For the second time, the Federal Government of Mexico, through the Secretariat of Public Function and the Coordination of the National Digital Strategy, gave annual recognition to organizations and departments that are making the government more open and collaborative.

This year, the Undersecretariat of Prevention and Citizen Participation of the Ministry of the Interior (SEGOB) was selected and cited for “Government Innovation” for promoting citizen participation in the use of open data. This recognition is awarded to departments that exceed the expectations of the National Digital Strategy.

The award comes after SEGOB, in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank, the National Institute of Access to Information and Data Protection and IRI, developed a series of national forums with the objective of promoting Open Government practices and encouraging the accessibility and use of open data by civil society organizations.

During these forums, we presented best practices from our Open Government Program for the Prevention of Violence, including our Toolkits for the Prevention of Violence and Open Government that aim educates average citizens about the National Policy on Social Prevention of Violence and Crime. This tool covers questions like, What types of prevention exist? Who are beneficiaries? What are the risk factors? As well as concepts of open government like what is transparency? Why is citizen participation significant?

Also, IRI presented the Ciudades Abiertas, or “Open Cities,” platform, which gives tools to government authorities and CSOs to provide open data and allow them to visualize and analyze their government programs. More than 60 organizations participated in these forums.

Currently, the Open Cities platform has more than 40 databases hosted by the municipality of San Pedro Garza García that serve as an example for other local governments to adopt. IRI has also established collaborative agreements with the Transparency and Access to Information Commission of Nuevo León and the Unit for Victims of Intrafamily Violence of the municipality of Monterrey. Both organizations are developing internal pilot programs that subsequently will allow for the publishing of information in the open data format on the platform.

In addition to using Ciudades Abiertas, the municipality of San Pedro Garza García has presented the activities it has accomplished with this tool to various university students of the Tecnológico de Monterrey and the Universidad Regiomontana, among others. For its part, CTAI has used communication toolkits to inform government authorities of Nuevo León and has adopted the Ciudades Abiertas platform and plans to share it with other municipalities in the state. This initiative aims to strengthen collaboration between authorities and civil society to increase transparency and accountability in prevention initiatives at the local level and promote the participation of society by generating spaces for dialogue with authorities.

The “Open Government Program for the Prevention of Violence” has crossed borders and has been shared with IRI partners in the Northern Triangle (Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador), fitting into ongoing prevention and open government programs such as the first Open Government Festival of Guatemala. IRI’s materials are free to use and are available digitally to be easily reproduced and distributed in workshops or awareness campaigns.

IRI believes it is vital to recognize authorities and institutions that undertake work to improve their working environment and country. We commend the staff of the Undersecretary of Prevention of Violence and Citizen Participation for making this possible.  

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