Jorge Abraham Soto Moreno

Ashoka Fellow
Mexico
Fellow Since 2012

Citation

This profile was prepared when Jorge Abraham Soto Moreno was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2012.
The New Idea
Based on his understanding of technology and his experience working with citizen organizations (COs), Jorge realized the need for platforms enabling citizens, institutions, and governments to interact in real-time to solve social problems. He founded CitiVox to create a network of online platforms that allows communication between political decision-makers, enterprises, COs, and citizens around a variety of topics from local community issues to national social crises. Unlike other organizations that lack the infrastructure to handle a high volume and variety of projects, CitiVox analyzes the content of diverse proposals to create public, actionable reports to send to the appropriate organizations or agencies. For example, during recent elections, Jorge launched a CitiVox platform to collect citizen “reports” of voting fraud, electoral offenses, and violence through a variety of social media from Twitter to text messages. The system aggregated thousands of reports, over two-hundred of which resulted in direct legal action. Using the CitiVox platforms, governments can make better-informed decisions and move toward increased accountability through access to real-time information and collaborative tools for change.

To encourage their use, the platforms are easy to use, anonymous, and free. They do not simply diagnose a problem using existing technologies, like other COs do. By analyzing the information submitted through the website or social media channels and preparing a summary report, Jorge conveys this information to officials in a practical form. This information is also made available for the public to access. CitiVox’s comprehensive reports provide decision-makers with actionable information required to solve social problems. Furthermore, Jorge and CitiVox often go beyond these reports and actively engage with citizens and the government in real-time to advocate and arrive at policy changes. Jorge not only seeks to help citizens’ voices be heard but also to empower the government and institutions to solve problems through increased transparency, accountability, participation, and collaboration.

CitiVox is already collaborating in six countries in Latin America with governments, COs, multilateral organizations, and companies, so these organizations can better understand and serve the public. Within a few months, Jorge plans to launch an open source version of the CitiVox website so that citizens can create social networks or report any type of social problem. The new platform will give politically motivated citizens the tools to organize themselves and advocate for government accountability in solving problems ranging from the simple—pothole repair—to the complex—election monitoring and drug trafficking. In turn, the increased accountability CitiVox generates lends greater legitimacy to the public sector. By reducing the communication gap between governments, institutions, and citizens, CitiVox is boosting citizens’ faith in public institutions.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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