Costa Rica

Challenges of Democracy: A Proposal for Costa Rica

The "Challenges of Democracy: A Proposal for Costa Rica" process was convened by the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) and FLACSO (Latin American Faculty in Social Sciences). A group of national experts, convened by the UNDP Office, helped lay the groundwork for a discussion about the country's situation. This process led a large group of Costa Rican citizens to come together and develop a broad and pluralistic discussion process around four issues that emerged from the previous debate with the experts, issues that were identified as good starting points for a nationwide discussion. The process installed "Deliberative Circles" of a multidisciplinary nature, integrated by forty recognized Costa Rican professionals. These were spaces for deliberation and the formulation of proposals in relation to the four priority thematic axes: representation and political parties; the role of the State; decentralization; and accountability. From this process, a series of documents emerged and were published in their original integrity, based on the assumption that they are products of the collective work of the group members and reveal their priorities, styles, qualifications and opinions. All of them fulfill the essential requirement to present concrete proposals whose purpose is to contribute to both the illustrated debate and the generation of relevant public policies.

Institutional design


Formalization: is the innovation embedded in the constitution or legislation, in an administrative act, or not formalized at all?

Frequency: how often does the innovation take place: only once, sporadically, or is it permanent or regular?

Mode of Selection of Participants: is the innovation open to all participants, access is restricted to some kind of condition, or both methods apply?

Type of participants: those who participate are individual citizens, civil society organizations, private stakeholders or a combination of those?

Decisiveness: does the innovation takes binding, non-binding or no decision at all?

Co-governance: is there involvement of the government in the process or not?

not backed by constitution nor legislation, nor by any governmental policy or program 
Mode of selection of participants
Type of participants
democratic innovation yields no decision  


  • Deliberation
  • Direct Voting
  • E-Participation
  • Citizen Representation


  • Accountability
  • Responsiveness
  • Rule of Law
  • Political Inclusion
  • Social Equality

Policy cycle

Agenda setting
Formulation and decision-making
Policy Evaluation


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Pogrebinschi, Thamy. (2017). LATINNO Dataset. Berlin: WZB.

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