19 March 2021

Kontakt

When citizen dialogue becomes useful – the reform of a local market in Colombia

See this video to know more about how the municipality of Florida, Colombia went about to use citizen dialogue tools to improve the market place together with the sellers, customers and local food producers. As a result, they also improved trust and learned by their own experience that effective decisions can be made with citizens.

Citizen dialogues, where local governments open up to involve citizens in decision making processes, have the potential to help improve legitimacy and trust between local authorities and citizens. This is important anywhere in the world but maybe especially so in a country like Colombia where the confidence between citizens and local administrations is rather low.

Colombia does have a great number of established platforms, institutions, instruments and laws for public participation. But the effectiveness of these forms of participation is often questioned by both citizens and public officials. Throughout the FOINCIDE project our team has often come across the perception among local public officials that citizen participation, in its customary form, is something burdensome and unfruitful. An important part of our methods has thus been focused on finding how citizen participation can be seen as useful, effective and something that gives the municipality information and knowledge to make evidence based decisions and actions.

The municipality of Florida, in the southwestern part of the country, has been a part of our project since its beginning. They have taken on the project’s ambition very seriously. In 2019 the municipality decided to initiate a citizen dialogue around the reform of the local food market. The purpose was to improve the market which historically has been an important place for Florida’s inhabitants to meet and buy their groceries from local food producers. But for many years the food market had gone into a decline. It had become dirty and messy, which resulted in fewer and fewer customers, affecting the sellers negatively.



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SKL International

SKL International is a company, owned by the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR). We focus on the development of well-functioning local and regional administrations.