Crowdsourcing Reforms for the Government of Costa Rica

Luis E. Loria, Costa Rica

Antigua Forum 2016

 

Background

At the Antigua Forum 2016 gathering, Luis presented IDEAS Labs – IMPACT Accelerator, a project designed to foster market-liberal public policy reforms. He leads this project through the Institute for Enterprise Development and Social Action (IDEAS), where he is president. 

Challenge

Prior to the Antigua Forum, Luis already had presented IDEAS Labs – IMPACT Accelerator to different groups, including Atlas Network’s Liberty Forum. His mentor from Atlas, Juan José Daboub, encouraged him to attend the Antigua Forum. Luis arrived with the outline for a simple yet powerful program: choose important policy areas; request proposals for reforms from a broad audience; choose the best proposals; develop strategies for these proposals to succeed; and then execute these strategies.

Process

At the Antigua Forum, Luis worked with his facilitator and participants to identify thirteen policy priorities, including education, poverty abatement, public health, regulatory policy, tax policy, and more. The project faced multiple challenges. How would the best proposals be accepted? How could the public be included in the selection process? How to mentor selected project owners to increase their chances of success? How to introduce these projects into the political process? Luis left the Antigua Forum with a clear strategy and an action plan.

Back in Costa Rica, Luis began to execute his strategy. It was then that #RevoluciónCR was born. After a single, well-received event in July, ideas started coming in. Three months later there were over six hundred proposals. Luis and team will select the three most promising proposals in each priority, resulting in thirty-nine finalists, which will be judged by the public to determine the thirteen final projects. Voting will be open to all citizens of Costa Rica via an Internet-based platform. In March 2017, project owners will attend an event and work with experts to improve their projects and help them execute them. The event will use a format and facilitators from the Antigua Forum.

Result

#RevoluciónCR has gained attention from government leaders, NGOs, academics, community leaders, and the press. Recently, Luis and IDEAS signed an MOU with Costa Rica’s Ministry of Commerce to help reform key policies. The country is applying for membership to the OECD and there are important requirements related to public policy reforms. Luis and team will help the government to develop reforms needed to meet the economic criteria for membership in the OECD, and to do this they will apply the IDEAS Labs – IMPACT Accelerator methodology.

Continuing his path of creative innovation, Luis will launch, by early 2017, Don Lucho, a new brand of beer that embodies the ideas of #RevoluciónCR. Don Lucho, which refers to someone who fights for what’s right, is expected to raise awareness for public policy reform.

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