In Paraguay, citizen participation is slowly recovering following the fall in 1989 of Alfredo Stroessner's dictatorial regime of 35 years. The new Constitution of 1992 opened the doors to decentralization and citizen organization, which are manifested mainly through governmental initiatives, such as the creation of departmental and regional health councils, demonstrating the autonomous capacity of local governments. Given that there are high levels of inequality that dominate the social reality of the country, in addition to the widespread concentration of public processes and resources in the capital, the active role of these councils remains important. Indigenous communities, which are continuously displaced, have a legal basis for the development of their own instruments of participation and advocacy, which are already well under way thanks to the Constitution.
With the amendment of the Municipal Law in 2010, new forms of citizen participation are promoted through commissions and neighborhood coordinators that involve neighbors in the local administration more directly, either through the elaboration of participatory budgets or thanks to the monitoring of the neighborhood commissions.
With the expansion of information technologies, initiatives dedicated to monitoring are developed. The objectives are diverse, from the monitoring of voting, to the use of public funds in educational infrastructures, and the financing of political parties, among others. The cases have in common the purpose of monitoring the effectiveness of public services and goods, which can be explained given the high levels of corruption in the public administration of Paraguay. Civil society organizations have a leading role not only in the dissemination of initiatives or in the training of society, but also in the development of projects in conjunction with international organizations for the implementation of new forms of monitoring.
The Access to Public Information Act of 2014 has also been a factor in mobilizing democratic innovations. Through the development of apps and portals on the internet, accountability mechanisms were created within reach of any citizen. In addition, the Open Government policy is based on citizen participation and government plans are developed jointly with representatives of civil society and the state. At the same time, civil society organizations continue to develop mechanisms to promote citizen participation by using free data and technology. Therefore, the main challenge lies in the scope of such mechanisms and in increasing the incidence of citizen participation in public policies.
This graph indicates the percentage of each means of innovation adopted by all cases in the country. Each case draws on one (primary) or two (secondary) means of innovation; this graph reflects both. See our concepts page for a description of all four means of innovation.
This graph indicates the percentage of each end of innovation adopted by all cases in the country. Each case draws on one or more ends of innovation (up to five); this graph reflects all of them. See our concepts page for a description of all five ends of innovation.
Commissions of Citizen Control
The Commissions of Citizen Control were dedicated to monitor compliance with the recommendations made by the National Office of the Comptroller General to the Ministry of Agriculture and to the ...Read more
National Cybersecurity Plan
The National Cybersecurity Plan was designed in a participatory manner between 2015 and 2016. The preparation started with working groups separated by sector. Representatives of the government, civil society, and ...Read more
Municipal Public Hearings
The Municipal Public Hearings were implemented through Municipal Organic Law 3966/10 of 2010. Further regulation in 2016 specified the purpose and character of the hearings. Thus, beginning in February 2017, ...Read more
National Council of Indigenous Education and the Areas of Indigenous School Education
The National Council of Indigenous Education and the Areas of Indigenous School Education are two agencies of the General Directorate of Indigenous Education situated within the Ministry of Education and ...Read more
Guide for an Inclusive Municipality
The "Guide for an Inclusive Municipality" is the result of a process of consultation, deliberation and preparation of proposals in forums and workshops with citizens and civil society organizations held ...Read more