Care Blocks: recognized by the OECD as a global example of social innovation

Care Blocks: recognized by the OECD as example of social innovationPhoto: District Secretariat for Women's Affairs.
Care Blocks are pioneers in Latin America and have become a reference for innovation worldwide.

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The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development - OECD and the Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation highlighted Bogotá's work in the 'Global Trends 2023 - Embracing Innovation in Government'.

"The Care Blocks represent a good example of social innovation, but they can also become a case study in urban and infrastructure innovation. Implementing this easy access model requires reorganizing how the city was planned through the lens of a woman caregiver. Care becomes the epicenter of urban transformation", this is one of the highlights of the 'Global Trends 2023 - Embracing Innovation in Government' report.

The document, produced by the OECD and the Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation, captures public sector innovation trends for 2023, identified after an analysis of more than 1,000 innovation programs from 94 countries globally.

This year, the report identified four trends. The first trend has to do with "New forms of accountability for a new era of government," which incorporates artificial intelligence to ensure greater transparency in public affairs. The second trend highlights "New approaches to care" in search of better innovation in social policies. The third trend highlights "New methods for preserving identities and strengthening equity," and the fourth emphasizes "New ways of engaging citizens and residents" to have a more participatory government.

The Care Blocks were highlighted as a governmental social innovation within the framework of trend number two. According to the report, Bogotá's work is a benchmark in the development of infrastructure and provision of social services focused on the needs of caregivers.

The report also highlights the work carried out by the Secretariat for Women's Affairs, which is facing one of the greatest challenges in closing gender gaps: the lack of time for women who dedicate themselves exclusively to unpaid care work. The report indicates that with the mainstreaming of the gender approach in programs such as the Care Blocks, Bogotá is managing to transform the design and implementation of public policies in the social sphere.

In addition, the report emphasizes that this is the first time Bogotá's Master Plan has a clear gender focus by including the Care Blocks as the main axis for thinking and organizing the city around the needs of women.

The report also states that Bogotá's Care Blocks are an innovative system for three main reasons. The first reason is that they place caregivers at the center of the design of the city's public policies. The second reason is that they reorganize the territory to meet the needs of people, and not the other way around. The third reason is that they address the inequality of care burdens from a cultural and social perspective to ensure long-term sustainable change.

Additionally, the report highlights the Care Buses as an example of providing services in remote areas outside of urban centers. It also highlights the effort of the Bogotá Administration in creating a co-responsible Care System across the entire public sector.

The objective of the 'Global Trends 2023 - Embracing Innovation in Government' is to highlight the efforts of governments that, despite growing challenges, have been able to adapt and innovate to transform their societies and economies, as well as themselves and the ways in which they design policies, provide services, and manage the government.

Download and consult the complete report here.