The area of dialogue and public action aims to facilitate, promote and influence social processes intended to improve the quality of life of vulnerable sectors of the population, specifically, by strengthening civic involvement and public institutional framework.
Work in the Area of Dialogue and Public Action is from and for the citizens, to the extent that it is aimed at improving their ability to form alliances, influence governance and promote their constitutional rights. In this way, Ciudadanía contributes to deepening citizen-centered democracy, recognizing that citizens are the bearers of democratic values that strengthen a new transparent and efficient institutional framework.
The institution promotes actions that are based on the criteria of integrity, social and economic equity and environmental sustainability. These actions are also guided by relevant information generated by the Area of Social Research and by the application of methods of intervention that come from the staff’s experiences provided by their daily work with the projects and in their interaction with citizens, organizations, private institutions and the State.
Tasks are addressed in an interdisciplinary manner generating knowledge and dialogue and collecting the experience and knowledge of citizens in projects destined to strengthen social, political, economic and environmental citizenship with a focus on inter-culturality, gender and environmental sustainability.
The methods of intervention favor the active participation of the beneficiaries, who join forces to promote citizens’ initiatives that are social, economic, environmental and/or political in nature, whether it is for advocacy, awareness or direct benefit. This form of work makes it possible to achieve concrete and sustainable results.
Some of the completed projects are:
Project: “Civic education on the human rights of youth in the process of institutional reforms” (2008-2009)
At the time, Cochabamba expressed the political polarization affecting the country more than other cities. There were groups that supported the administration of the president and those who openly opposed it, something that was reflected in the events of January 11th, 2007, with acts of violence between peasants demanding the resignation of the prefect and city-dwellers – especially young people – who wanted to “teach a lesson” to the peasants “invaders.” The project was directed at mitigating the willingness to use violence as a means to settle disputes between social groups, focusing on young people from different social sectors.
The project combined educational activities that employed an inclusive approach to the problems of local youth in a society in transition, interdisciplinary research and, finally, citizen action in spaces of reflection to improve the respect and observance of human rights and practices of peaceful coexistence. The project results were positive since young people from different social sectors and political tendencies were able to discuss and share their views in meetings and working sessions.
Project: “The political empowerment of women in spaces for decision-making spaces” (2007)
This project was led by the Gregoria Apaza Center for Women and included training and advocacy components. The main objective was to strengthen women’s leadership skills and their ability to influence municipal and regional decisions in three departments: La Paz, Cochabamba and Chuquisaca.
In Cochabamba, Ciudadanía developed the training component through the implementation of the Leadership and Citizenship School for female leaders, whose center of action was the municipality of Cliza; for its part, AMUPEI RURAL took responsibility of the advocacy component. The main effects of the school were the active participation of women in municipal administration, the election of some of the students as leaders of different social organizations and the organizational improvement of the main bodies of social representation that participated in this process.
Project: “Strengthening local and municipal development” (2006 – 2008)
As of 2006, Ciudadanía, supported and commissioned by SOS FAIM, implemented the project Strengthening Local and Municipal Development. The project was developed in partnership with the municipal governments of Cliza and Tiquipaya of Cochabamba and producers’ associations from both provincial sections. The project had the main objective of demonstrating that it is possible to build partnerships between the rural sector and municipalities by supporting concrete and sustainable productive initiatives. Ciudadanía was responsible for the development of a methodology for facilitating, formulating and implementing productive initiatives and advising and monitoring the implementation and execution of these initiatives, in agreement and in consultation with SOS-FAIM.
In recognition of its work, Ciudadanía was declared a meritorious institution by the Municipal Governments of Cliza, Arbieto and San Benito between the years 2007-2012.