The Observatorio de Desarrollo Regional y Promoción Social, A.C. (ODP), is an NGO based in Mexico City. In ODP we believe that Mexico’s development depends on the existence of institutions that include, defend and promote the interests of all citizens. In order to build such institutions it is ODP’s mission to accompany the public sector in building mechanisms that foster participative governance while supporting citizens at the community level to identify, prioritise and manage their development agenda and help build the mechanisms for voice and accountability.
With a broad network of field staff – Social Promoters - ODP works at the community level in the most isolated and vulnerable municipalities in Mexico. ODP’s approach strikes an important balance between qualitative and quantitative work. At the grass roots level ODP adopts a community-based development approach by empowering communities to identify development opportunities with the help of Social Promoters. ODP supports them in building synergies with the local and federal government as well as the private sector. ODP fosters citizen engagement and accountability by collecting social demands and helping citizens voice their development needs through the appropriate public channels. ODP works at the policy level by informing the public sector of citizens’ social demands.
ODPs fieldwork is complemented by profound experience in research, analysis and data collection. We have developed a Governance and Development Index (Índice de Gobernabilidad y Desarrollo), which provides data at the municipal level for all 2,456 municipalities in Mexico. This is one of the analytical instruments ODP has generated through an extensive database, which includes indicators such as poverty, education, income, agriculture and livestock, political information, geographic data, property rights, as well as data on institutional capacities, conflict and violence. Coupled with the qualitative data from the field, this wealth of information allows for effective development planning and facilitates informed decision-making, as well as better interventions and project evaluations at the community level.