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Territorial Dialogue Initiative (IDT) – Yumbo

The IDT is a multi-stakeholder dialogue methodology whose objective is to generate spaces for collaborative co-creation to design public policy proposals for a locally development challenge.


The IDT Yumbo worked on a challenge prioritized by citizens. The causes were identified and solutions were proposed, creating a policy prototype. Through advocacy platforms, the prototype was presented to the local and regional government to incorporate the proposal as part of the Municipal policymaking.

Innovation Summary

Innovation Overview

There is lack of legitimacy in the Colombian public decision-making process. This issue is associated with low citizens participation and deficient institutional response; at the same time, the gap between their expectations and their actions keeps broadening up.


Yumbo is a district that has been strongly affected by corruption in government and political instability (i.e., 6 Mayors within a four-year period). These situations impacted on the levels of citizens confidence and trust in public institutions. As evidenced in the 2021 Citizen Perception Survey of "Yumbo Cómo Vamos", 87% of citizens surveyed considered that corruption has increased or remains the same as compared to previous years. On a similar point, the lack of effective policymaking creating spaces or mechanisms for citizens participation has discouraged their engagement in public affairs. On the same Citizen Perception Survey, it was found that 94% of those surveyed did not take part in any space for citizen participation promoted by the municipal or regional government.


The RTD in Yumbo emerges as a methodology that helps addressing the lack of citizens participation and the legitimacy gap of public institutions. The methodology is twofold and engages both parties in the co-creation of solutions for a common challenge: 1) citizens co-create a solution prototype to address the challenge, 2) the municipality generates the space for advocacy and public debate so that the solution is incorporated. RTD is an innovative and tested methodology that contributes to the construction of solutions among the diversity of stakeholders regarding a local development issue. The prioritized agenda for the municipality of Yumbo was security, specifically, the affectation of youth by urban violence, particularly homicides.


According to the aforesaid survey, only 24% of inhabitants feel safe in their neighborhoods as product of the presence of cells of armed conflict parties, drug trafficking and the increasing trend in urban violence, specially among youth under 28 years old. Yumbo recorded the second highest homicide rate in Colombia in 2021. That said, it is evident that security is not only a challenge, but also a priority for both parties that sought to try unconventional methods to solve it.


Both parties decided to use a multi-stakeholder approach together with a democratic innovation method. On top of the insecurity issue, the Municipality ranked as 2nd in public security and justice investment in Colombia, unfortunately without achieving a sustained mitigation of the problem. In this sense, through applying methods of design thinking, creative problem solving and agile methods, the RTD developed three phases to co-produce a public policy draft document to be issued to  the local authorities:


-Design Phase: participants are divided into groups to work on the diagnosis of the problem (identification of causes and consequences), the proposal of solution alternatives and the prototyping of solution alternatives of high viability, fast implementation and high impact.
-Mentoring phase: based on the collectively built prototype, a public policy proposal document is created in response to the selected problem, as well as the advocacy strategy to obtain the necessary support for its implementation.
-Mobilization phase: based on the advocacy plan, the participants and the facilitating team meet with decision-makers and influencers to present the public policy proposal to them and enlist their support for its implementation.

As a final output, it is expected that the Municipality endorses the public policy proposal developed by the RTD and commits to the designation of resources and the incorporation of specific proposals in their public policies.

Innovation Description

What Makes Your Project Innovative?

The Yumbo RTD is an innovative proposal due to its multi-stakeholder nature that brings together: (i) private sector and foundations, (ii) institutions, represented by the Mayor's Office and the Governor's Office of Valle, (iii) civil society, including youth and social and community organizations; and (iv) thematic experts.

The methodology is based on principles of public innovation with 3 main characteristics that distinguish it from other public policy building initiatives in the territory. First, it is a low-cost initiative, compared to other investments focused on public policy formulation. Secondly, it is quick to implement, since it is developed in an average period of 7 months; and thirdly, it has a high impact, because it generates, collectively, solutions to a local development challenge that are embodied in a public policy proposal.

What is the current status of your innovation?

The innovation is under implementation and brought together participants under the Alliance between Yumbo, Smurfit Kappa Colombia and Corona Foundation. They created "Yumbo Como Vamos" in support of the initiative's thematic selection process and to the RTD.

Innovation Development

Collaborations & Partnerships

The innovation is under implementation and brought together participants under the Alliance between Yumbo, Smurfit Kappa Colombia and Corona Foundation. They created "Yumbo Como Vamos" in support of the initiative's thematic selection process and to the RTD.

Users, Stakeholders & Beneficiaries

43 local leaders from the private sector and philanthropists participated in the RTD, not to mention civil society organizations, thematic experts and the public sector. The Mayor's office participated through its advisors and the municipal councilors. The prototype was presented before the Mayor's office and the Governor's office of the region so that the initiative can be articulated at the local and regional levels.

Innovation Reflections

Results, Outcomes & Impacts

-A multi-stakeholder dialogue was generated, with 43 leaders (social, private and public), who built 5 problems, 5 causes, 5 challenges, 69 solution drafts and 15 solution prototypes, synthesized in a single public policy proposal focused on the prevention of violence in young people.

-The prototype is synthesized into two structural axes, 5 components and 50 actions. The first axis focuses on the social prevention of violence, and the generation of opportunities for young people; the second axis focuses on territorial security management.

-Citizens presented the draft public policy to decision makers; Mayor of Yumbo, Secretariats of Social Welfare, Education, Government and Security, the Office of Economic Development and the Council of Government.

-The Mayor's Office of Yumbo expressed its willingness to articulate the public policy proposal as a fundamental axis of the public youth policy and development plans.

Challenges and Failures

-Information asymmetry: All participants do not have the same security data. This challenge was faced with the incorporation of an expert, who made reports and tools to level the knowledge of the actors.

-Active participation of vulnerable youth: This population does not have active participation spaces. Consequently, their involvement in this type of spaces was complex. This challenge was solved through: the development of an innovative methodology, and the development of exclusive spaces with vulnerable youth to strengthen the policy prototype.

-Broad stakeholder participation: The challenge was the incorporation of an important sample of citizens. 43 stakeholders is a good number, however, it is too few in relation to the size of the problem.

Conditions for Success

Multi-stakeholder citizen participation. It is required that the RTD has different profiles so that the discussions have different points of view and build a prototype that responds to the territory.


-The local development challenge to be addressed is a need felt by the citizens. For this reason, an analysis was made of the issues that citizens consider that the public administration should give priority to, objective indicators of these issues and the Local Development Plan.

-The local government must have an interest in the prioritized issues and an interest in studying and articulating the public policy proposal created by the citizens.

-A team of experts must be available. On the one hand, in the methodology for its adequate implementation, and in the thematic, to channel the citizen discussions and technically raise the proposal.


RTD is an easily replicable methodology. The phases that comprise it can be developed in any territory and on any topic. It consists of 4 phases: enlistment (mapping of actors and thematic selection), design (identification of problems and design of solutions), mobilization (pitch creation and advocacy with decision makers) and evaluation of results.


Currently, RTD is being developed in Buenaventura, within the framework of the Alianza Activa Buenaventura. The priority issue for this territory was the increase in homicides of people between 15 and 24 years of age in Buenaventura. In addition, in departments such as Guajira, Cesar and Cordoba it was also used for issues related to the murder of social leaders in the region.


As part of the IDT in Yumbo, a methodological transfer is being made to the secretaries of education, welfare, mayor's office and economic development.

Lessons Learned

Democratic strengthening. As mentioned above, it allows for the qualification of citizen participation through innovative methodologies and guarantees that they are taken into account by the institutions. This improves the legitimacy of decisions.


-Methodological neutrality. The methodology guarantees horizontal participation as it allows all voices to have the same relevance. In addition, it allows the conversation of the citizenry to be included in the public policy prototype, overcoming the so-called "tyranny of the experts".

-Thematic relevance. Given that there is a specific section to triangulate data and choose a relevant topic, in the different implementations of the RTD, it has been demonstrated that it allows choosing topics that are relevant for both citizens and institutions.

-Multi-stakeholder participation. Given that there is a specific section to choose participants, it is possible to include actors from the entire ideological spectrum, from different origins, classes, ethnicities and ages. This enriches and strengthens the dialogue, especially in the construction of solutions.

-Replicability. RTD is based on three principles: rapid implementation, high impact and high viability. Consequently, it can be developed in any territory on any topic, taking into account that they are gamified methodologies.

-Tested. This methodology has been implemented and tested in 4 departments of Colombia, in 20 municipalities and will be used in innovation spaces that will make the new national government in Colombia.

Project Pitch

Supporting Videos

Year: 2022


Level of Government: Regional/State government


Innovation provided by:

Date Published:

15 November 2022

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