Paraguayan alum Horacio Baez wants to use data to make public policy more effective

by Anodya Mishra
September 7, 2023

Horacio Baez Ojeda, a Paraguayan alumnus from Equitech Future's inaugural Civic Tech Institute in 2023, is a dedicated advocate for the convergence of numbers, science, and technology in the realm of civic engagement. When Horacio initially joined this program, he already boasted a professional background at the intersection of data and technology. He recalls, "With all the hype around AI, I wanted to get more involved in programs in this space. I was also looking for a strong alumni network, and Equitech confirmed the same during the interview. That's what got me excited."

Throughout his journey, Horacio found particular fulfillment in the Community Action Lab, led by Thomas Murray. He appreciated its engaging learning format and the emphasis on storytelling as a means to navigate conflicts. Horacio also enjoyed the Networked Society seminars guided by Dr. Ziyaad Bhorat, and he voiced his keenness for an expanded course with additional sessions. He holds the firm conviction that understanding our interconnectedness with society serves as a cornerstone for advancing civic engagement.

Horacio has been working with the Latin American Leadership Academy (LALA) since 2021. LALA seeks to promote sustainable economic development and strengthen democratic governance in Latin America by developing a new generation of leaders. Horacio embarked on this journey as an Alumni Coordinator for Data and Technology, gradually advancing to the position of Alumni Staff for Data and Technology. Presently, he serves as an Associate in Measurement Evaluation and Learning, Data Technology at LALA. In this capacity, Horacio's mission revolves around discovering leadership talents across Latin America, honing their skills for the 21st-century, and establishing a robust continent-wide network of influencers. His responsibilities extend to evaluating progress towards these objectives and assessing the impact of educational programs on the alumni network. In the sphere of data collection and data technology, his responsibilities encompass defining the tools needed for measurement, establishing robust processes for data collection and protection, and ensuring that data collected is relevant and will be utilized effectively. Furthermore, he is tasked with curating questionnaires and conducting comprehensive data analysis on the information gathered. His role extends to evaluating various programs and subsequently presenting the findings to the entire organization. 

Additionally, Horacio is also teaching a course on Financial Analysis at the Institute Technology Economics Training in Paraguay. 

Horacio completed his bachelors in Economics from Desarrollo Instituto De Economia Y Negocios in Paraguay. Further, he pursued a MicroMasters program in Data Economics and Development Policy from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In the latter program, Horacio explored the field of finance, and in particular financial inclusion - “I am passionate about being able to help the community I live in, and I think the different aspects in which financial inclusion can help combat poverty is something I would like to work more closely with.”  

During his college years, Horacio worked on several public policy projects; he assessed ministerial administrative records to enhance evidence-based policy-making in Paraguay, and worked on the Rule of Law and Culture of Integrity project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Horacio further aspires to study public policy to enhance his understanding of societal challenges and create meaningful positive change in the world. 

Horacio's appreciation for the Equitech Futures alumni network runs deep, and he emphasizes this sentiment with the utmost sincerity.He states, “The learning opportunity at Equitech is invaluable, but after the program, it was gratifying to find an Alumni Network which puts in a lot of work and effort to support alumni in their careers. If the learning opportunity was already invaluable, I cannot describe with words what the alumni network represents!”

Abby Thompson contributed to this article.

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