Faces of Open Government: David Gómez Álvarez
How important is open government to you and why does it matter at a subnational level?
Since the introduction of the open government agenda in Mexico, Jalisco sought to adopt it at a subnational level. Transparency, civic participation, accountability and innovation became the pillars that the State would concentrate its efforts on in order to revolutionize policy-making and offer better results to its people.
It is through an open government agenda that a subnational government can prove effective and move forward in a more inclusive manner. Open government practices at a national level manage a broad spectrum that is certainly promising and deeply needed, although subnational initiatives are launched closer to the people they seek to benefit, strengthening the relation between civil society and government with a proximity much reduced in comparison to national programs.
What are the opportunities of working with civil society?
A close proximity to the people means a greater opportunity for co-creation of public policies with groups among civil society. Through the Secretariat for Open Government, Jalisco will be able to create fuller and richer projects that seek to address the needs of all rather than the interests of a few. The participation of specific groups of civil society could be much more effective in discussions closer to home and much more promising when the policies were created in collaboration with them. A subnational implementation of open government initiatives may be the answer to the long-fought battle with corruption and ineffectiveness.
What brought you into this kind of work/what are you excited about?
It is important that a government, just like the individuals it serves, seeks to innovate. The open government agenda is the kind of work that not only brings along innovative solutions to existing problems but actually presents a practice structure that could address the needs of more people. Jalisco is not only excited but also optimistic of upcoming ventures in partnership with the OGP.
A lot can be done through this strategic alliance. Current projects will be strengthened while new ones will reinforce, change and improve Jalisco. To us, the open government agenda, our Secretariat and the OGP will transform the State for better.
What are your hopes and desires for OGP in 2016?
We recognize that our projects like many others around the world are still in an initial phase with a long path ahead towards visible results. 2016 can become a key year for Jalisco and many others with the help of the OGP. We are hopeful that our newly-formed partnership with the OGP will help our projects transcend from only ideas into concrete programs with visible results. In the same manner, we wish to participate in OGP-led events not only to learn and enrich our practices but to share our experiences, ever hopeful that others will learn from our mistakes and copy our successful ventures.
David Gómez Álvarez is Under Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in the Jalisco State government, Mexico.