Orazio Belletini Cedeño
This profile was prepared when Orazio Belletini Cedeño was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2008.
The New Idea
Orazio is building a new way to bring citizens into the government’s process of forming and executing public policy. His strategy is at once top-down and bottom-up, forcing the government to be more transparent and teaching the citizens of Ecuador to how to hold their government accountable. For Orazio, transparency is a common goal around which he can build shared dialogue about development among fragmented groups of citizens. Orazio’s organization, Grupo FARO—Foundation for the Advance of Reforms and Opportunities (“lighthouse group”)—gets national and local government bodies to deliver public information on budgets, expenditures, and other records in compliance with Ecuadorian law. FARO has successfully brought together a range of organizations in the citizen sector to demand government accountability and acts both as consultant and watchdog organization to put pressure on the government to comply. Orazio has already made important progress in convincing several ministries and public officials of the necessity for greater transparency, and has helped them to implement it. Working from the other side of the issue, Orazio enables citizens to participate effectively in dialogue with the government. He works with local media, grassroots organizations, and municipalities to spread relevant information and teach local people to ask for, acquire, and interpret budgets and other information from government bodies. Through Orazio’s programs, Ecuadorian citizens learn to demand and obtain public services such as their legal right to maternal healthcare.