Fellow Since 2007
CIRD - Center of Information and Resources for Development
This profile was prepared when Agustín Carrizosa was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2007.
The New Idea
In the context of the slow and difficult decentralization of political power in Paraguay, Agustín is building a political culture based on democracy and citizen participation. He believes that strengthening democracy and generating deep social transformation will only be possible when government works along side a strong and committed citizen sector that represents the interests and needs of Paraguayan citizens. The citizen participation of all social agents is determined by their capacity to organize and influence public policy. They must take advantage of the institutional spaces opened by the government’s recent insistence that civil society promote participation in areas like Local Councils. Agustín has developed a participation model within Local Health Councils that he has begun disseminating in other public interest areas, such as education and youth. The relationship between government and civil society enables the creation of innovative, practical programs for public services. The more citizens are involved in the design and implementation of such programs, the more efficient, relevant, and valuable they will be. This both helps citizens and ensures that government resources are allocated in the best way possible. Agustín works to make civil society more autonomous and to develop projects of common interest, in part through the management of public resources. He implements his idea through a strong citizen organization (CO), the Center for Information and Resources for Development (CIRD), which operates many citizenship programs. With his focus on building cross-sector partnerships, Agustín can use the CIRD’s reputation to spread his work throughout Paraguay and beyond.