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Information vs. Capacitation: Empowering the citizen

GPSA Knowledge Platform forums Forum Information vs. Capacitation: Empowering the citizen

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    Mary McNeil stands the role of information in the Feedback Loop and exposes it as one of the most important keys in the interaction between government and citizens. Also, Helen Grandvoinnet mention that information is crucial, but it has to be accompanied with civil mobilization.

    However, as Jonathan Fox refers, part of the evidence shows that deliver information to citizens is not enough to impulse citizen action, neither to reduce corruption. He says that is important to ensure the quality of the information and also an a proper environment.

    For me, a proper environment refers to citizen in the capacity to act, monitor and act strategically.This means, not only information is needed, but spaces to develop capacities associated to citizen engagement

    From my experience working with rural communities in the andes and amazone from Peru, I can say that citizen needs spaces to learn how to use tools of participation, as also how to represent and negotiate effectivly. Whitout this spaces, induced partipatory spaces as Participatory budget can became a risky space of manipulation.

    In this case, there are many NGO’s and public institutions that had implemented strategics to develop capacities among population, so they can: diagnose problems in their cities or comunities, make participatory plans, build networks, including different public institutions, and monitore the implemantation of their plans.

    Experiences like this shows the importance of capacitation, to use better information in order to impulse citizen engagement.

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