Resource appropriation and deviation strategies in Santiago de Cali’s Municipal Planning System

Abstract From some elements that characterize an elite capture mechanism mentioned in literature, this article compares five resource appropriation strategies carried out by certain players from the participative Municipal Planning System (MPS) from Colombia’s third largest municipality between 1998 and 2008. By using mixed methods and a utilization-focused evaluation design, the MPS players and their partnerships were approached by which their availing of informational asymmetries restricted participation and biased the use of resources. The research identified as the basic cause of the capture the disarticulation of the MPS into three subsystems: the community, instances of local participation, and the Planning Department. The article also describes the series of institutional adjustments carried out between 2012 and 2015 (monitoring, e-voting) seeking to minimize capture possibilities.