January News 2018

Currently @ LATINNO

Results from the LATINNO project were presented in January at the Insitute of Latin American Studies at Columbia University by the coordinator and founder, Thamy Pogrebinschi. There, she discussed the state of research regarding citizen participation in the policy process, the role of governments in the implementation of democratic innovations, and the influence of the Latin American left-turn in the creation of participatory institutions. 

This month's newsletter will be dedicated to the different forms of citizen participation that aim to enhance the political inclusion of the LGBTI+ community in commemoration of the historic ruling of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which backed same-sex marriages at the beginning of 2018.

LATINNO at Columbia University


The Ends of Citizen Participation: Political Inclusion

The LATINNO project is built upon the idea that citizen participation is not the end of democratic innovations, but a means to improve accountability, responsiveness, and social equality, as well as to strengthen the rule of law and increase political inclusion. Political inclusion can be achieved when, for instance, underrepresented, discriminated or marginalized groups are empowered, when their identities are recognized and their rights are enforced. The project has found that 18% of the circa 2,400 participatory innovations implemented in Latin America from 1990-2016 have been created with the specific primary end of enhancing political inclusion. 

Many of these focus on deliberation processes that include cultural and ethnic minorities, and underrepresented groups (like women, migrants, the youth or the LGBTI+ community). Some examples include but are not limited to Peru's Youth Councils, Brazil's National Conferences on Indigenous Health, and Argentina's Rural Women Walking Project.

Featured Cases

The National Council of Anti-discrimination and Pro-Human Rights of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transvestites, and Transsexuals in Brazil was established to propose and monitor public policies related to the defense of social and individual rights of victims of racial discrimination or other forms of intolerance. The council acts towards the recognition of LGBTI+ rights. It participates in the elaboration of criteria and parameters of government action, reviews and monitors actions, priorities, deadlines and goals for the National Plan for the Promotion of the Citizenship and Human Rights of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transvestites, and Transsexuals. The council comprises 15 representatives of the government and 15 representatives of the civil society, who are referred by nonprofit organizations and selected by public selective processes.



The Permanent Table of the Human Rights Ombudsman's Office on the Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual and Intersexual People seeks to ensure LGBTI+ rights in El Salvador. The Bureau analyzes the situation of the LGBTI+ population in El Salvador, establishes and implements awareness-raising processes for officials responsible for administering justice, and collaborates in the drafting laws aimed at eradicating all forms of discrimination.


The LGBT and HIV / AIDS Watch Center on Human Rights in Peru is a space dedicated to the reception of complaints and the elaboration of human rights indices and violence against LGBTIQ and/or PLWHA people. They make annual reports intended to have an impact on the work of the Ombudsman's Office. They have also contributed to the discussion of legislative projects to defend LGBTIQ rights. Another part of their work aims at giving visibility to conflicts affecting LGBT people or people with HIV / AIDS who suffer discrimination or violence and to provide them with legal advice to deal with these struggles.

Newest Innovation

The hackathon Wikifemhack Guatemala is part of a worldwide effort to increase the number of women editing the online encyclopedia, Wikipedia. Above all, the entries related to prominent Guatemalan women and feminist figures. The Wikifemhack is a space where women can contribute to the creation, edition, and translation of knowledge in the field of Guatemalan feminism. It is a collaboration between academic institutes, civil society organizations, and citizens, and it is carried out once a month.