The policy of social and urban intervention achieved by the Government of Santa Fe together with five municipalities of the province through the Plan Abre, was distinguished with a special mention by the Organization of American States (OAS) in the category social inclusion of the 5th edition of the Inter-American Innovation Award for Effective Public Management 2017.
This OAS award, which has been given since 2013, seeks to recognize, encourage, systematize and promote the innovations in public management that are being carried out in the region, with the purpose of contributing to the public institutions of America being more transparent, effective and have mechanisms for citizen participation. The evaluation criteria to obtain this distinction were: their unprecedented character, the citizen impact, efficiency, replication and sustainability of experience, gender perspective and citizen participation.
"This international recognition reaffirms that we are on the right track. The Plan Abre is an unprecedented experience in the country and Latin America to reach each neighborhood with works that represent a real improvement in the quality of life of the neighbors and with actions to ensure access to rights," said the governor of Santa Fe, Miguel Lifschitz.
Created in 2013 under the coordination of the Social cabinet, Plan Abre proposes an integral intervention of different areas of the management in conjunction with the municipalities of Rosario, Santa Fe, Villa Gobernador Gálvez, Santo Tomé, and Pérez, in order to improve inclusion in the most vulnerable neighborhoods through the incorporation of urban infrastructure; ensuring the access to rights such as education, health, documentation, social protection, habitat, and training for employment; and reduce urban violence, through the recovery of ties and the promotion of coexistence.
"Plan Abre operates in an integral way with works and initiatives of neighborhood improvement, of houses, relocation, opening of streets and since last year, we have begun a new stage that is the Abre Familia. It is not just about bringing the state's policies closer, but about reaching each home, knocking on each neighbor's door to bring the proposals, actions and to guarantee the basic rights," the Governor explained.
Lifschitz remarked, “Plan Abre is not one more plan, but the political decision, a different look and a commitment that we assume from politics in general so that the social inclusion is with equity, to give a chance to thousands of santafesinos", and in this sense he extended the award "to all the workers of the state who day by day travel the neighborhoods, dialogue with the neighbors and they seek that all the neighbors can have access to health, to improve their housing, to finish the school, or to be able to obtain a work".
"The fact that an international body like the OAS has looked at the Plan Abre and what is being done in Santa Fe to diminish inequality, gives us pride and an impulse to further deepen our social policies to improve increasingly the quality of Life of the santafesinos, "emphasized the governor. And he added that the reports of the Argentine Catholic University (UCA) that mark a decrease in indigence in the Great Rosario and in the Great Santa Fe, and place poverty rates below the national average, reaffirm the validity of policies applied in the province".
The Plan Abre was one of the 118 nominations from 9 countries in the hemisphere to compete in four categories: Social Inclusion, Open Government, Gender and Rights Approach, Human Talent Management and Institutional Coordination. Argentina presented nine nominations, two of which were finalists, including the proposal for social inclusion of the Government of Santa Fe.
This year for the V Edition, the Special Jury was formed by Adriana Kugler, professor of public policy at Mc Court School Of Public Policy from Georgetown University; Isabella Alcañiz, associate professor in the Department of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland; Michael Camilleri, director of the Peter D. Bell program on State under the rule of law, of the Inter-American Dialogue Institute; and Hilary Anderson, senior specialist of the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM).
The Plan Abre has garnered significant international recognition since its implementation. In the same event, in its 2016 edition, it had already reached the selection instance for the final evaluation by the special jury, along with 24 other initiatives from across the continent. In addition, it had been awarded in 2014 with the international recognition of "good sub-national practices in public policies for social development in Latin America". The distinction was given by the Clear Center for Latin America, the Center for Economic Research and Teaching (Cide), the Government of the State of Guanajuato (Mexico) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). At that time the provincial minister of Social Development, Mónica Bifarello, as coordinator of the Social Cabinet, was invited to receive the recognition and to present the experience of the Plan Abre in the National Congress of Social Programs.