"Montevideo Decide" is the digital platform that allows the people of Montevideo to express their opinions, propose and influence the actions carried out by the Municipality of Montevideo. According to their different levels of registration, citizens can participate in debates, present project initiatives that seek to improve their life in the city, as well as participate in surveys, interview the Mayor and his Government team and participate in co-creation of documents.
"Montevideo Decide" considers all the objectives listed, one of the main ones being: "To improve the quality of public decisions through mechanisms of participatory democracy", through a channel of direct and permanent participation with citizens, to decide on the issues that they make to the city.
This platform seeks to promote a culture of direct citizen participation through digital media, which allows anyone interested in generating a change to have the possibility of doing so. Now, from your cell phone, your personal computer or any tool that allows you to connect to the internet, you can participate in the construction of the city you want. Access is free for all citizens. It does not establish limitations. Simply register in the registration section, taking into account the different levels of users according to the degree of participation you want to have.
They will be able to create citizen initiatives and participate in debates all the users of the platform. The citizens of Montevideo over the age of 16 who are registered in the platform will be able to vote and support the proposed ideas. Montevideo Decide is the first 100% digital tool that is used in the country, which in itself is an innovation. In just 6 months, many ideas, debates, citizen consultations and proposals were made. Some of the consultations carried out and with which actions were decided: 1) What is the best popular scenario of Carnival 2018? 2) Where should the mobile stage close the Carnival 2018? 3) What new physical or sporting activities do you consider that the Municipality should offer on the beaches? 4) What free services do you consider that should be included in public spaces to improve the practice of physical activity?
It is a digital platform adapted to the Uruguayan context and to the strategic guidelines of the Municipality of Montevideo, with the concept: "Your ideas can change the city". "You debate, you propose, you participate, you decide". The platform has different participation modules: Citizen Consultation, Debates, Ideas, Participatory Budgeting and also Collaboration Spaces ("volunteering", to execute actions such as supporting a task, cleaning a place, etc.). All are innovative elements. Another innovative element is the incorporation of electronic voting in the Participatory Budget. So far, the only areas of direct participation that Montevideo had, was the vote every two years of Neighborhood Councils and Participatory Budgeting. With Montevideo Decide, an innovative field of direct participation is added, a permanent communication channel, easily accessible, that democratizes citizen participation.
The experience is based on free software, which has been adapted in several cities, and is part of the "Consul" community that is made up of more than 50 cities around the world. This software allows you to create a 100% replicable tool. Although our experience has unique characteristics, because it considers our context, there are general elements that can be replicated without problem and adapted to other realities. Raising debates, ideas, consultations, and promoting the participatory budget (experience that exists in many cities) through this platform, is replicable in every way. Even many of the "own" characteristics that we are executing are adaptable to the realities of each place.
Comments from the jury
The friendly platform complements the participation device in a city with a long history of participatory democracy.
While it seems to be a novelty in Uruguay, its innovations are limited internationally, where there are, as mentioned in the proposal, several relatively similar platforms exist.