Héctor Jorquera Escares
This profile was prepared when Héctor Jorquera Escares was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2000.
The New Idea
In Chile, as elsewhere in Latin America, it is a rare feat to bring together everyday citizens, community-based organizations, and government institutions, and even rarer that they will agree upon and implement lines of action. Héctor helps citizens become more involved in responses to the problems facing their communities. He facilitates interaction with state governments and civil society organizations to improve the quality of services and create new ones. At the center of his efforts are public participation agendas that spawn initiatives in response to the community's concerns through consensus-building among different community entities. Héctor's model has succeeded because of the direct citizen participation it promotes and its flexibility to address a wide range of issues in different communities with diverse needs. It is an approach that opens up the channels of communication and allows all actors to see the benefits of citizen participation.