Some time ago, a group of programs that promote innovation and compile information about management experiences in various fields in Latin America began discussing ways to share the outcomes of different methodologies for selecting and evaluating innovative initiatives and good practices. The goal is to use this information to develop a process of knowledge management that takes collective advantage of the broad range of information gathered and knowledge produced and accumulated by various programs through their databases, publications, evaluation processes and other means, and make this material available to public officials and members of civil society so they can take advantage of this knowledge.Identifying experiences and analyzing them in terms of the innovation they introduce and the "good practices" they contain is an excellent tool for fostering institutional and social learning at various levels and in various ways. Lessons learned through these practices can and should be disseminated widely among actors who seek to implement new forms of economic and social management in governmental and non-governmental spheres. They offer models for connecting governmental and civic practices (especially at the local levels), provide input for training leaders and public servants based on concrete experiences, and are highly motivational for those engaged in similar efforts, as they highlight visible accomplishments in complex areas of social intervention.The goal of the Latin American Observatory on Local Public Innovation is to design and implement a knowledge management system about innovation in local public administration in Latin America, allowing the aggregated use of information from various databases about the topic that exist in the region, and promoting replicability, the formation of human resources in public administration, and the design of local, regional and national public policy.The Observatory's most immediate tasks include:
The main areas addressed by the experiences identified by the various programs are socio-economic development, land-use planning and environment, infrastructure and public services, health and social services, education and culture, administration and government, justice and public security, and administration and civil rights.The main evaluation criteria for identifying good practices include improving access to and the efficiency, quality and equality of services; inter-sector and public-private collaboration or integrated territorial management; civic participation; and innovation in local administration.