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Open Parliaments: The Case of the State of Guanajuato, Mexico

Parlamento Abierto: El Caso del Estado de Guanajuato, México

In this blog series, we highlight the experiences of several open parliaments around the world. These are institutions that foster transparency, participation, and accountability throughout the legislative process.

Guanajuato is one of the 32 states in Mexico and its State Congress is made up of 36 local congresspeople who represent over 6 million citizens.

Guanajuato State’s Congress in Mexico is committed to promoting open parliament as an innovative mechanism to be closer to citizens. Each year, Congress designs policies to promote the three pillars of open parliament: transparency, accountability and civic participation. Currently, Congress is implementing two innovative projects: the Open Academy Network and the Legislative Bus.

The Open Academy Network is the only project in the Americas that seeks to bring students and teachers from the State of Guanajuato closer to the activities of the Congress, in a fun and attractive way. The Congress has signed an agreement with 47 academic institutions throughout the state to continuously generate activities that promote the participation of young people in professional practices within the State Congress and to also collect the opinion of researchers from universities in bills presented in the plenary.

For example, over 140 young people from 12 State universities participated in the first Legislative Rally. The rally was made up of stations where students could play while learning about the Legislative Branch. One of the rally games was “Guess your Deputy”, in which each participating team selects one deputy who must be guessed by the opposing team, thus familiarizing people with their legislators. Another game was the relay race, in which the participants had to run, jump, and compete among teams while answering basic civic culture questions. This tool was a hit in its first edition! We are ready to travel throughout the State in order to make it known to university students.

Additionally we have the Digital Legislative Files and the Legislative Bus. This idea seeks to disclose the legislative process in a simple and attractive way for the general population. Our bus takes citizens to different stops where they can consult all the documents related to the initiative. Therefore, by having an informed population, we can aspire to greater citizen participation. There is also a real bus, which will travel the highways of our State to bring the legislative culture to all Guanajuato residents. It is important to note that this project is participating in the 2022 Transparency Innovation Contest organized by the National Institute for Access to Public Information (INAI, per its Spanish acronym) of Mexico. 

Thus, the Congress of the State of Guanajuato endorses its commitment to an open parliament with products designed to open the doors to the population and make their voices heard in the Legislative branch. We are your voice, your congress!

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