Photo of Alejandro Maza

Internet & web

Alejandro Maza

Collection and analysis of citizens' proposals to address social problems

Year Honored

Latin America

Hails From

"It is essential to the social and political development of any democracy that the members of society get involved in solving the problems that surround them and influence decision-making. Mexico has experienced a progressive political transformation and a positive increase in participation rates; however certain sectors of the population maintain a very low participation rate, which has become a persistent problem.

The historical lack of political presence, the mistrust in government institutions or the lack of access to participation tools lead the most vulnerable sectors of the population to be scarcely represented in population analysis and in the solution to their own problems. In addition to these factors, a lack of technological know-how, in an age where new initiatives are often implemented through the use of new technologies, often leaves them out of the equation entirely.

In general, conventional government participation platforms achieve less than 1% participation from the target population, and even the most successful platforms in large cities do not usually achieve more than 2,000 members.

Alejandro and his team offer an alternative that promotes civic participation amongst those sectors of the population with little technological adoption or sectors not interested in volunteering or politics, and generates statistically representative information to allow governments to design and engage in more effective and inclusive public programs.

The OPI platform, halfway between e-government and Big Data, provides simple tools for participation, such as video surveys or online and mobile responses. Using a data analysis system, it processes and encodes the data, providing information to the relevant institutions in real time so that they are able to make the right decisions and provide solutions to the problems that really concern citizens. Through this technology the total cost is reduced to less than a dollar per participant, which helps to increase the return on investment of participatory platforms worldwide."