|“This course must be obligatory for public functionaries,” according to Jovany Santana, a participant from Fusagasuga, outside Bogota.|
Some youth in Colombia are showing what their generation can do to increase accountability in government.
Ocasa, a nonprofit organization located in Bogota, has generated a large network of young people who are engaged in strengthening democratic institutions in their country.The nonprofit develops programs on transparency in public institutions and civic participation. Ocasa has trained more than 100 people, ages 16 to 30, in anti-corruption courses.
Its flagship course Care of the Public Sector: Tools for Young People, is part of an e-learning curriculum. It examines the causes of corruption and introduces the students to the basic tools of citizen participation. The central themes of the course are developed through discussion forums and Internet chats. In addition to what each of the participants can learn by studying the online content, the interaction with other students from different regions of the country is of vital importance to creating a collective learning environment and the possibility of joint initiatives.
Maria José Dueñas, one of the participants in the course, said that it was motivating to meet people like herself who shared a similar feeling about civic issues even though they lived in other parts of the country.
This type of success could not have been possible without the assistance of avanza, the Colombia development gateway. This public-private partnership created its Web site as a space for knowledge sharing and to fight against poverty through the use of information and communications technologies. Providing technical assistance to nongovernmental organizations such as Ocasa is one of the many services avanza provides.
The information technology support of avanza enabled Ocasa to deliver its anti-corruption courses to young people living in remote areas of the country. Half of those trained were from Bogota, the rest came from all regions of the Colombia. The virtual classrooms offer a direct line of communication among the young participants. They can share their experiences with their peers in other parts of the country and learn from one another. In this way the virtual classroom helps to create a support network that is vital to the strengthening of democracy.
Representatives from Development Gateway: an IREX Venture (DG) will be attending the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) from September 5-9 in Kigali, Rwanda to highlight two projects: the Visualizing Insights on African Agriculture (VIFAA) project and the Farmer-Centric Data Governance Models project.
In Episode 2 of "Data…for What?!," a podcast series from Development Gateway: an IREX Venture (DG) which explores our new strategic plan, Josh Powell met with experts from DG and IREX to discuss DG’s expansion into the education, media and disinformation, and youth sectors. The conversations explore the most pressing challenges and greatest opportunities for data and technology to positively impact these sectors and discuss how these trends are likely to play out in the years ahead. Based on these trends, the experts explain the unique fit for DG’s skills and specific opportunities for collaboration that align with the vision of DG’s partnership with IREX, which has a long and successful history working in each sector.
To help contextualize the new Strategic Plan, we are launching a podcast series called Data… for What?! This series consists of 5 episodes in Josh Powell and Vanessa Goas talk to DGers throughout the organization – as well as collaborators within our strategic partner, IREX - about how and why we prioritized the various elements of the new strategy. In this first episode, we talk to Kristin Lord, President and CEO of IREX about how our partnership fits into the Strategic Plan; and to Aleks Dardelli, Executive Vice President of IREX and Chair of DG’s Board of Directors, about the process of putting the Plan together at this opportune, yet precarious, global moment.