Featured Blog: A new online civic engagement platform for the people of Mexico

Follow DDI’s Research & Development Manager, Brandie Nonnecke, during her travels to Mexico as she collaborates with faculty at Tec de Monterrey and partner organizations on the development of Mexico Participa.

The CAFE platform integrates elements of two prior projects: citizen report cards developed by the World Bank and the Opinion Space project (http://opinion.berkeley.edu) developed by researchers and designers at the CITRIS Data and Democracy Initiative. The most recent version of the platform was The California Report Card, a pilot project that aims to increase public engagement with political issues and to help leaders at all levels stay informed about the changing opinions and priorities of their constituents.


February 19, 2015  | Dr. Brandie Nonnecke, Research & Development Manager

Mexican citizens will go to the polls in June 2015 for important mid-term elections. To engage voters and alert them to topical issues, the CITRIS Data and Democracy Initiative is collaborating with faculty at Tec de Monterrey, and the Mexico National Electoral Institute to design and implement México Participa, an innovative civic engagement platform based on the model of the The California Report Card, a pilot project that aims to increase public engagement with political issues and to help leaders at all levels stay informed about the changing opinions and priorities of their constituents.

México Participa allows participants to voice their concerns in an anonymous public forum, where they can share their opinions and priorities with fellow citizens and the leaders who represent them. Participants will be asked to rate the country’s performance on timely policy issues, suggest an issue that deserves increased national priority, and rate the suggestions of others, offering candidates timely feedback on the changing priorities of their constituents.

“This is an exciting opportunity to collaborate on the development of a tool that will be incredibly useful to the people of Mexico for the mid-term elections and beyond,” said Prof. Maria Elena Meneses, lead researcher for Mexico Participa at Tec de Monterrey. “Insights gathered through Mexico Participa could be instrumental in shaping the priorities of newly elected leaders and incumbents.”

Mexican citizens won’t have to wait until Election Day to voice their concerns to elected leaders and candidates. The platform will launch in early April and data gathered will be shared daily with the public, elected leaders and candidates on a public website.

This work was supported by the Blum Center for Developing Economies and the Development Impact Lab (USAID Cooperative Agreement AID-OAA-A-12-00011), part of the USAID Higher Education Solutions Network; UC Berkeley’s Algorithms, Machines, and People Lab; and the CITRIS Data and Democracy Initiative.