile text messaging, and video cameras as useful tools for doing business—and to save lives in a region fighting violence and drug trafficking.

“Known as ‘smart governance,’ the use of ICTs is being shown to increase transparency and accessibility, promote equality and inclusion, and improve citizen security—making it in many ways an extension of democratic governance.

“This is why democracy promotion institutions such as the International Republican Institute (IRI) are leading the way in forming partnerships with local mayors to build their capacity to launch smart governance programs.  Some of the region’s best practices were on display last week in Guatemala City during an IRI conference—organized with support from the National Endowment for Democracy— that brought together forward-thinking municipal officials from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras alongside technology start-ups, The World Bank and even the South Korea-based World e-Governments Organization.”

Read the rest of Berger’s piece Smart Governance Practices on the Rise in Central America.

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