A Citizens’ Pact to Strengthen Public Management and Active Citizenship in Puerto Tejada, Cauca
A municipal-administration and citizens’ commitment. The result of a working process with a group of citizens coordinated by the social organization Foro por Colombia, Valle Chapter, and supported by the CINEP, the Citizens’ Pact to Strengthen Public Management and Active Citizenship is a symbol for the community of Puerto Tejada.
For three months (January-March 2006), a group of thirty citizens - the Democratic Leaders’ Network, including councilmen, teachers, municipal officers, cultural-affairs coordinators, and social leaders – met once a week with the support of Foro por Colombia and the CINEP to broach topics such as responsibilities, local development, public management, and citizen participation. From this, the pact was born.
The Charter of Human Responsibilities process in Colombia, through its educational, social and political strategy, with the implementation of participatory methodologies and with the joint effort of Foro por Colombia, Valle Chapter, and the CINEP, developed a process first intended to build a Pact for the Requirability of Human Rights, which after in-depth thinking on responsibilities was turned into a Pact to Strengthen Public Management and Active Citizenship in Puerto Tejada, a municipality in the north of the department of Cauca, located at about 450 kilometers south of the Columbian capital, Bogotá.
The process was consolidated through the following stages: first meetings were held among the Foro Foundation, the CINEP, the Puerto Tejada mayor’s office, the Puerto Tejada citizen training hub, and other parties interested in supporting the proposal; next, leaders of local social and grassroots organizations were summoned and registration and selection of participants was opened.
At the same time, a curricular proposal and an advising proposal were developed so that the former would be rooted in the social reality of this municipality and its territory. In the curricular proposal, the theoretical problems were broken up into six modules:
Module One: Human and Ethical Responsibility, Foundations and Levels of Responsibility. Ethics (referring to foundations and needs, and individual and collective ethics).
The advising proposal accompanied the curricular proposal to give it concrete elements of social action for turning into reality the citizens’ pact proposed with the process, keeping in mind the meaning of “active subsidiarity” in a territory as necessary for this to be negotiated in view of addressing the concrete needs of those who live there. In this sense, the work was organized around consultation of the participants, with a maximum of 5 elements of action in local management to enable understanding of the strengthening of public action and citizens’ participation in the territory around the municipality. These elements then became an agenda of civic action concretely expressed in a responsible pact for its achievement.
To respond concretely to the needs of the process, six workshops were scheduled and held:
Workshop 1: Defining My Responsibility and Our Principles
Workshop 2: Looking at Our Reality.
Workshop 3: The Road Map.
Workshop 4: Defining My Responsibility
Workshop 5: The Municipality’s Point of View
Workshop 6: The Agenda into Practice
You can download the pact below (in Spanish only) .