Costa Rica Tackles Local Community Problems with Index of Social Progress

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    Costa Rican private enterprises and state institutions launch Costa Rica Propone.

    The new initiative is oriented towards the organization of data regarding the 81 cantons. It consists on the use of an Social Progress Index (IPS on the Spanish abbreviation for Indice de Progreso Social)

    About IPS

    IPS is used worldwide in countries such as Brazil, Paraguay, Colombia, Europe. In the United States it has been used in states such as Michigan and Detroit to manage resources in specific nucleus in the design social interventions. This index has helped both public and private affairs in the efficient use of resources, and has tried to respond to local and specific problems that are hard to resolve in the short term with national policies.

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    The availability of information from the public sphere to the citizens is a process that has been slowly strengthened since 2012, when former president Laura Chinchilla signed the decree where Costa Rica joined the Alliance of Open Government.

    The data recollected by IPS is mostly guided towards the information of social progress and environmental development. With the use of this new alternative seeks to strengthen at a local level the access to public data bases.

    Projecting Development

    These types of mechanisms could help in the long run by providing a chance for development in local politics and collaborative global work so as to better satisfy the basic needs of individuals.

    Some of the basic answers IPS tries to analyze are:

    1. Are the basic needs of society satisfied?
    2. Are the fundamental elements of politics that people and communities have helping and responding to the rise and maintenance of wellness?
    3. Are there opportunities for people to reach their potential?

    But IPS is not only a database where analytic elements are measured; it is expected to be a tool to identify achievements and opportunities that affect the quality of life of persons nationwide.

    The results will be presented in cards that summarize the indicators, components and classifies the given local government into different colors regarding the given performance. We’ll have to watch closely to evaluate the impact of IPS on the development of local areas in Costa Rica.

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