Student Fellowship

Government Digitalization: Establishing the Data Foundations for Monterrey’s Smart City Agenda

Project Area:

Government and Technology


Monterrey, Mexico

Reporting to:

Project Manager of the Secretariat of Innovation and Open Government

The Challenge

Monterrey, the capital of the northeastern Mexican state of Nuevo León, is a sprawling business and industrial center surrounded by mountains. The new Mayor of Monterrey, Mexico aspires to make the city a model for innovation and data-driven governance. Existing city data are often siloed, not easily integrated across units, and unusable for decision-making. Improving and standardizing data collection and cataloging processes, enabling data exchange across ministries, creating a shared centralized basis for information, and easier deployment of usable data for decision-making are key mayoral priorities. 

The mayor has articulated a vision for Monterrey to become an Open and Smart City in the Municipal Development Plan 2021-2024, (p. 109). Current efforts are in service of laying the data foundations, during the mayor’s term, for making this vision a reality by having a Digital Data Strategy for the government and the city as a whole. A newly created Innovation and Open Government Secretariat is leading digital innovation projects through a Digital Government Initiative. The Secretariat is currently working on crafting the city’s Digital Data Strategy, which includes a data catalog, diagnosis and tools for data visualization and decision making for the government and city. These efforts will lead to drafting a roadmap for Monterrey Smart City 2030, which is to be released by summer 2023. The strategy, which aims to standardize data systems and processes across ministries to make data more accessible and useful, would include developing a single database and an open data portal.

The summer fellow, working with the Digital Government Initiative team within the Secretariat of Innovation and Open Government and under the broader city-wide data strategy umbrella, will engage with one or two key ministries to help them develop a data strategy for standardizing their systems and processes and making data more accessible and useful. The work produced has the potential to be included in the city’s GovTech focused event, called Monterrey Ciudad Digital, where the Secretariat of Innovation and Open Government releases and contributes towards being a hub for multidisciplinary actors to share and grow their GovTech knowledge and strategies. Both the Digital Data Strategy and Monterrey Smart City 2030 projects are part of Monterrey’s aspirational goal of being a national and international leader in GovTech and data-driven cities. Key questions (to be tackled for the ministries of focus) include: 

  • How are the data that the ministry currently collects being used? Which data are usable, and which are currently not usable? How is data currently used in decision making?
  • How might data collection, cataloging, maintenance, and use be improved and standardized to conform to the broader city data strategy?
  • How might the ministry share data with other ministries within the city government? What data can be shared publicly via an open data portal?
  • Which internal and external stakeholders (including universities, businesses, and residents) should be engaged to inform and ensure broader success of the city’s Digital Data Strategy?
  • How can data be used to improve citizen participation and access to services and information?

What You’ll Do

In addition to helping support the broader work on a city-wide data strategy, which would include internal and external stakeholder engagement, the fellow will work with one or two ministries of focus to help them plan for integrating into the government’s broader data strategy. Key deliverables will include:

  • A strategy and implementation plan developed for a specific ministry or two to collect data and integrate it into the government’s new DataHub platform.
  • A report on promising data strategies in peer cities that could potentially inform Monterrey’s strategy.

What You’ll Bring

The fellow will be expected to possess the following skills: 

  • Data infrastructure and analysis
  • Mapping (GIS)
  • Policy analysis
  • Writing and editing
  • Stakeholder engagement and management
  • Spanish language fluency

Apply now
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