Costa Rica

Municipal Offices for Women

The Municipal Offices for Women (Span. OFIM) are decentralized public bodies promoted by the National Institute of Women (Span. INAMU) by its sector of Active Citizenship, Leadership and Local Management. Initially they were oriented to address issues of family violence. The Institute then redefined the profile and scope of action of the OFIM, assigning them the role of mechanisms for the promotion of women's rights at the local level. The general objective of these bodies is to promote policies, programs, projects and strategic actions to advance the exercise of women's rights and gender equality and equity at the local level. In fact, this initiative actively involves the women's group in various phases of the public policy cycle. INAMU points out that the creation and institutionalization of the OFIM contributes to the processes of democratization of our societies by integrating the perspective, interests and needs of half of the population: women. As of September 2008, 70 OFIM had been constituted in several municipalities of Costa Rica. Most of them were in operation in 2016.

Institutional design


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?

embedded in the constitution/legislation 
Mode of selection of participants
Type of participants
citizens civil society  
democratic innovation yields a non-binding decision  


  • Deliberation
  • Direct Voting
  • E-Participation
  • Citizen Representation


  • Accountability
  • Responsiveness
  • Rule of Law
  • Political Inclusion
  • Social Equality

Policy cycle

Agenda setting
Formulation and decision-making


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Pogrebinschi, Thamy. (2017). LATINNO Dataset. Berlin: WZB.

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