On the week of August 22, the Kettering Foundation visited our country for the first time. During their stay, the foundation jointly participated with RACI in events and encounters with both government and civil society actors. In the events, perspectives and opinions regarding the following topics were shared: the work of civil society, the challenges of democracies, civic participation in the design of public policies and in the expansion of rights, and the human rights agenda.
Firstly, during their visit, the Kettering Foundation carried out the conference: “The Work of the Kettering Foundation: Upcoming Challenges”, during which the main activity revolved around the work realized by the foundation; therefore, members of the foundation shared their experiences with their participation in the foundation. It was during this opportunity that we were able to hear to the experiences of: Tendai Murisa, the founder and executive director of SIVIO Institute (Zimbabwe); Rocio Jenny Zapata Lopez, communications coordinator of Heinrich Böll Stiftung Mexico City – Mexico and The Caribbean (Mexico); and Ruby Quantson Davis, the learning and impact advisor in Peace Direct (Ghana/UK). Finally, to conclude the event, Kettering Foundation’s director and CEO Sharon L Davies spoke about the new challenges the foundation is facing.
Within the agenda, and with the intention to listen to perspectives from the public sector regarding civic participation in deliberation processes, the Kettering Foundation was able to meet with the government of Buenos Aires in order to debate over the diverse ways through which the voice of the citizenry can be incorporated into the design and implementation of public policy.
Moreover, RACI and the Kettering Foundation organized two debate sessions in which key points relating to the human rights agenda in Argentina could be shared. In this way, throughout these sessions, emphasis was placed on the experiences of citizen participation in attempts to amplify and safeguard rights. These sessions were able to foster debate over the legalization of abortion in Argetina, the Ni Una Menos [Not One Less] movement, gender, the LGBTIQ+ community, the indigenous movement, and marriage equality.
To conclude their stay, the Kettering Foundation organized a conference in Palermo University, during which it was possible to debate and share different opinions on the challenges our democracies are facing. The conference panel was made up by Sharon L Davies, the director and CEO of Kettering Foundation; Maxine S Thomas, the international programs director, vice president, and general advisor of Kettering Foundation; and Ed Dorn and Roberto Saba, members of the directive council of the Kettering Foundation.