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Experiences

The City with Children (La Ciudad con los Niños)

  • Peru
  • Municipality of Miraflores

City with children is a space that meets girls and boys between 8 and 11 years old, who live or study in the district of Miraflores (Lima), in order that they can express their point of view and present proposals to the Miraflores Mayor about aspects of the city. This space allows boys and girls getting involved with the city and feels responsible about it.

 

Objectives

"The City With Children" seeks to strengthen the citizen and active role of children in their community; and to influence local authorities so that they value the importance of building a city where children are protagonists and a parameter of social diversity for urban planning.


In addition, there are specific objectives:

1. Involve girls and boys in the reality of the city to arouse their interest and involvement.
2. Generate proposals on an aspect of the city from the eyes of children.
3. Establish a space for dialogue and exchange of opinions between the Mayor and the district's children.
4. Include the proposals and opinions of the children in the municipal agenda through a commitment document.
5. Provide information to girls and boys about the progress and achievements obtained from the proposals offered during the hearing.

Targets

120 girls and boys, representing 1.5% of the target population, participated in the process. Participants are between 8 and 11 years old who belong to public and private schools of regular education and students of any age in special education schools (people with cognitive disabilities). The children were previously selected by the school in which they belong.

Description

Context 

For the past 5 years, the City Council has been implementing multiple policies that promote the participation of citizens in some aspects of municipal management, mainly those groups that are regularly excluded, such as girls and boys.

Background:

2011: Creation of the Consultative Council for Girls and Boys, approved and promoted by Ordinance No. 346 / MM. It is a space of legitimate participation where a group of 14 girls and boys (between 6 and 11 years old), from different areas of the district, are selected to be the Mayor's Councilors for two years.

2013: Recognized within the three best Public Management Practices of Peru, in the Participation and Citizen Consultation category, by the NGO Ciudadanos al Día (CAD) for the "Ciudad de los Niños de Miraflores" program.

2014: Recognized among the 10 best experiences of participation worldwide in the International Open Government Awards Competition organized by the Open Government Alliance.

2015: Recognized as Good Practice of Public Management by CAD by the advisory councils of children, adolescents and young people of Miraflores.}

2016: The voices of children are included in the District Urban Plan of Miraflores - PUD (2016-2026) "Listen to the opinion of children and the community in general in the construction and design of public spaces intended for recreation and the game "(Strategies of the PUD - Recreation and sport).

The context was the right one to open a space for consultation and participation, where a greater number of girls and boys could offer opinions about the city of which they are a part. As a result, the First Hearing "The City With Children" is convened, whose name shows the point of political maturity that was being reached and the intentions to generate transformations from the eyes of children.

Experience

City With Children is a space that brings together children between 8 and 11 years old, who live or study in the district of Miraflores so they can offer their point of view and present proposals to the Mayor about an aspect of the city. This space helps children to get involved in their city and feel responsible for it. The format of public hearings is used, but with a proper methodology for girls and boys, seeking to build the city from a perspective of equity.

The City Council authorities recognize the value of including the voice of children in their management, because this makes their projects sustainable, and establishes bonds of trust based on democracy. It should be noted that City With Children is more than an activity. It is the concretion of a process of political and democratic maturity that takes the child as a parameter of social diversity for urban planning. "A city that is good for children is a good city for everyone" (Francesco Tonucci, 1996).

In 2016, the theme was Sustainable Miraflores, which allowed the children to reflect and give their opinions on the environmental spaces and services available to the district (containers, recycling points, bicycle lanes, parks, etc.). What makes this proposal successful is the conjugation of two things: 1) the inclusion of children in a participation space regularly aimed at adults, and 2) the degree of investment that the City Council has allocated in a short time to finalize the proposals of the kids.
Basics:

The Public Hearing City With Children is based on the adoption of three fundamental concepts:

1. Girls and boys are citizens with rights.
2. It is very important to generate public policies that guarantee the "right of children to express their opinion freely in all matters that affect them" (Article 12 - Convention for the Rights of the Child).
3. The insurance of the rights of girls and boys in the administration of the city requires an act of the political will of the principal authority of the district: the Mayor.

Stages

It consists of 3 stages:

1. Exploration (April to June 2016): The announcement and selection of delegates is carried out. Participative and informative workshops are held on the subject and a part of the city is explored to develop their proposals in a practical and experiential way. Each delegation meets to exchange opinions, develop proposals and choose who will speak at the Hearing.
2. Hearing (last week of June 2016): The Council of Children was responsible for the event, which involved 120 girls and boys representing 11 educational institutions of regular and special education. Each delegation has a time to present their proposals and then the Mayor gives his reply and commitments. 49 proposals were submitted, of which 44 were considered viable.
3. Transformation (from June 2016 to the present): The City Council implement the proposals of the children during the hearing. There were two account renditions where children are informed of the progress and achievements obtained to date, one of which was carried out in November 2016, where an important advance of 51.6% in the implementation of the proposals was reported (with an investment of more than 35 thousand soles).

Methodology

A Citizen Consultation is used in this process and the methodologies and resources were adapted to each stage of the process and to the audience that in this case was linked to the sustainability of the district through care of the environment:

1. Exploration: It was the richest stage in the participatory aspect, girls and boys had the opportunity to participate in three to four workshops where they were giving shape to their proposals. We used an experiential methodology based on exploration and previous knowledge.
2. Audience: In this stage the methodology was simple, the event could not last long because of the number of children and their ages. A video was presented where they compiled the work they did during the exploration stage and then each delegation had up to two minutes to present their proposals, which were recorded.
3. Transformation: The participatory aspect of this stage focus on accountability where two representatives of each team have the opportunity to know the progress and achievements obtained to date and provide their opinion on the matter.

Comments from the jury

Civic deliberation and meetings by children. This is an innovative idea.