(Header: A screenshot taken from ciudadanocontigo.org showing different potential user groups, including students, Mayans, people with disabilities, pregnant women and mothers, children, fishermen, seniors, and more).

Screenshot taken from ciudadanocontigo.org landing page,”43 social program in Yucatán”, “We reduce the costs of citizen participation through the use and dissemination of social programs.”

GOV/LAB partners in Yucatán, Participando por México (Participating in México), along with MIT PhD candidate Tesalia Rizzo won second place in the Innovation in Transparency Award 2017. The project, Ciudadano Contigo (Citizen With You, ciudadanocontigo.org), was one of nine organizations chosen to receive an award for making substantial steps toward strengthening open government practices in Mexico.

Ciudadano Contigo makes it easier for marginalized communities to access the programs designed to help them by consolidating and sharing information about government services. The website allows citizens to find information about these services in two ways. They can filter programs by selecting the type of support they need (e.g. health services, employment and entrepreneurship, or gender equality) or by user group profiles the program hopes to target (e.g. people with disabilities, people seeking employment, or pregnant women and mothers).

Screenshots taken from ciudadanocontigo.org showing different types of support available, education, health, employment, legal, and more.

The website is especially designed to accommodate users with lower technology literacy and was tested in a field experiment conducted by Tesalia in 2016. The website and the project more broadly aims to reduce the dependence of vulnerable citizens on non-state political actors for information, and is a part of Tesalia’s ongoing research on clientelism and government services in Mexico.

The award was given by the National Institute of Transparency, Access to Information, and Protection of Personal Data (INAI) in collaboration with the Federal Audit Office of Mexico (ASF), National Institute of Public Administration (INAP México), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, United Nations Development Programme, and Secretariat of the Civil Service (SFP). Ciudadano Contigo won second place in the category for Civil Organizations. Other awards were given for organizations operating at the federal, state, and municipal levels of Mexican government.

Congratulations to Tesalia and Participando por México!