Please briefly describe the initiative, what issue or challenge it aims to address and specify its objectives. (300 words maximum)
Consejo Nuevo León is a local advisory/consultative body of the State Executive that plans and evaluates public policies to foster sustainable development and the general well-being of the citizens of Nuevo León by integrating the experience and knowledge of people from civil society, academia, businesses and government. It seeks to promote a long-term vision for the state that transcends politics and that is based on rigorous research and analysis. Consejo Nuevo León was created by the Ley de Planeación Estratégica del Estado (Strategic Planning Law for the State) in 2014 after the successful experience of the State Council for the Reconstruction of the State of Nuevo León, where government, civil society, business and academia worked together to rebuild and support victims of Hurricane Alex. This law determines the objectives for Consejo Nuevo León as:
Foster long-term planning, accountability and evaluation of public policies in the state.
Design a Strategic Plan that includes an assessment of the current economic, social and political situation of the state, a 15-year vision, and long-term objectives with strategies.
Analyze the relationship and pertinence of the objectives within the Plan and the state budget.
Establish indicators to measure and evaluate the progress made for each objective established in the Plan.
Facilitate the collaboration between different sectors to fulfill the objectives of the Plan. Promote dialogue among different government areas and sectors of society to achieve the established goals together.
Communicate to society the objectives, progress and indicators included in the Plan.
Please explain how the initiative is linked to the selected category. (100 words maximum)
Consejo Nuevo León’s work approach directly promotes collaboration among public, private and social sectors to ensure accountability. This unprecedented approach is reflected in two particular areas:
Acting as a bridge between the academic, private and social sectors with the local government, harnessing applied research and experience to make policy and long-term strategy recommendations, advise the local government, and generate policy-oriented research and analysis.
Coordinating citizen evaluation of government performance and results using the targets established by the Plan.
a. Please specify which SDGs and target(s) the initiative supports and describe concretely how the initiative has contributed to their implementation. (200 words maximum)
The work of Consejo Nuevo León contributes to the implementation of multiple SDGs both through its purpose and the implementation of strategic projects. Consejo Nuevo León’s purpose is closely related to SDG 17, Partnerships for Sustainable Development, in particular with the following targets:
17.14 By enhancing policy coherence, harmonization and a long-term vision for sustainable development that transcends politics.
17.17 By encouraging a partnership that leverages knowledge and experience from different sectors of society.
17.19 By measuring progress on sustainable development using existing measurements and working on new ones.
Through some of the strategic projects we have facilitated we contribute to the implementation of other SDGs. For example, with the Nuevo León Zero Hunger Strategy, aligned to SDG 2, we seek to eliminate hunger and food waste in the state of Nuevo León through coordinated and innovative activities from different sectors: government, private sector, universities and non profit organizations.
b. Please describe what makes the initiative sustainable in social, economic and environmental terms. (100 words maximum)
Consejo Nuevo León is sustainable because of its institutional and collaborative nature. It was created by law in 2014, so the initiative has an institutional framework that validates its work and purpose. Also, the leadership fosters a generalized legitimacy in society since it is representative of key stakeholders for development. A hybrid financial model sustains the initiative economically, resources are secured through public and private funds (50-50) that ensure flexibility and longevity. Besides promoting sustainable development projects as one of the main activities of this initiative (i.e. State Water Plan), we have taken steps to make sure that our activities and projects are environmentally responsible in terms of waste, as well as the use of resources and energy.
a. Please explain how the initiative has addressed a significant shortfall in governance, public administration or public service within the context of a given country or region. (200 words maximum)
A particular issue that has not been addressed in Nuevo León, because of governance issues, is climate change, particularly air pollution in the city of Monterrey. In order to address such shortfall, Consejo Nuevo León has coordinated a group of different stakeholders in a State Strategy for Air Quality which seeks to establish a shared commitment to improve air quality through individual and collective responsibilities and actions that involve all sectors of society.
Another shortfall identified recently is the pension system in the state. If the tendency remains, the system will require 10% of the state budget by 2028, which will result in less capacity to invest and significant pressure to the state payroll and other expenses. Consejo Nuevo León coordinated a study that designed a roadmap, currently in implementation stage, to make the system sustainable in the long-term.
b. Please describe how your initiative addresses gender inequality in the country context. (100 words maximum)
Impulso Violeta, the Drive Group to Combat Violence Against Women in Nuevo León fosters cross-sector collaboration and ensure a long-term vision to end violence against women by gathering the knowledge and experience of the academia, the public sector and non profits.
Impulso Violeta promotes a model by a local nonprofit that includes the implementation of holistic attention centers called Puertas Violeta, which has been in operation for 25 years and has proved to be 100% effective in breaking the cycle of violence for women. It was recently presented as a national public policy to serve women victims of violence.
c. Please describe who the target group(s) were, and explain how the initiative improved outcomes for these target groups. (200 words maximum)
Since this initiative seeks to make public policy recommendations for the sustainable development of the state, its target groups are several and diverse. Based in the Strategic Plan, Consejo Nuevo León’s work is divided into six key areas: human development, sustainable development, economic development, security and justice, effective government, and public finance. Through these six areas, Consejo seeks to ensure the well-being of the citizens of Nuevo León with particular focus on the most vulnerable populations in terms of wealth, access to public services and inclusion. While the target group of this initiative is the entire population of the state of Nuevo León (5.5 million people) our strategic projects focus on improving the lives of such vulnerable populations. Some examples are:
The Nuevo León Zero Hunger strategy coordinates different sectors’ activities to address the needs of people living in extreme poverty with food insecurity in the state.
Impulso Violeta fosters cross-sector collaboration to eradicate violence against women in Nuevo León.
The pilot on early childhood education is working on developing socio-emotional skills among educators to stimulate children's learning.
a. Please describe how the initiative was implemented including key developments and steps, monitoring and evaluation activities, and the chronology. (300 words)
The Council was established by law in 2014 and started activities by drafting the Strategic Plan for the state, published in 2016. The strategic plan is a core tool for pursuing public policies beyond electoral cycles and ensuring a long term growth strategy. Therefore, the Plan is the basis for all other activities the Council has done, such as public policy recommendations in topics like air pollution and corruption for the past three years; the knowledge network that seeks to connect academic research to solving public challenges; forums on strategic topics such as youth employment and extreme poverty alleviation; and strategic projects such as the Nuevo León Hunger Zero Strategy or Impulso Violeta.
In the past 5 years, this initiative has coordinated several activities like the ones explained above, and it has also evaluated and reviewed the Plan’s implementation by the state government in an effort to identify the advantages, recognize opportunity areas and how to strengthen them, as well as measure the goals’ progress. So far, the Plan has been evaluated twice and will be evaluated and reviewed in 2020; where we will work on standardizing our research and analysis methodology, align larger frameworks and confirm our collective targets through a participatory process that will involve experts and practitioners from different sectors of society.
Today, after five years of lessons learned and successful collaboration activities, our core activities are:
Design and evaluation of public policy for the state of Nuevo León, where we work as a bridge between applied research and public policy recommendations.
Design, coordination and evaluation of strategic projects, where we facilitate the work between key stakeholders to solve the state’s most pressing problems.
Foster public debate, where we identify strategic issues and key stakeholders to discuss and plan solutions.
b. Please clearly explain the obstacles encountered and how they were overcome. (100 words)
A major obstacle is coordinating stakeholders, which we have managed by acting as a bridge between them, aligning individual interests to the collective good and inviting global experts to share their knowledge in priority areas.
Turnover among government office holders, which has been addressed by establishing sound relationships with second-tier public officials and using the experience of nonprofits and the private sector to hold other areas of the government accountable.
The lack of quality information related to the government’s everyday actions available to do research and analysis. This we are overcoming by implementing a Monitoring and Evaluation System with the support of the OECD.
a. Please explain in what ways the initiative is innovative in the context of your country or region. (100 words maximum)
The most innovative component of Consejo Nuevo León is the formalization, through a law, of a hybrid model of decision-making and participation to design long-term public policy for Nuevo León. Each thematic commission is led by two people: a state official and a citizen and comprised of a group of citizens who are experts on the topics addressed by each commission. The initiative groups more than 200 citizens from different sectors collaborating to fulfill its mission. In this hybrid structure, funding comes from both private and public sources, which is also a special characteristic of this planning entity.
b. Please describe, if relevant, how the initiative drew inspiration from successful initiative in other regions, countries and localities. (100 words maximum)
Consejo Nuevo León has drawn inspiration from strategic planning initiatives in countries like Germany, the United States or Japan, but has its own innovative components such as integrating different key stakeholders and using a strategic planning mechanism for a local government.
Our own experience overcoming the damage done by Hurricane Alex in 2010 (valued in 800 million dollars) with the State Council for Reconstruction, resulted in saving public money, while ensuring high-quality infrastructure. This experience proved that the collaboration between public and private entities could help consolidate the sustainable development of the state, thus, Consejo Nuevo León was created.
a. Has the initiative been transferred and/or adapted to other contexts (e.g. other cities, countries or regions) to your organization’s knowledge? If yes, please explain where and how. (200 words maximum)
It has not yet been transferred but we have been approached by at least three Mexican local governments interested in replicating our model in their own states. In the near future, we will be working on consolidating our operational model in order to consolidate a replicable formula that can be shared broadly.
b. If not yet transferred/adapted to other contexts, please describe the potential for transferability. (200 words maximum)
This initiative’s key elements are participation of all key stakeholders to design and evaluate the state’s vision and the public policy recommendations resulting from it; and a shared pool of resources that allow for the organization’s operation. Nuevo León has set an example taking full advantage of a government and citizenship committed to sustainable development and an array of national and international experts that have fostered Consejo Nuevo León’s technical and operational capacity such as McKinsey and the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE). Nonetheless, in order to correctly implement an initiative such as Consejo Nuevo León, it is essential to have a proactive private and social sector with interest to participate in public affairs and a public sector ready and willing to collaborate with others to further sustainable development.
a. What specific resources (i.e. financial, human or others) were used to implement the initiative? (100 words maximum)
Consejo Nuevo León has a core team of 10 people but works with more than 200 volunteers that are part of the six commissions that design and evaluate the Strategic Plan and do public policy analysis and recommendations. Financially, we are supported by a hybrid fund that comes from public and private resources that sustain the operation and strategic projects the initiative has. Our financial and human resources multiply when we facilitate collaboration among different sectors to design and implement strategic projects, publish and disseminate applied research and establish common actions to meet our goals.
b. Please explain what makes the initiative sustainable over time, in financial and institutional terms. (100 words maximum)
The permanence over time of this initiative is secured by two mechanisms that complement each other: a state law that supports the institutional sustainability and the hybrid financial model that secures the resources needed to operate. In this sense, the initiative is designed to outlive the current state government through this hybrid structure that has remained valid for at least five years and has worked with two different local administrations. The results accomplished by this initiative have turned it into a reliable source of evidence and public-related experience which gives Consejo Nuevo León public legitimacy.
a. Was the initiative formally evaluated either internally or externally?
b. Please describe how it was evaluated and by whom? (100 words maximum)
Annually, we are audited by KPMG and we conduct an internal evaluation of the Plan, which analyzes the long-term goals and targets and presents the activities and results that have been achieved in the last year. So far, we have published two annual evaluations and we are working on a third one to be published in 2020. By law, we are required to review the Plan every three years, and we have been working with OECD and CIDE to use a standardized methodology, which will improve and update the Plan’s objectives and our tools to evaluate it.
c. Please describe the indicators and tools used. (100 words maximum)
We use 60 indicators, recognized internationally or nationally, to evaluate the progress of the Plan on the different areas: economic development, sustainable development, human development, effective government, security and justice and public finance. We have a public dashboard online that is updated with our annual evaluation. We are working on a Monitoring and Evaluation System with OECD that will allow a constant monitoring of the government's actions, as well as a deeper understanding of the progress made in key indicators.
d. What were the main findings of the evaluation (e.g. adequacy of resources mobilized for the initiative, quality of implementation and challenges faced, main outcomes, sustainability of the initiative, impacts) and how this information is being used to inform the initiative’s implementation. (200 words maximum)
The 2017-2018 evaluation showed some of the main challenges faced by the initiative, as well as recommendations to improve the implementation:
Other areas of government must clearly identify how their activities relate to each of the Plan’s strategic objectives.
Innovative and successful initiatives should be institutionalized to amplify their scope and impact.
There is a need to have an integrated budget monitoring system to better measure the effectiveness of the different operational government areas.
Indicators used to measure the progress of the strategic objectives have to be reviewed and updated.
Institutional capabilities have to be strengthened within operational government areas in order to fully solve the state’s problems.
It is important to identify relationships among problems to design better recommendations to solve them.
Please describe how the initiative strives to work in an integrated manner within its institutional landscape – for example, how does the initiative work horizontally and/or vertically across different levels of government? (200 words maximum)
Consejo Nuevo León does not work unless it integrates the different organizations that constitute the institutional landscape of Nuevo León. The Council is presided by the governor and has representatives of the legislative and judicial branch, as well as the Federal Government. We work with the entire local public administration and we integrate different levels for different purposes that can add to the vision for Nuevo León. Second-tier officials participate as experts in their own fields and provide information and analysis on public issues to design policies and implement them. Municipality governments are also involved directly and indirectly in certain activities, especially the mayors of the Greater Metropolitan Area of Monterrey, since most of the population lives there.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development puts emphasis on collaboration, engagement, partnerships, and inclusion. Please describe which stakeholders were engaged in designing, implementing and evaluating the initiative and how this engagement took place. (200 words maximum)
The initiative involves stakeholders from all sectors of society: private sector, public sector, academia and social sector in its various stages. Since the design stage, Consejo Nuevo León has coordinated the participation of people from different backgrounds to ensure a complete understanding of the issues and consolidate a common vision that takes into consideration a diversity of perceptions and approaches. In the implementation, we work as a facilitator for cross-sector collaboration and commitment to solve the strategic issues outlined by the Plan.
As we are in a review stage, we launched a public consultation statistically representative in terms of geography and socioeconomic status of the population in the state to define the strategic issues identified by the general population. We will also launch a participatory process that will provide the main inputs required for this review.
Please describe the key lessons learned, and how your organization plans to improve the initiative. (200 words maximum)
The last five years have left important lessons that have helped us to plan for the future, some examples are:
We better understand our role as a long-term vision entity within the government and our work to support other operation areas in terms of public policy design and evaluation.
We are working with national and international experts (OECD and CIDE) to review the methodology and process of design of the Plan, our internal model of operation and designing a Monitoring and Evaluation System.
We have developed and prepared the internal team to better support the experts that participate in each commission.
We are working on understanding and analyzing the budget needs to adapt and improve processes within the government.
We are building better relationships with key stakeholders to fulfill the long-term vision for the state.