IRI Works with Government and Citizens to Strengthen Governance in Ecuador

In the Ecuadorian cities of Ambato, Loja and Ibarra, IRI works to help elected leaders and members of civil society better understand their roles in governance.

In Ambato, a city of more than 300,000 located in central Ecuador, IRI recently trained 30 representatives from local parish governments on long- and short-term project planning and budgetary strategy.  As a component of the workshops, IRI facilitated a mock participatory budget session where the parish leaders learned how to use meaningful citizen and civil society involvement to help establish priorities at the local level.  Similar programs are taking place in the southern city of Loja and in the northern city of Ibarra.

In addition to helping leaders and civil society members understand and perform their roles, IRI also helps them navigate through sometimes-confusing laws and regulations which govern them and connect them to national government and local channels.  In collaboration with Loja’s Association of Parish Governments, for example, IRI recently convened officials from provincial government, municipal government, national ministries and the country’s national planning and development agency – SENPLADES – to discuss the challenging implementation of the Code of Territorial Organization, Autonomy and Decentralization (known in Ecuador as the COOTAD).  For many local leaders, the COOTAD is a complex set of six provisions and more than 600 articles which warrants a need for greater explanation and understanding – IRI’s program helps leaders gain that understanding. 

IRI’s programs in each city typically close with dialogue tables to discuss future challenges of parish governments.  While the line of discussion varies, most participants in agree on the need for as much additional training and technical support as they can receive to better understand the laws and regulations which affect their communities. 

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