Photo: Leo Barizzoni

Civic groups and citizens movements are interested in using information and
communication technologies as tools for transparency and accountability.

A number of countries in Latin America have recently passed laws to ensure access to public information, and movements to put government services and records on line are increasing.  Growing Internet access, use of mobile devices, and availability of applications for them help drive such initiatives.

 

Civic groups and citizen movements are turning to information and communication technologies (ICT) as tools for transparency and accountability. So are communities and organizations that develop and deliver public services.  Technology can accelerate social change in Latin America.

 

Technology as Tool for Impact

Avina’s new impact tool, Technology for Social Change, explores the potential use of ICTs to develop, accelerate, and scale up civic processes, as well as empowering citizens by ramping up public participation. Furthermore, the tool promotes research and documents experience from successful cases of technology applications that promote social change.

 

As a result, Avina has mapped hundreds of civic platforms and dozens of Latin American organizations and communities dedicated to exploring the use of technologies for social change.

 

Technology for Social Change in 2013

Among the many projects under way is the Civic Innovations Accelerator Fund. Fundación Avina, Avina Americas and Omidyar Network sealed an alliance at the end of 2012 to promote the development of civic technology projects, especially those based on open data and with the goal of increasing government accountability and citizen participation.

 

The Civic Innovations Accelerator Fund was created for a three-year term.  It seeks to reduce the gap between civic movements and technology.  It also seeks to identify and support, in a comprehensive manner, the implementation of technological innovations that accelerate collective strategies for social change in Latin America, especially in urban areas.

 

Initiatives that will be supported must be replicable, scalable, sustainable, and geared toward change and the implementation of public policy while also boosting public participation. The Fund will also promote a community case study, developing research and models on how information and communication technologies can accelerate social change.

 

In the first of the three scheduled calls for projects (in 2013, 2014 and 2015), priority will be given to investments in platforms that target the following issues: tracking quality-of-life indicators, e-participation, tracking government plans, public budget monitoring and control, mapping of  resources and community coordination, public data and information access, environmental impact monitoring, monitoring of human rights violations, responsible consumption and tracking local elections in Latin American countries.

 

Our main allies and co-
investors in 2012 were:
  • Omidyar Network: an alliance and three-year co-investment (2013-2015) for the Civic Innovations Accelerator Fund.

 

“Tecyredes: Método para dinamizar redes sociales dedicadas a causas usando herramientas web y protocolos de interacción” (“Technetworks: A method to revitalize cause-driven social networks through web tools and interaction protocols”), a study, publishedby Fundación Avina and Cidade Democrática. Download it here. (In Spanish)