Transform the state

“State” is a word that lies at the heart of political disputes. Every political force in Argentina has wanted to transform the state in some way: by making it smaller, more interventionist, more modern, more efficient, or more federal. The question always revolves around the state’s capabilities: what it can and can’t do, what it should and shouldn’t do. The state is the instrument through which we implement public policies that transform our reality, but it can also be used as a tool to transform itself: “state capacity” is the ability to design and implement a government plan. Closing the gap between words and action won’t happen overnight. We must envision a way forward, a new path to development for Argentina. These two hopes go hand in hand. It is hard to move forward from where things currently stand: today, the state’s administrative procedures, level of technological development, and capacities are all part of the problem. We know that these capacities are not static, nor should they be taken for granted. We can build them as we go, but only if we are clear that doing so is an area we urgently need to prioritize. Our mission is to tackle certain fundamental aspects of this task: data governance, designing a new approach to governance of the state, and coordinating a 21st-century administrative law. Our work seeks to ascertain what areas the state needs to tackle and the kind of state that we need to go about this. At Fundar, we want to build a state whose officials and personnel provide inspiration and guidance, engage in active conversation with the public policies that they execute, and understand who these policies affect and who designs them. We want a state that makes public policies that promote sustainable and inclusive development a reality.