This profile was prepared when Delfina Irazusta was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2015.
The New Idea
Delfina Irazusta believes that municipalities have great transformative potential that needs to be released. As a result, she created the Local Innovation Network (Red de Innovación Local, or RIL). It promotes a culture of much needed innovation in the local public sector, which eventually contributes to local development. Her approach seeks to revolutionize the way local politics are designed and implemented at a municipal level, based on three modern day necessities: knowledge, transparency and collaborative construction. Delfina has developed and improved on an existing agricultural scheme which has had relative success in the Argentina for over fifty years. The improved model aims to create flexible and dynamic local government teams with new skills who will collaborate with other municipal teams. The process (and project) is organized in a professional manner and includes a trained moderator who works with the participants on their ability to see change in their communities. This includes increasing awareness of opportunities to incorporate modern ideas and technology. This visible change is valuable for these regional municipalities especially during election time. The entire initiative is planned to give new life to local communities and municipalities and to bring about positive change. Delfina aims to nationally scale her impact. In order to achieve this, she is working with the National Municipal Affairs Secretary with whom they jointly launched the first national contest for local public innovation. Delfina has established an exchange with Ashoka Fellow Jorge Sotomoreno from México, with plans to spread her work there in the near future. She has also connected with other organizations in Paraguay for similar expansion purposes. Delfina has a global perspective, and has already started connecting with international organizations that specialize in public innovation, such as Bloomberg Philanthropies (USA), Nesta (UK), Mind Lab (Dinamarca). Bloomberg Foundation has already shown an interest in advancing the contest