Challenges of Democracy: A Proposal for Costa Rica
The "Challenges of Democracy: A Proposal for Costa Rica" process was convened by UNDP and FLACSO. A group of national experts, convened by the Office of the United Nations Development Program, helped lay the groundwork for a discussion in Costa Rica that led to a large group of Costa Rican citizens convening to develop a broad and pluralistic discussion process around four issues that, in the debate with the experts, were chosen as good starting points for a discussion. The process installed "Deliberative Circles" of a multidisciplinary nature and which were integrated by forty recognized Costa Rican professionals. These were spaces for the discussion and formulation of proposals in relation to the four priority thematic axes: representation and political parties; the role of the State; the issue of decentralization and accountability. From this process came a series of documents that were published in their original integrity, based on the assumption that they are products of the collective work of the group members and reveal their priorities, styles, competencies and opinions. All of them fulfill the essential requirement to present concrete proposals whose purpose is to contribute to both the illustrated debate and the formation of public policies.
Formalization: is the innovation embedded in the constitution or legislation, in an administrative act, or not formalized at all?
Frequency: how often does the innovation take place: only once, sporadically, or is it permanent or regular?
Mode of Selection of Participants: is the innovation open to all participants, access is restricted to some kind of condition, or both methods apply?
Type of participants: those who participate are individual citizens, civil society organizations, private stakeholders or a combination of those?
Decisiveness: does the innovation takes binding, non-binding or no decision at all?
Co-governance: is there involvement of the government in the process or not?
- not backed by constitution nor legislation, nor by any governmental policy or program
- Mode of selection of participants
- Type of participants
- democratic innovation yields no decision