Open government in education: learning from the "Auditores Juveniles" programme in Peru

This case study analyses how the "Youth Auditors" programme developed by the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic of Peru is implemented in schools as a mechanism for democratic participation and citizen oversight by regular basic education students in public schools. In addition, it is a tool that seeks to involve students in the improvement and monitoring of educational services.

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The objective of the "Youth Auditors" programme is to encourage the participation of secondary school students in school audits for citizen oversight and the development of a culture of integrity. The audits focused on educational and public services, which has generated broad and inclusive participation from students in this activity. As a result, from 2010 to 2021, a total of 961,922 youth auditors participated in the Programme at national level, with the production of 559,766 school audits. It should be noted that the switch to virtual with the onset of the Covid-19 health crisis, did not limit the geographical coverage and scope of the programme, but instead, it increased them.

School auditing is characterised by six implementation phases: awareness-raising, planning, execution, preparation and presentation of the audit report, communication of results and follow-up. These phases were carried out in both face-to-face and virtual modalities and were developed through mutual collaboration and fluid communication between the actors involved, respecting hierarchical levels and without significant conflicts.

The persons interviewed for the study recognise that it encourages participation without discrimination, collaboration, and contributes to the modernisation of the state, thus promoting transparency.

During the implementation of the Programme, some problems or challenges arose, such as the socio-economic conditions of some pupils that force them to drop out, the organisational culture of some educational institutions, the lack of optimal planning for the fulfilment of the agenda, and problems of internet connectivity in some regions.

The study concludes that the way in which the Programme has been structured – while not explicitly designed as part of an open government policy in education – in practice features the three key components of an open government, namely: transparency, participation and collaboration.

Selected recommendations

  1. Deepen coordination mechanisms with the Ministry of Education.
  2. Conduct some virtual workshops to get the pupils' feedback on their participation in the "Youth Auditors" programme, and especially on the virtual audits.
  3. Generate dissemination activities so that pupils from different schools feel that their recommendations are taken into account, and encourage greater participation and involvement of civil society and parents.
  4. Encourage the development of virtual platforms that allow greater dissemination of the figures, reports and results of the Programme, and their accessibility by pupils and parents.
  5. Implement a policy to follow up on some schools that, due to internal organisational problems caused by changes to teaching staff or principals, were not able to develop the Programme efficiently, or did not receive the necessary training.

Want to learn more?

You can download the publication in English here.

About the author

Marco Antonio Vélez Fernández is a sociologist, consultant and researcher in the areas of education for democracy, civil society and citizen participation, civil-military relations and security policies. His research on these topics has been published in journals of human rights organisations and the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.

This is one of the six case studies on open government initiatives commissioned by IIEP and also conducted in Colombia, India, Madagascar, Portugal, and Ukraine. It is part of the IIEP’s overarching research on ‘Open government: Learning from experience’.

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