El Agora's English Blog

El Agora: like the public square where the Ancient Greeks assembled. An open space for discussion and debate.

Strengthening citizenship

El Agora´s program on strengthening citizenship works to increase citizen participation in the public spere.  We encourage acceptance of “citizenship as a public issue,” requiring the practice and decision-making of every pertinent urban actor.  Our work uses positive conflict resolution as a strategy against the social marginalization and segmentation that leads to violence in many urban spheres.  We create interactive human spaces that encourage people working on the same issues to enjoy the city as a means of resolving urban problems.

 

Our program on strengthening citizenship also works on democratic governance.  We view democracy as a social goal, and a means for realizing greater participation in the face of deepening inequality, social exclusion and fragmentation.  We also view democracy as a daily practice that gives citizens a greater role in the formation of public opinion, and generates greater opportunities for advocacy in the political system, beyond voting.

 

El Agora promotes citizen empowerment and better conditions for political participation, which means not just a single instance of discourse, but rather “being part” of the community and contributing to the definition and implementation of public policies.

 

Projects:
Building Agendas between Citizens and the State (2008-2009)
Building Agendas aims to create spaces for dialogue between citizens and government to discuss the problems within our communities and make possible the collective construction of political agendas. The program consists of four projects: the Observatory of Public Services, Coordination in Local Spaces, Monitoring and Transparency, and Citizen Workshops.  

More information (en español)

 

Legal Extensionism. Promoting the rights of citizenship (2006/2007)
The project, completed in April 2007 included the training of residents of North Yofre on knowledge of their rights as citizens with the aim of assisting and raising awareness among their peers.   This program promotes the empowerment of citizens to fully exercise their rights and obligations and, thus, know where to turn, what state offices there are and where to make claims when their rights are violated.

Thus, The Extentionist is a person who knows the mechanisms of access to justice and seeks the peaceful resolution of conflict using the state institutions which exist for this purpose, but which often are not used do to ignorance of them.

 

Cordoba Electoral Accountability Project Citizen oversight committees (2007)
Electoral bodies are an opportunity to make progress on strategic priorities in the public agenda, deepen democratic institutions through a regulatory framework for the electoral process (especially in financing), and develop tools that empower the citizen in public.  The objectives of the program are to improve the quality of electoral debate, dialogue and information between candidates and constituencies from the local to the provincial level, to facilitate the renewal of political leadership through the implementation of meeting spaces, and to achieve systemic changes in the political system through the introduction of bills that make the electoral act more transparent. More information

 

Transparency
El Agora works with Fundacion GEOS to monitor scores related to transparency in government actions.  In turn, we must report regularly to citizens on progress made and any omissions of the authorities in compliance with the Act, and finally, bring proposals for good management practices regarding this issue.   The work of organizations is to monitor compliance with the commitments made by the Mayor and Municipal Council. The newspaper La Voz del Interior and Channel 12 are observers and are responsible for disseminating the progress of the actions in this regard.  More information

 

Project Returnable. Trash: From Private to Public (2008)
Who are the actors around the issue of garbage? All interested citizens and sectors involved and/or affected by the problem of garbage should be able to participate in building a system that includes them. Therefore, El Agora promoted participation in the public hearing that discussed the future of Urban Hygiene Service in the city of Cordoba. Because information is power and is the first element for participation, we synthesized and ‘translated’ the draft statement of the bid to create a “user-friendly” version, in non-technical language, so as to contribute to the democratization of knowledge, and to facilitate participation of the inhabitants of the city that required it. More

 

Think Córdoba Policy Reform
That was the objective of a 6-month project of the Political Reform Commission of Cordoba, in which Claudia Laub, president of The Agora took part. The result of this work, which took place during the first half of 2008, materialized in the report, “Así no va más,” which the Commission submitted to Governor Juan Schiaretti on June 9, 2008.   More information

 

Children, Youth and Citizenship
We know that the mere enunciation of the Rights of Children and Adolescents does not warrant its exercise, therefore, through this line of action we aim to contribute to the establishment of this issue in the public sphere and to sensitize the general public, and children and adolescents in particular to generate changes in the daily exercise of these rights.  Within this line of action we have developed the following projects and activities:

  • Training on Children’s Rights
  • “Con los chicos no se juega.” Children´s rights and production of short films in schools (August-November 2006) more info
  • A letter to the Mayor. Children and public space during the 2007 elections.  Within the framework of the Cordoba with Electoral Accountability Program (July-August 2007)
  • Citizen Oversight Committees in the 2007 elections. An experiment carried out with young people from secondary schools during local elections in the province of Cordoba in the towns of Mendiolaza, Jovita, Capilla del Monte and San Marcos Sierras.
  • View Video of the observers in Mendiolaza .. Related Articles
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