Last month, members of the Colaborat.lat: Towards a New Model of Governance after Covid-19 project got together with key stakeholders from Latin America at the ‘Colabora.lat Regional Meeting: a collaborative response to complex problems’ in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Participants included government officials, civil society organisations, social activists, and academics.
The two-day meeting, organised by Asuntos del Sur and partners, provided a space for dialogue on experiences of institutional, social, and community collaboration post-Covid 19 to find possible ways forward and provide political tools to respond to today’s complex problems in the region. Issues include the social consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, increased inequality, growing gender gaps, and active political participation of youth.
The main takeaway from the event is that in the context of complex problems, collaboration is imperative to achieve policy effectiveness. Despite polarisation and ideological differentiation, it is possible to accomplish instances of cooperation.
On the first day, the Colabora.Lat partners held a project meeting in which they presented their findings and outlined next steps.
The open event on the second day started with an opening session, with key speakers including Matías Bianchi (Executive Director of Asuntos del Sur), Jennifer Cyr (Colabora.Lat Principal Researcher), and Cecilia Nicolini (Argentina National Secretary of Climate Change, Sustainable Development, and Innovation).
The rest of the day was structured around three themes and associated panels.
Intersectionality in collaborative governance
Providing possible solutions to the complex problems mentioned above implies recognising differences of gender, ethnicity and social class. Panellists in the first discussion argued that using an intersectional approach is therefore essential for collaborative governance within the policy making process in order to find solutions.
Participants included Martina Ansardi (Director Contratá Trans from Argentina), Victoria Donda (Head of the Argentinian National Institute against Discrimination, Xenophobia and Racism), Tania Montes (Colabora.Lat Researcher from Bolivia), and Marcela Aguilar (Nosotrxs Researcher from Mexico).
Government collaboration from the perspective of youth
In this panel, experts from the region discussed the importance of including youth in decision-making processes to respond to current issues, such as climate change, migration, and social inequality in Latin America.
Panellists included María Bielli (Legislator of the City of Buenos Aires, from Argentina), Eyal Weintraub (co-founder of Jóvenes por el Clima from Argentina), Sofia Sanucci Gimenez (provincial minister of Childhood, Adolescence, Youth and Citizenship from Argentina), Carlos Mendoza (Diálogos Academic Director from Guatemala), Isabel Reyes (Diálogos Researcher from Guatemala) and Inge Helena Valencia (ICESI Researcher from Colombia).
Institutional collaboration as a response tool
The last panel discussion focused on collaboration within government institutions, in order to understand why it is so difficult to achieve instances of policy planning and cooperation.
Panellists included Daniela Vilar (provincial minister of environment from Argentina), Jairo Acuña (Team Leader Governance, UNDP Latin America and the Caribbean from Costa Rica), Matías Bianchi (Executive Director of Asuntos del Sur from Argentina), Jacqueline Behrend (UNSAM Researcher from Argentina), and Michelle Hafemann (Colabora.Lat Researcher from Chile).