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The Innovation Fund for Latin America and the Caribbean CSOs is now open!

The Innovation for Change (I4C) Hub‘s mission is to empower civil society to defend civic space. With the support of Tides Center, I4C is launching the 3rd edition of the Innovation Fund for Civil Society Organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean that work to strengthen the sector through innovation.

As part of I4C, the Argentine Network for International Cooperation – RACI – opens this new call for proposals to support 3 (three) local, national, and regional organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean, with financial resources – USD 10,000 each – to address challenges related to one of the following areas:

  • Promotion of the Enabling Space
  • Democracy and Citizen Participation
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Transparency and Accountability

Read the Terms and Conditions to apply

Who can apply?

Only non-profit Civil Society Organizations from Latin America and the Caribbean may apply to become beneficiaries of the Innovation Fund. The Program will not accept proposals from individuals, companies, or governments. Organizations must be legally registered and have a bank account in their name that can accept transfers in U.S. dollars.

What is the timeframe to complete the project, and how much funding is provided? 

Projects may last up to 4 months. The Fund will provide up to a maximum of USD 10,000 (ten thousand US dollars) per project. Only one proposal per CSO will be accepted.

The selected CSOs must submit a mid-term progress report and a final report at the end of the project. The provision of funds will be subject to the approval of these reports.

Which activities are not eligible?

– International travel/participation in foreign conferences and lodging.

– Political, religious, or evangelical activities.  Religious associations will not be excluded as long as the proposed project meets the objectives of the Fund, does not exclude followers of other religions, and the funds are not used to support proselytizing activities.

– Ongoing or recurring funding of the beneficiary organization’s operating/operational expenses, such as salaries and wages, office supplies, and communications that are not relevant to the project submitted.

Application process

RACI will coordinate the application process. It consists of two phases:

Phase 1 – Expression of Interest (EOI)

Interested organizations will submit a concept note (Form 01 – Concept Note), following the steps below: 

  1. Download the document “Form. 01 – Concept Note – Innovation Fund 2022” by clicking here.
  2. Complete the downloaded document, clearly and not exceeding the space allocated for each category/question.
  3. Attach the “Form. 01 – Concept Note – Innovation Fund 2022”  document in the following  Google Forms and complete the Form with the required information. 

The deadline for submitting concept notes will be June 26, 6:00 PM, Argentina Standard Time (GMT-3). Projects received after the deadline will not be considered.

Phase 2 – Expanded Application Form

Following reception of applications, RACI will select those projects that meet the criteria and requirements of the fund. Those organizations shortlisted in this phase will be notified by email, and will be invited to participate in the second phase where they will have to submit an Expanded Application Form.

For more information, please refer to our FAQs document. If after reading the document and the terms and conditions you have any questions, you can write an email to fondoinnovacionalc@raci.org.ar.

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Our 2021 Yearbook is now available!

Learn about the activities we carried out last year!

CONVENINGS

During 2021, work was done to enhance the actions and impact of Civil Society by building a culture of networking. RACI grew in its number of members, managed to incorporate 22 new CSOs, reaching 167 members of the Network. In addition, two new working groups were created: the Diversity Group and the Projects Group.

It is very important to highlight the new alliances established: RACI was selected as host of the AGNA coordination, a unique opportunity to continue deepening networking and the articulation of international networks. Other new alliances this year have been with GlobalGiving, with whom RACI has managed to become a permanent partner, and with CAF America, joining the CAF Global Alliance international network. Lastly, RACI was chosen to carry out the sub-coordination of the Regional Innovation Center for Change.

 

INSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

During 2021, in contribution to strengthening the organizational structure of the social sector, RACI promoted the mobilization of resources thanks to the launch of the 2021 Innovation Fund, in addition to the co-management of different funds, thus collaborating with the allocation of resources to Civil Society. Argentina, mobilizing a total of more than 375,000 US dollars.

Seminars and workshops focused on strengthening the capacities of CSOs were also held, in which Organizations from different countries in the region participated. In addition, internal training webinars and attendance at training seminars by the RACI team were organized.

 

ADVOCACY

RACI works to generate a suitable enabling space for Civil Society based on the articulation of different activities. Therefore, during 2021, 5 campaigns, 66 events and more than 700 meetings with different actors in society have been carried out. Among them, the participation in the spaces of the C20, the Reconstruction with a lasting character project, in the hands of CIVICUS, the Working Group on Financial Disclosures Related to Inequality, the Conversation on the status of the 2030 Agenda in Argentina and, together With Red Civil Society, RACI has worked on the Better Rules for Social Organizations campaign.

In addition, almost after two years marked by the Pandemic, the RACI team, together with other Social Organizations from Argentina and agents linked to sustainable development, attended the first face-to-face meeting between organizations and the new British Ambassador, Kirsty Hayes.

 

RESEARCH

In this aspect, RACI seeks to generate data, produce tools and disseminate relevant information for Civil Society and for this purpose, during this year it has carried out more than 1,400 surveys and has several publications in progress. The first, Regional Civic Perspective, which sought to study and better understand the Social Organizations of the region, and Visible Diversity, inviting reflection on the situation of diversity in the field of CSOs.

 

We invite you to read the full yearbook!

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The winning projects of the New Zealand Embassy Fund 2021-2022 for Argentina and Paraguay have been selected!

In 2021, RACI collaborated with the co-management of the New Zealand Embassy Fund in Argentina and Paraguay. RACI received a total of 269 applications from Argentina (230) and Paraguay (39).

Of the project proposals received, the largest number of applications corresponded to the “Economic and Social Inclusion” axis, followed by “Gender Equality”, “Community Development (particularly indigenous and rural)”, and “Climate Change and Resilience”.

Once the project evaluations were completed, the organisations selected by the New Zealand Embassy were Tierra Libre – Instituto Social y Ambiental; The Foundation for the protection of children, educational development and the scout movement – Fundemos – Fund Scout; the Guarani Indigenous Women’s Organisation of Macharety; and the Civil Association Taba Isiriri – Pueblos del Arroyo.

Tierra Libre – Instituto Social y Ambiental presented the project “Advancing the water security of the families of the Nivaĉle ethnic group of Bajo Pilcomayo, Chaco Paraguayo”, with the aim of reducing the water stress in the community, complementing the infrastructure to increase the water reserve, in order to prevent critical situations due to droughts in this community.

The Foundation for the protection of children, educational development and the scout movement applied with the project “Building in Menstrual Health” which seeks to strengthen the economic independence of menstruating people, understanding menstruation as a matter of equity, social and environmental justice; and to generate in the Community Management Centres a space for accompaniment and support for women and the LGBTQI+ community.

The Guaraní Indigenous Women’s Organisation of Macharety presented the project “Sustainable Bee Honey Production and Conservation Practices for the Chaco Environment” focused on developing a model of sustainable production and commercialisation of honey in the forests of the Macharety community based on the traditional knowledge of the women.

The Civil Association Taba Isiriri – Pueblos del Arroyo presented the project “Collection and purification of rainwater and use of alternative energies in Almafuerte, Misiones”, which seeks to promote access to safe water through the implementation of a rainwater collection and purification system in family homes and educational institutions, and to socialise access to alternative energies, with the installation in public spaces of light columns and the charging of mobile devices with photovoltaic solar energy.

 

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New Zealand Embassy Fund 2021-2022 for Mexico: Meet the Winning projects!

In 2021, RACI collaborated with the co-management of the New Zealand Embassy Fund in Mexico. 

RACI received a total of 278 postulations from: Mexico (203), Guatemala (18), El Salvador (28), Nicaragua (5), Costa Rica (5), Panamá (2), Dominican Republic (14), y Cuba (3).

The proposals were evaluated with the same punctuation system, analyzing the following categories: organization profile, project viability, rigurosity, impact and budget analysis.

From the project proposals received, the greater number of requests correspond to the themes “Development of communities (particularly rural and natives)”, followed by “Climate change and resilience”, “Education”, and “Sustainable and Agriculture Development”. The Fund of the New Zealand Embassy 2021-2022 also included the themes “Migration” and “LGBTQ+ Communities”.

Once the evaluations of the project are done, the organizations selected by the New Zealand Embassy were: Centro Interdisciplinario de Investigación y Desarrollo Alternativo U Yich Lu’um AC; Asociación Balam para la Conservación de los Recursos Naturales y Culturales Integrados; Asociación de Desarrollo Integral para el Pueblo Maya AQ´AB´AL (Asociación AQ´AB´AL); Awe Tibuame A.C.; Fundación Pro Zona Mazahua I.A.P.; Fundación Étnica Integral; Nature Power Foundation; y, Centro de Estudios y Acción por la Justicia Social AC.

The Centro Interdisciplinario de Investigación y Desarrollo Alternativo U Yich Lu’um AC presented the project “Collective construction of the alimentary sovereignty through the Maya agroecology”, with the objective to consolidate a agroecology center for the alimentary production and the integral capacitation of the community as strategy for confront poverty and vulnerability of the Mayan people.

The Asociación Balam para la Conservación de los Recursos Naturales y Culturales Integrados postulate the project “Promotion of the Development of Rural Women, in communities of the Guatemala-Belize adjacency zone, strengthening their productive capacities and their inclusion in community decision-making spaces”, who seeks to increment the capacity of the organize groups of women and youth in the rural communities in the zone of adjacency in Guatemala-Belice for the development of sustainable life and spaces for inclusive public participation.

The Asociación de Desarrollo Integral Para el Pueblo Maya AQ´AB´AL presented the project “”Strengthening Indigenous Systems for Sustainable Food Production as Resilient Measures to Climate Change in Poaquil Chimaltenango”, dedicated to reinforce the capacity of adaptation and resilience of the agriculture system, maintaining the diversity of the agroecology system, the increment of the alimentary production for the contribution of a healthy and culturally appropriate family food security, reducing soil degradation and favoring its conservation.

Awe Tibuame A.C. presented the project ““Traditional Rarámuri garment, a way to preserve the cultural identity and promote the economy of the Mogotavo community”, who seeks to promote the production of textile garments by the native community raramuri in Mexico.

The Fundación Pro Zona Mazahua I.A.P. presented the project ““Access to water, health and traditional knowledge for indigenous Tzeltal girls and boys from Chiapas, Mexico”, who seeks to provide members of 3 Tseltal indigenous communities with continuous access to water through cisterns and greater sanitary capacities through training in traditional medicine and community gardens.

The Fundación Étnica Integral presented the project “Human Rights and Social Integration Project for Immigrant Workers and their Families” which aims to improve the living conditions of migrant workers and their families living in the Dominican Republic, especially in communities with the highest concentration of migrant population. 

Nature Power Foundation presented the project “Nature Village II: Clean Technologies for Sustainable Rural Development in the Dominican Republic” dedicated to building a micro solar plant that will provide energy for the first time to poor rural families, allowing the production of energy without connection to the grid and generating income for isolated and rural communities in the border region of the Dominican Republic.

The Centro de Estudios y Acción por la Justicia Social presented the project “The LGBTIQ+ community in prisons in Mexico. Initiatives to reduce the differentiated impact and consequences of the abuse of the penal system” to respond to the problem (needs, criminalization, impact and consequences of the disproportionate use of the penal system) suffered by the LGBTQ+ population in prisons through knowledge, awareness and training of leaders, social organizations that focus on improving the conditions of this sector of the population and/or people in prison in Mexico.

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We Innovate to Change the Reality of Our Region

Cross-sectoral cooperation for disruptive solutions at the regional level to enable communities in Latin America and the Caribbean to build a prosperous future. Based on this premise, the Regional Executive Committee (REC) meeting of the Innovation for Change Hub for Latin America and the Caribbean (I4C LAC HUB) was held on February 22-24. Looking at the achievements made and at the challenges to be solved, social innovation builds bridges in the region.

At RACI, we are part of Innovation for Change (I4C), a global network of organizations and individuals working together to protect and secure our civic space and overcome restrictions on fundamental freedoms. To achieve these objectives, this entity has 7 regional centers around the world. The main objective of this Network is to generate creative solutions to strengthen civil society organizations and coordinate efforts with other sectors such as academia, social entrepreneurs and multilateral agencies.

In the region, Innovation for Change has a comprehensive strategy aimed at its different communities. As part of the intense agenda of the Center, the realization of Innovation Laboratories, Webinars on capacity building, Civic Conversations, Research on the state of civil society and the implementation of the community collaborative economy platform can be highlighted. Together, these projects have contributed to understanding the reality of civil organizations in the region, co-creating solutions and positioning themselves in the global I4C network.

An essential element of this cooperation agenda has been the REC meeting in Buenos Aires, in which representatives of Youth Against Violence (Guatemala), Alianza ONG (Dominican Republic) and Grupo FARO (Ecuador) joined us with their participation. During the work days, we managed to report on the progress made during 2021, plan a joint work path in 2022 and redefine the identity pillars that support said actions. Similarly, this event was intended to renew the dialogue within the Center and with the allies with which we build our projects and thus achieve palpable results in the different communities of the region.

For more information on Innovation for Change and the work being done in the region, we invite you to visit: https://lac.innovationforchange.net/.

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Do You Know Our SDGs Platform?

In 2017, RACI, together with Cablevisión-Fibertel and the United Nations, launched the SDG Platform, from which it is possible for civil society organizations (CSOs) to visualize their projects in line with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Today, after 5 years of learning, we are in the process of giving it a new impetus and we want you to join us in the transformation.

The platform was created with the aim of democratizing the information about the work of Civil Society Organizations in the country towards the SDGs and making it visible in the eyes of key public and private actors. It should be noted that the SDGs are part of the United Nations New Development Agenda and involve a comprehensive approach to the entire human development process, to achieve fairer, more democratic, and participatory societies. Following this orientation, organizations can register in it in a very simple way and thus obtain greater visibility and impact by bringing information about their projects closer to cooperation agents and the general public. 

 

Currently, more than 165 CSOs have registered and more than 380 projects implemented throughout the country have been integrated into the portal. About its functionalities, it is possible to group projects or CSOs in the Platform according to different criteria to facilitate their search (objective, target population, SDG to which it contributes, or geographic location in the country). All this fills us with enthusiasm and motivates us to continue disseminating the results of the dedication of each organization in our country and the region. 

After years of growth, it is time to redouble our efforts. That is why we seek from now on to highlight cross-sectoral linkages to achieve the objectives of the 2030 Agenda, in order to inspire an increasing number of organizations who share their experiences, and to promote the Platform’s potential on a regional scale. This is a path that we walk together and we invite you to visualize the multiplying impact of civil society in pursuit of a change of realities.

We invite you to visit our platform and upload your organization’s projects by visiting the website!

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Our Members: Get to know Red Mapa, a Fundación Kaleidos project

Red MAPA was born based on the experience of Fundación Kaleidos and Children Action developing the Jakairá program. It is a project that brings together organizations that accompany maternity and paternity in adolescence, providing training, institutional strengthening and technical support.

Red MAPA works around the awareness of the community and promotion of rights to accompany adolescents in their maternity and paternity, and favor their social inclusion once the child is born. In order to do this, the organizations that are part of Red MAPA work every day with adolescents so that they can develop their personal projects.

In Red MAPA, organizations develop comprehensive work strategies with an interdisciplinary approach, exchanging learning and experiences; while co-creating a set of good practices. In this way, it seeks to restore the basic rights of adolescent mothers and fathers, guaranteeing them education, health and insertion in the world of work.

In Argentina, 7 out of 10 pregnancies in adolescents between the ages of 15 and 19 are unintentional, and 8 out of 10 pregnancies in girls under 15 are also unintentional, but with an aggravating circumstance: the pregnancy is usually the result of violence or sexual abuse. Bearing this in mind, the work carried out by Red MAPA is key to building bridges so that more and more adolescents can be accompanied and achieve their personal goals.

We invite you to visit Red MAPA: https://redmapa.org/!

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Our members: Mensajeros de la Paz and alliances to multiply impact

During 2021, Mensajeros de la Paz accompanied Mastellone Hnos S.A in the development and launch of its Corporate Volunteer Program. In six month the alliance managed to implement the plan, recruit volunteers and establish a strategy that would enhance the impact on the community of one of the leading companies in Argentina.

Until 2020, Mastellone had carried out random volunteer actions, but did not have a formalized corporate volunteering. Motivated to add value to their teams and the community, Mensajeros de la Paz was called in to provide advice. Work was carried out throughout the volunteer start-up process and a strategy was established in tune with company policy. In this way, instances of presentation to the Board of Directors and Management were carried out, in order to involve human capital at all levels, in addition to a review of previous initiatives to identify the potentialities of the program. In the second phase of the project, face-to-face and virtual training was carried out, where resources were provided to articulate with the communities and project the first volunteer actions within the Program.

Thanks to this initiative, more than 40 company employees decided to join the Program and expressed their interest in doing so on a regular basis and outside of working hours. During 2022, the Program foresees the development of at least 4 volunteer actions in synergy with existing Programs and with a greater impact on the community of General Rodríguez.

IMPACT

“The Mastellone & Mensajeros de la Paz alliance makes visible once again the importance of executing volunteering and social responsibility actions between civil society organizations and companies, with a strong perspective on the interest and knowledge of the community to provide value and ensure a real shock.” mentions Darío Pompilio, executive director of Messengers of Peace Argentina.

The Asociación Civil Mensajeros de la Paz Argentina has more than 15 years of experience in corporate alliances, as well as in the planning and execution of volunteering at a national and international level.

In a context in which the importance of human capital and cooperation is increasingly highlighted, at Mensajeros de la Paz we promote initiatives together with companies to continue empowering and promoting resources that allow growth in the most vulnerable communities.

About Messengers of Peace Argentina:

Messengers of Peace is an international humanitarian organization with a presence in more than 50 countries around the world since 1962.

Since 2002, it has been working in Argentina for the promotion, protection and restitution of the rights of children and the elderly in situations of social vulnerability. Our commitment to the most vulnerable communities extends to the entire life cycle: from childhood to old age.

Contact:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Mensajeros.AR

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mensajeros_ar?lang=es

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mensajeros_ar/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/mensajerosdelapazar

Does your company want to start a Volunteer Program and need advice to enhance the impact in your community? Write to companies@mensajerosdelapaz.org.ar 

 

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The Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives is now open!

The Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives is now open! It will remain open for the submission of projects from civil society organizations in Argentina and Paraguay until February 28th, 2022. This Thursday, February 10, we will be hosting a webinar to present the terms and conditions of the call, answer questions and queries.

Purpose

The Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) program is designed to support small-scale, high-impact projects in developing countries that are aligned with Global Affairs Canada’s thematic priorities. The program targets projects conceived and designed primarily by local partners. The FCIL also supports bilateral relations between Canada and recipient countries and their civil societies by building and strengthening contacts and supporting local efforts.

Thematic Priorities

All projects must be aligned with at least one of the following FCIL thematic priorities:

  • Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls
  • Inclusive governance, including diversity, democracy, human rights, the fight against corruption and the rule of law
  • Environment and climate action focusing on adaptation and mitigation, as well as on water management
  • For the current CFLI cycle, a thematic priority was added for projects led by Venezuelan refugee and migrant-led organizations implementing projects in line with Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy as well as local women’s organizations supporting migrant and refugee populations and host communities, with a specific focus on women’s rights.

Eligible recipients include:

  • local non-governmental, community and not-for-profit organizations
  • local academic institutions working on local projects
  • international, inter-governmental, multilateral and regional institutions, organizations and agencies working on local development activities
  • municipal, regional or national government institutions or agencies of the recipient country working on local project
  • Canadian non-governmental and not-for-profit organizations that are working on local development activities.

The call is open to organizations in Argentina and Paraguay.

Characteristics of the fund

  • The deadline for applications is February 28, 2022.
  • Project activities may begin as of June 1, 2022, and should be completed by February 28, 2023.
  • The average funding for each project is Can$25,000.

On Thursday, February 10 at 15hs (Argentina) we will be hosting a webinar to present the terms and conditions of the call, answer questions and queries. Those interested in participating should register through the following form

To register, applicants should send an email requesting the application form to BAIRS.CFLI-FCIL@international.gc.ca to access the online application. 

For inquiries, please write to BAIRS.CFLI-FCIL@international.gc.ca.

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Get to know the winning projects of the Innovation Fund!

In September 2021, the implementation of the winning projects of the Innovation Fund for Latin America and the Caribbean began. This fund was intended for civil society organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean that work to strengthen civil society through innovation. Five organizations from the region were selected and received up to USD 10,000 each to address challenges related to one or more of the following areas: Sustainability; Transparency and Social Responsibility; and, Promotion of the Enabling Space.

Continue reading to find out more about the winning projects!

Transparency Brazil (Brazil) set out to create a Chatbot for Access to Information:

 “Considering that the volume of negative responses to requests for information filed based on the Brazilian Access to Information Law has been increasing and, therefore, the ability to prepare and file an appeal is critical, we created repLAI, a chatbot that automatically identifies the arguments presented for the denial of information and provides an appeal template to counter it. The user just has to paste the (often complicated) response received and repLAI will know what the appellant should say.”

Pueden encontrar el repLAI en el sitio web de Achados e Pedidos: http://achadosepedidos.org.br/.

El Observatorio de políticas Públicas de Guayaquil (Ecuador) decided to provide training on the construction of the participatory budget in Ecuador:

 “The Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc in all dimensions of social, political and economic life. And as such, it has also affected the relationship between governments and civil society due to the physical restrictions that have weakened the processes of citizen participation. Considering this public problem that affects transparency, accountability and democracy in general, as Observatorio de Políticas Públicas de Guayaquil we thought about how we could contribute to provide an innovative solution to this negative situation so that citizen participation, and especially the construction of municipal budgets, could be strengthened.

Thus we devised this project that sought to train in inclusive methodologies and digital collaborative technologies to be used in the construction of participatory budgets in 10 municipalities of Ecuador by the year 2022.”

To learn more about the organization, visit their website.

The Red de Innovación Local (Argentina) executed the project “Local Innovators Contest”:

“The Local Innovators Contest is an initiative that accompanies teams made up of municipal leaders and social innovators from all over Latin America to co-design a transformative solution to a local problem based on the systemic methodology, related to diverse topics such as citizen participation, waste management, environmental issues, social inclusion, health and food security, among others.

A total of 80 teams made up of approximately 290 people participated in this competition. More than a thousand citizens and other local representatives accompanied the process. They also had the support and advice of more than 50 experts in each area. As a result, 50 solution initiatives were obtained in 46 cities in 11 Latin American countries. These projects were the final representation of the collaborative work between two sectors: social and municipal, added to the contributions of the population affected by the problem.”

For more information, click here

Accionario (Mexico) focused on creating an online platform to accelerate campaigns:

“In recent months, Accionario has been working on the design and launch of “LabCamp.org”, a free, open and collaborative online training platform designed by and for activists in Latin America who need to learn how to design and implement advocacy campaigns in an agile and simple way. The platform has micro-videos (1 min) and materials such as work canvases to facilitate the learning of Accionario’s campaign acceleration methodology. Starting in February, we expect hundreds of activists, organizations and movements to access the platform and together we will generate a community of people who seek to generate change in the region.”

To learn more about this initiative, please visit the following link.

In the case of Red Uruguaya de ONGs Ambientalistas (Uruguay), his project also focused on the creation of a platform:

“The Environmental Monitoring Platform is a project that was conceived as a tool for citizen environmental monitoring, promoting spaces for dialogue, data transparency and offering a management and exchange tool for public institutions visualizing in an integrated way the environmental challenges and their solutions by the agencies. In this stage of the project, the platform was modernized, generating spaces for exchange with multiple actors, which has allowed us to redesign it to provide greater ease of installation to be replicated in other countries, facilitating integration with other systems. One of the achievements is that it will be part of the implementation of a national environmental complaint management system, which enables the reception of complaints through multiple channels, expands the public information available and allows citizen monitoring of the management of the complaint and its resolution.”

To access the platform, please visit the following link.