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Smart Governance

Using technology to boost accountability and citizen participation.

Smart Governance combines digital technologies with innovative practices to improve government service delivery and citizen inclusion in developing and implementing public policy.  Used effectively, smart governance practices enable responsive, transparent and inclusive policy decisions that build citizen trust in democratic government institutions at all levels and create dialogue between supply (government) and demand side (citizens). 

Fast Facts

The use of digital technology in Latin America and the Caribbean is growing rapidly.  The region boasts the fastest-growing Internet community in the world, having increased by 12 percent between 2012 and 2013.  Youth (ages 15-35) make up a majority of the population and have adopted technology to supplement learning, increase work efficiency and communicate with family.

Some of Our Successes

We have piloted smart governance in communities in Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Panama by showcasing and advising on the use of digital platforms and services to support public administration and citizen participation at the municipal level.  Uses include open government meetings, participatory budgeting, downloadable digital forms and general access to information. 

In November 2014, we sponsored the Smart Governance Partner Conference in Medellín, Colombia, internationally known as a smart city, which facilitated exchanges between municipal officials, service providers and software developers from around the hemisphere.  The conference showcased experiences, challenges and advances in the use of information and communications technology (ICT) for good governance; hands-on where participants discussed specific challenges and relevant ICT solutions; presentations by private sector representatives followed by one-on-one consultations with municipalities and civil society organizations; and visits to Medellín’s Parque Explora science center and innovation incubator. 

We followed up in June 2015 with an implementers’ conference in Miami, Florida, How Smart Governance is Transforming Local Government in the Americas.  The conference – hosted in partnership with Miami Dade College, Greenberg Traurig LLP and LSN Communications, and with support from Enterprise Florida, Medellín Ciudad Inteligente, NTN-24 News, iLifebelt, Codeando México, the Spain-United States Chamber of Commerce, the External University of Colombia and its Observatory for Society, Government and Information Technology – looked at the use of technology to strengthen democratic governance and highlighted innovative practices that can improve public administration and citizen inclusion in developing and implementing public policy.  

The generous support of individuals and corporations enable IRI staff and volunteers to carry out its mission around the world. With your help, IRI will continue its mission of hope for decades to come.

IRI is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Contributions are tax deductible

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