Proposed council to work with nonprofits and government

By Antonio De Jesús Aguado

One of the most important strengths of San Miguel de Allende is its nonprofit organizations. Currently 130 are operating in the city, and all of them have the common objective of supporting those in need. To help the many nonprofits work together as a team, it has been suggested that a council be formed to provide cohesion and support.

City hall’s NGO liaison

In 2009, the municipal administration created the Department of Liaison with Nonprofit Organizations. According to its head, Irma Rosado, this department was created to forge a connection between the local government and nonprofit organizations so they could work together more effectively. Rosado stated, “If we know what the activities of the nonprofit organizations are and what the city council is doing with government programs and budgets, then we can plan better, and consequently we would be able to administer our services in a different way in terms of attention and financial resources and start planning projects with a long-term vision.” The idea of forming a council has been proposed as a visionary and ongoing project.” Through Rosado’s department four forums have been organized thus far, and on December 13, 2011, several members of NGOs proposed the creation of a council.

Functions of the council

This council, according to Rosado, “could have the potential to create a trusteeship with the goal of obtaining international funding, which could guarantee the continuity of projects.” She also commented that the council could develop regulations for nongovernmental organizations and participate in the creation of public policies along with municipal, state and federal governments. Most importantly, according to Rosado, the council could propose to the city council a list of three possible candidates to occupy the head of the Department of Liaison with Nonprofit Organizations.

After the council is formed, existing organizations could be registered with the national Secretariat of Social Development and also with the secretariat of the state of Guanajuato. Rosado noted that the council would oblige the organizations to carry out the regulations so the council and the secretariat can determine the main activities of the organizations, and subsequently the organizations could get financial resources from the appropriate funding bodies for training and development.

Regulations in progress

During December 2011 and January 2012, meetings with representatives of more than 80 organizations were held to develop the regulations. Currently Rosado and the organizations are adjusting some details so the regulations can be submitted to the city council for approval.  Rosado said, “For the organizations it is a priority to have the regulations approved first by the city council, then by the congress of Guanajuato, and finally by the federal congress before the end of this administration [in October 2012].”

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