Enabling Civic Participation and Innovation: A Study on the Concejo de Bogotá Initiative
About the Concejo de Bogotá | Colombia. Written on January, 2022
In a rapidly evolving digital world, the role of technology in democratising access and increasing citizen participation in policy-making has become a key area of interest. An excellent example of this is the case of the Concejo de Bogotá, the city council of Bogotá, Colombia, and their collaboration with DemoLab, a civic technology laboratory. This essay provides a critical analysis of the Concejo de Bogotá's initiative in creating a participatory and innovative environment within the city's legislative body, exploring its efficacy and the challenges faced.
The Concept of Collaboration and Innovation
The Concejo de Bogotá, with the assistance of DemoLab, created a multi-faceted strategy for approaching city problems and fostering citizen engagement. This strategy includes: co-creation of innovative problem-solving methods, capacity-building among the corporation's staff, and knowledge management through establishing a network of information providers. The intent was not only to make the city council's operation more effective but also to foster a culture of innovation among its career officials and within the community.
The council recognised that there are always limitations to the scope and duration of elected officials' tenure. However, by empowering the long-term public servants, the institution itself could become more adaptable and innovative.