GP2 “Towards Equitable and Sustainable Integrated Water Resource Management policies in Peru”– Reflection paper 1


Seek truth from facts” (Chinese expression)

I have learned during my MPPGA to think about solve problems looking for the facts and evidence. I try to explore how the new knowledge that I am learning during this program is linked with real cases that in my country and in the world in general. For example, my process starts by taking a problem exposed in the classes, doing the readings and try to think what are the ways to solve this issue in a critical way and with a criterion of equity and the common good.

In my thought process, sometimes, it happens to me that by wanting to think in a different way or looking for new frameworks and tools to solve public policy problems I find myself in a moment where I do not have the concepts and the right tools to go deeper into the phenomenon. I suppose that with more time, study and experience I will be able to find those novel answers. For now, I try to maintain a balance between what I teach and learn by my story in the world of public policies and I feel to seek new horizons to understand and solve the pressing problems that the world and my society pose to me.

In a more concrete way, I always try in my process of weighting and solving public policy problems to know what are the paradigms that are behind and why certain frameworks and tools for action. That is, in the case of the Project with ANA I have tried to decipher what the Integrated Water Resource Management paradigm means, what are the concepts, tools and methods that are proposed to advance the democratization of water in the world and that is so relevant for the Latin American reality, a region where inequality and structural inequality is the largest in the world.

I believe that the course of GPP 590 A has been very interesting so far, especially because it allows us to interact in a more creative and team-based way around a problem of public policies. It is not a typical class in which a single subject transmits knowledge, but this policy studio environment invites us to recognize ourselves as creators and carriers of public policy knowledge.

Now, I recognize that I still have a hard time understanding the relationship between the method of design thinking and creativity for innovation and the other approaches and tools that we have acquired throughout the program for the analysis and resolution of public policy problems in general.

In this sense, I believe that another very valuable aspect of GP2 has been to be able to apply the quantitative and qualitative tools acquired during the first year of study in the program to a real case. I find it interesting to see how the field of action of public policies goes beyond the quantitative aspect of a problem. If there is a characteristic that I can observe in the design process, elaboration of a public policy is that it is dynamic and not static. For example, I have been able to see how all the different parts of the analysis and problem resolution framework of public policies interact with each other, rather than being linear, one-dimensional processes.

Finally, I have been able to reflect on the challenges posed by this process of elaboration of a public policy proposal aimed at water management in a country like Peru. For example, it is challenging to be precise in the definition of the problem that we would like to analyze and make a proposal for change in the context of the National Water Authority. Likewise, it is another challenge for me to think how we are going to interact in an effective way with a reality like Peru when our interlocutors are public actors. Specifically, as a future policy maker specializing in development and social change in Ecuador and in the Latin American context, I hope to learn to incorporate criteria of equity and inclusion in the process of design, elaboration and implementation of public policies.


Interview with Professor Maxwell Cameron: Latin America as a region for democratic innovation.

I would like to share the interview with Professor Maxwell Cameron about Latin America as a region for democratic innovation.  You could find this interview at the UBC MPPGA Student Union podcast here.

Professor Cameron is one of the greater experts on Latin America comparative politics at UBC. His work focused on Democratic theory and practice in Latin America. On this episode of “The Pub” we talked about the Participatory democracy institutional innovation that occurred in the region during the last decades.

The region have several opportunities to build Democracies with power base on a strong citizenship sense thanks to this participatory mechanisms. According to Professor Cameron the participatory innovation institutions could work as the adequate space to educate people to become citizens.

Finally, it was an honor to learn from an intellectual who is a good friend of Latin American´s people.


Global Governance in its Labyrinth: History, Deficiencies and Successes


This paper was made it for my course on Modern Public Management together with my group (Beilmann, Akwiri, Bastidas) related with the Global Governance Analysis, Public Management and Multilevel Governance in Limited States.

Link to the paper, here: https://www.scribd.com/document/367401086/Final-Copy-Public-Management-Paper


Reflections On Data Collection for the Global Affairs Social Media Census

I have to analyze six twitter accounts made by Global Affairs Canada.  Those accounts could be divided between Global North hegemonic countries, and more southern peripheral countries. All of them located in Europe, and one in Eurasian to be precise. In general, there is  a pattern to promote a Canada foreign investment agenda around natural resources extraction combining with trying to promote as a State nice face in myriads of banality topics and other more serious (Gender equality).

In terms of engagement and audience, it seems a difference between interaction at Global North countries where there exist no so big interest by their citizens to have a nice reply from Canadian diplomacy. As a contrast, in some peripheral countries there is a more interest in feeling the “Canadian diplomacy spirit” probably more related with the economical suffering and a possible migratory plan.  The exception to the Global North countries that I notice it is related to UK society, where there is an abundance of interactions very expectable from a historical, cultural, and dominance ties between UK in relation with Canada political establishment.

My surprises findings it was when collecting data from Canadian embassy at Turkey and at Germany. In the case of Turkey there exist an interesting reference to artistic activities, such as film festivals. In the case of Germany embassy there is several references to Margaret Atwood tour around German books fairs. Both references I found more constructive from the perspective of “Twitplomacy”, rather than just trying to back up the Mining State interests.  So there could be a reflection in terms of content and what kind of Canada diplomatic legations wants to promote abroad, either the Gord Downie´s Canada (thumbs up!) or the big business one?

In sum, there still a need for working on a more structure goal-driven strategy and also to define the political point of view for this strategy. On the other hand, there still needs to build a double-way engagement with the different audiences at different countries.


Is The State the Problem or the Solution?


“Since its founding fathers, the United States has always been torn between two traditions, the activist policies of Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804) and Thomas Jefferson´s (1743- 1826) maxim that the “government that govern least, governs best”. With time and usual American pragmatism, this rivalry has been resolved by putting the Jeffersonians in charge of the rhetoric and the Hamiltonians in charge of policy”

(Erik Reinert)

This post contains some free reflections about the State and its importance within the social dynamic, after I finished to read the amazing book written by Mazucatto tite “The Enterprenaurial State: Debunking public vs. private sector myths”. Sorry, Reaganomics but even under the contemporary capitalist scholars discussion the State rather that just being important, it is the real catalyst of the Digital Revolution and Knowledge society.

Historically, the State purpose has been under big discussions in the different social realms. Among the political forces there has been a big struggle for increase or decrease the State role in the social life. Conservative forces have struggle for a minimum size State restricted just for given security to citizens and enforcement of the laws. As contrast, the reformist forces have struggle for strong State capable to protect their citizens since the birth until their deaths.

From a theoretical perspective this rich debate regarding the State role appears in the different political theory traditions. According to the Liberals the State has to be provide basic goods and act in relation to a procedural notion of Justice (Rawls). The anarcho-capitalist scholars have developed the primacy of markets instead of any other social instance, so that the State has to work for improving the functioning of those markets (Nozick). The Marxist tradition has divide between Lenin approach whereas the State is just the Executive Committee of Ruling Elites interests and rights, on the other hand more critical perspectives whereas the State is the result of force correlations within a Society (Gramsci, Jessop, Miliband).

During the 80´s, this debate was appropriate sum in the famous Ronald Reagan rhetoric in the sense that the Government is will be always the problem, and never part of the solution. Underlying this notion supposedly the countries has to shift from a post war welfare policy (interventionist State) to the absolutism of the free markets. In spite of the rhetoric use by Reagan his policies were always interventionist in support of USA capitalist historical cycles, expanding military budget and their big corporations interests around the world.

In these sense, Canadian scholars Leo Patnich and Sam Gindin has shown with strong historical evidence how the State has been always the backbone for the development of US capitalism during the last 300 years. Beyond from being a stranger to US reality the interventionist and protectionist State idea has been the most American genuine paradigm. For example, since the Jefferson government it was inaugurated the idea of the protectionist policy in order to granted the development of the “infant industry”.

The “Entrepreneurial State” paradigm could be situated among this historical and theoretical debates regarding how to conceive a State in front of society needs. I think the most accurate expression to describe how really works and should work the State came from the Gramscian reflection of this phenomenon. Gramsci idea of the State it’s a conception pointed out that the State it’s the result of the correlation of force in between the Civil Society and Political Society. In these sense, it is more usefully to analyze the State role from a complex approach were the State could be a mix of problem and solution depending of material historical conditions. A direct consequence of this paradigm is to debunking the public vs private sector frontiers.

Mazzucato sum very well this debate stating “it is necessary to build a theory of the State´s role in shaping and creating markets- more in line with the work of Karl Polanyi (1944) who emphasized how the capitalist market has from the start been heavily shaped by State actions”.


Cinema, political education, and social change

“Times have changed. It’s not like the Old Days — when we can do anything we want. A refusal is not the act of a friend. If Don Corleone had all the judges, and the politicians in New York, then he must share them, or let us others use them. He must let us draw the water from the well. Certainly he can — present a bill for such services; after all — we are not Communists.”

(Barzini, the Godfather III, Francis Ford Coppola)

The Cinema has a powerful potential to help us understand the World Order in a more subtle and comprehensive way. In the tradition Cinema-politics there are two main currents of thought: the first one argues that the cinema has to be used as a tool for ideological indoctrination, the typical example being the Soviets´ Films; the second one says that the Cinema has to be used just to promote critical thinking through the possibility to share technical concepts with the audience. Probably, the second approach could be the most effective if it´s taking account the postmodern times.

Nowadays, the Cinema has become a useful instrument to create values, maintain cultural hegemonies, impose cultural identities and to further political positions; in fact, as Walter Benjamin said “the nature who speaks to the camera, it´s not the same that one which speaks to the humans ‘eye” and in this line of ideas the the key concept to understand is “abstraction”.

It is important to recognize that neoliberalism’s greatest victory, rather than the destructions of the unions or the privatization of the state, has been the people’s unnoticed indoctrination in its dangerous discourse; it´s big triumph has been the colonization of the human minds (Leftists and Progressive included). The Neoliberalism has managed to build a cultural consensus among the people with the greed and individualism as (anti)values in part because the mass Medias and the Cinema. This postmodern consensus has converted “to liquid”, or casual, most social relations,. According to this ideal everything must be casual, the political struggles are casual, the friendships are casual, and the love and affective relationships are casual (the movie to explore this tension could be “The dreamers” by Bernardo Bertolucci); the world is a big Super Market where all human beings are simply commodities and this ideal could be traduced in pleasure, just pleasure, and nothing more than pleasure, or to put it in North American terms “You Only Live Once (YOLO)”. Thus, the great strategic and tactical mistake kn the Leftist family has been to fail to recognize this new reality. Marx, in a visionary way, on the Communist Manifest also recognizes this Capitalist model characteristic, “[…]These labourers, who must sell themselves piecemeal, are a commodity, like every other article of commerce, and are consequently exposed to all the vicissitudes of competition, to all the fluctuations of the market[…]”. This hegemony could be challenge by a counter-hegemony trough the same cultural device.  As Fidel said, and Gramsci and Buttler understood very well, the main (but not only) political battle is the battle of ideas.

It is imortant to stress the neccesity of “The other” alongside the Cinema speech. Therefore, it will be necessary to review Hollywood films and Cinema Art films. In the Hollywood tradition it is possible to find both hegemony and counter-hegemonic films. For example, “Batman: the dark knight arises” is an interesting movie to understand how the mainstream Cinema works, in this film the popular struggle and the revolutionary ideal are reduced to the Bane character and his movement “The shadow League”, a terrorist organization that pretends to change the World Order through its total destruction. Thus, the implicit message for the audience was, “Hey, be aware of those Leftist and Progressive forces who want to change the social order, because, at the end of the day, they are kind of Banes. Was it a coincidence or an intentional strategy to release this film in the middle of the “Occupy Wall Street” protest in the USA? Another good example of the Hollywood style could be the James Bond movie “Skyfall”. In this Bond film the villain is Raoul Silva (with a fantastic performance by Javier Bardem) a former MI6 agent who worked for M in Singapor. Silva is   a cyberterrorist who is releasing the identities of field agents to seek revenge against MI6. Again, was it a coincidence or not to release this film in moments where Julian Assange and Wikileaks were trying to show the world what the real Imperial political order is?

Despite the huge advantage that neoliberalism has in the cultural struggle our answer, paraphrasing Humprey Bogart in “Casablanca” , is “We will always have Paris” or  “We will always have HOPE!”. So, there are ways for deconstruct Hollywood speeches, to awake our deepest human being essence throught the South Global films (Pontecorvo, Meirelles, Gutierrez Alea), to link the Socialism, Politics and Love through the Ken Loach films, to explore the gender relations and women condition around the Fellini movies, the “Nouvelle vague” French films, and “Lolita” by Kubrick and to understand the aesthetic of the violence through Par Chan-Wook movies.


Reflections on Right to Water in Ecuador

Since the Constitution of 2008 the water acquire a legal status as Human Right, and deserve a constitutional protection as a part of the Nature (1).  Ecuadorian constitution was the first in the world to introduce a Bill of Rights for the nature. In this line, there is several duty that State has to follow to protect and fulfill every citizen needs, as for instance, to granted the communitarian governance of hydric sources, to prevent and response to any pollution on water reserves, to granted that every citizen has access to clean water and sanitation services.

Accordingly to United Nations SG6 until 2030, every society has to granted to their citizens the universal access to clean water and related services. Also is a sensitive goal to granted the protection of every ecosystem related to forest, rivers, and any other source of fresh water. Finally, the UN commitment stress out the importance that International cooperation transfer enough resources and technology to support Global South societies in order to fullfill this goal. (2)

In spite of theses constitutional provisions and the UN development goals there still many challenges to secure the universal access to water in Ecuador. In this sense, a Ombudsperson report suggest to develop public policies toward to reorganize the Institutional framework wich has the responsibility to protect and provide clean water to every citizen, to mitigate the poluttion of rivers by urban consumption, and most important to protect the water sources from extractivism industries. (3) 

One of the main concerns at the national public debate is about the mining activities on Amazonian and indigenous ancestral lands.  So that, there is a tension in how extractions industries operates vis-a-vis indigenous communities rights and needs.   


  1. http://pdba.georgetown.edu/Constitutions/Ecuador/english08.html
  2. http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/es/water-and-sanitation/
  3. http://repositorio.dpe.gob.ec/handle/39000/119



Reflections on the Rohingya case

Since August 2017 thousands of Rohingya members have fled from Myanmar due to deliberately acts of persecution, which roots to an old ethnic conflict where majority of people resisted to recognized that community as a citizen of Myanmar (1). Accordingly, to General Secretary of the United Nations Mr. Antonio Guterres all this situation could be perfectly framing under the legal category of “ethnic cleansing”.  In this post, I would like to pointed out two topics: (i) to relate the cause of this conflict due to material conditions, and (ii) the necessity that neighbours countries recognize the Rohingya refugees under “prima facie” collective process.

The economical roots for this persecution

There is a common explanation to the Rohingya persecution case on arguments where it says that the main causes are just ethnic and historical differences. Yet, there is another way to find the main causes for this conflict in the economical realm.  A research made by “The conversation” base on evidence that shows that religion or ethnic difference are no the only causes for this persecution, and it is important to notice how economical factor has influence this humanitarian crisis (2).  Whereas, there has been a myriad of tensions between different ethnic groups and economical interest around land and extractive natural resources.

This research explains how historically in Myanmar the confiscation of Land has been a widespread practice by the State and Military agents.  This practice works as an effective way to cause desposetion and for fulfil economical purposes in terms to secure extractions industries interests mainly.  So that, it is sensitive to take into account this kind of factor in order to assesses in adequate way the real dimension of the problem.   

This connection between extractive industries, land dispossession and causing social conflicts affecting minorities groups it seems as a trends worldwide, with a harder impact among Global South communities.

The necessity of a prima facie procedural asylum recognition

Another important point to is to advocate for an effective protection responses to the Rohingya humanitarian needs.  International Refugee Law established that the Recognition of Refugee status could be made either individually or in collective way. In this line, it is important for International community to press to neighbour countries in order they offer fair and fast Refugee Status Determination under the institution of “prima facie” process. UNHCR has defined the prima facie process as “[s]situations have […] arisen in which entire groups have been displaced under circumstances indicating that members of the group could be considered individually as refugees. In such situations the need to give assistance is often extremely urgent and it may not be possible for purely practical reasons to carry out an individual determination of refugee status for each member of the group. Recourse has therefore been had to so-called “group determination” of refugee status, whereby each member of the group is regarded prima facie (i.e. in the absence of evidence to the contrary) as a refugee.” (3)

In other words, due to the objective evidence from Country of Origin and massive persecution that are facing Rohingya as ethnic group it is a necessity that their Refugees Status Determination will be determinate in a collective way. Therefore, their basic need could be addressed in a more proper way.


  1.  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/11/un-myanmars-treatment-of-rohingya-textbook-example-of-ethnic-cleansing
  2. http://theconversation.com/religion-is-not-the-only-reason-rohingyas-are-being-forced-out-of-myanmar-83726
  3. UNHCR, Handbook and Guidelines on Procedures and Criteria for Determining Refugee Status under the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees, reissued December 2011, HCR/1P/4/ENG/REV.3 (hereafter “UNHCR, Handbook”), para. 44.