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What is Medellín doing for digital rights?

Medellín is moving towards the consolidation of a smart territory, placing citizens at the epicentre of this process, with the aim of improving their quality of life and addressing the challenges inherent in the transformation towards a smart and digital city. In addition to becoming the 1st District of Science, Technology and Innovation in Colombia, changes have been generated for the city, which seek to increase the stimuli and incentives for the promotion and development of the territory, impacting its inhabitants, and tending to the generation of digital confidence, and inclusive public policies with a more participatory democracy.  Some of the city's contributions in terms of digital rights have been:

Focus Medellín close and transparent

The city's transformation process has also been digitally oriented, and today Medellín stands out for its contributions to digital rights, thanks to its commitment to technological inclusion and citizen participation. The implementation of digital infrastructures, online services and the promotion of digital literacy ensure that citizens have equal access to information. Some of the actions carried out in terms of accessibility, equity and transparency are:

Compliance with Law 1712 of 2014, resolution 1519 of 2020.
The district administration complies with Law 1712 of 6 March 2014, on Transparency and access to public information, through Resolution 1519 of 2020 (August 24), which defines the requirements for access to public information, web accessibility, digital security and open data, good practices that promote the development of accessible digital services that benefit all types of users, through content that is presented in an understandable and friendly way for all people, facilitating their autonomous and independent access. 

MEData - Open Data Portal of the District of Medellín
One of the good practices that the district of Medellín has been implementing to become a smart city, centred on citizens, is the MEData strategy, under the premise of an open and agile government, where information belongs to everyone and is for everyone; this serves as a basis for decision-making and as a support tool for the work carried out by the different departments, and so that citizens and any entity (public or private) can download the information in editable formats and view it on dynamic dashboards, and even cross-reference it with figures or indicators of interest. Thus, a constant and reliable source of information is provided, updated according to the parameters of equality and transparency, with a clear objective of being used to generate knowledge and promote technological innovation and economy through data. 

Focus Medellín connected

The existing connectivity gap in our territory is one of the issues that became more relevant in times of pandemic. Now as a Special District of Science, Technology and Innovation it is essential to have actions aimed at having an increasingly connected citizenship, with good quality internet and especially those of the most vulnerable sectors; some of these actions are:

District Connectivity Plan
The Plan is at the proposal stage and defines the general characteristics and policies that enable the Special District of Science, Technology and Innovation of Medellín to establish, update and maintain the technical, operational, social, financial and legal parameters to meet the objectives defined by the District Administration in terms of connectivity, internet access and information and communication technologies, in direct relation to the plans, programmes and projects defined in this area by the National Government through the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications.

District Agreement for the Internet Minimum Living Standard 
The Mínimo Vital de Internet project responds to the need to reduce the gap in access to goods and services associated with connectivity through the creation of a monetary incentive that facilitates internet access to populations with greater difficulties of access; under this premise, the District Council of Medellín issued the District Agreement 057 of 2022 "Whereby guidelines are established to implement the minimum vital internet in Medellín and other provisions are issued". With the approval of the project, a public policy could be generated to subsidise a minimum amount of internet access in all households in Medellín, taking into account that 13 of the 16 municipalities have an internet connection deficit of more than 18% and in rural areas, the disconnection reaches, on average, 50%.

Free Wifi hotspots: Medellín Digital 
The Medellín Digital Programme, created by District agreement number 05 of 2008, and recently modified by District agreement 078 of 2023, is oriented towards education, from a formal approach, but also encompassing a focus on strengthening and reinforcing the skills necessary to encourage entrepreneurship and promote the use and appropriation of digital government strategies.

DRAFT AGREEMENT 040 OF 2020 - Neighbourhood Coworking Programme
The programme is created with the aim of developing connectivity infrastructures and workspaces with a territorial and gender focus, allowing any inhabitant of the city to telework, access job training, eliminate connectivity gaps and access the digital society.

Focus Medellín equal for all

Medellín distinguishes itself as an equitable territory through its inclusive approach in the digital transformation process, developing initiatives that seek to close digital divides, and ensure that all people have equal access to digital opportunities, through digital education programmes, and the expansion of online services are examples of strategies that contribute to digital equity. Some initiatives that promote equality and citizen participation in the digital environment are:

ApropiaTIC: The use and appropriation strategy of the District of Medellín. 
It is the bet focused on the creation of digital competences and the socialisation of both internal and external digital services, as a novel approach to the implementation and management of MINTIC's Digital Government Policy, which is in favour of public digital transformation. 
In this sense, ApropiaTIC has trained more than 10,000 people, including civil servants and citizens, in the correct use of ICTs and has achieved the development of digital literacy in the District of Science, Technology and Innovation. Its main objective is to manage technological appropriation and digital culture through the generation of dissemination strategies, training and learning processes, as vehicles for the digital transformation of the entity and the improvement in the use and exploitation of technological services by citizens and public servants. 

EVA - Escuela Virtual de Aprendizaje del Distrito de Medellín (Virtual Learning School of the District of Medellín)
The Virtual Learning School, EVA, was created in 2020 with the aim of training citizens and civil servants of the Medellín City Council on various topics and providing them with tools to advance the transformation that was to be carried out, particularly with the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Since its creation to date, it has had an impact on 13,700 people, including civil servants, contractors and citizen groups, of whom 7,800 have completed their training processes at both the basic and advanced levels, allowing participants to take several courses at the same time, generating the issuing of 10,600 certificates to date.

Co-creation of the Digital Rights Guide for Latin America
The initiative developed by CAF, UN Habitat, and the consulting firm UNIT, for the creation of the Digital Rights Guide for Latin America, sought to replicate the experience obtained with the creation of the guide for Europe, in which Brussels, Dublin, Sofia, and Tirana participated; applying the same exercise at the Latin American level, Medellin was one of the finalist cities, selected from a group of 36 participating cities, for being a reference in innovation and digital transformation, with strategies such as MedeINN, the Public Innovation Lab. In order to work together to leverage people-centred smart cities and contribute to the incorporation of human rights in the digital transformation of Latin American cities, the Practical Guide for the Digital Transformation of Cities in Latin America was co-created.

1st Regulatory Design Centre of the Public Innovation Lab - MedeINN
The Regulatory Design Centre is the project of the Public Innovation Lab, MedeINN, which fulfils the objective set out in Law 1955 of 2019, to overcome regulatory barriers and organisational culture to promote public innovation. From the Regulatory Design Centre, the 1st Bill for the implementation of emerging technologies in the government sector, which facilitate and promote digital transformation, was built, and in the open innovation processes of the laboratory, the Terms of Reference for calls for proposals with user-centred legal design were created.

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