Stories of innovative democracy at local level: enhancing participation, activism and social change across the world
Abstract: From Europe to Latin America, from Asia to Africa, and across the Arab world, the news is full of examples of disconnect between governments and citizens. Public institutions are not meeting—or are no longer meeting—the needs and expectations of the population.
Keywords: Democratic innovation, public governance, social demand
Thematic: Societal issues and Governance
The Lisbon Participatory Budget: results and perspectives on an experience in slow but continuous transformation
Abstract: Since 2008, Lisbon has been the first European capital to adopt a Participatory Budget (PB) process at a municipal scale to involve its inhabitants in the elaboration and ranking of the proposals to be included in a predetermined slice of the city council’s budget. Lisbon’s process has become a benchmark for various similar experiences, both in Portugal and abroad.
Local democratic government and the promotion of rights for children and teenagers: An experience in Argentina
Abstract: This article reflects on the authors’ efforts and experience in projects aiming to develop local democratic government and promote rights in Argentina. It discusses ideas about the main aspects that influence cooperation between the State and civil society organisations (CSOs) when implementing public policy in Argentina, with a particular focus on processes that aim to build citizenship and promote rights at a local community level.
The Nigerian Budget: Using Creative Technology to Intersect Civic Engagement and Institutional Reform
Abstract: This study analyses the efforts of BudgIT, Nigeria’s creative start-up, in making the Nigerian budget simple and accessible to every citizen. This includes its classification of citizens according to their understanding of public finance and its personalised approach in reaching out to them. In its 53 years of independence, Nigeria, which has an oil-driven economy, has had more than thirty-three years of military rule, which guarded the detailed budget as a state secret.
New forms of democratic local government: The case of the Citizen's Committee for decentralised cooperation in Rome
Abstract: The economic, political and social changes that have characterised the beginning of the 21st century have been accompanied by a proliferation of unprecedented forms of relationships between governments and citizens that are more inclusive, transparent and accountable.
Smart Policy Making: Citizen Voice, Sustainable Choice
Abstract: The CIVICUS Civil Society Index, which was implemented by Counterpart International in Armenia in 2008 found that civil society organizations (CSOs) are reactive in the policy process and should implement proactive strategies in this arena. To address this key issue, Counterpart designed the Legislative Agenda Advocacy Days (LAAD) initiative, which focuses on expanding the footprint of Armenian CSOs’ in the formation of a national legislative agenda.
Empowering Citizen Deliberation in Direct Democratic Elections: A Field Study of the 2012 Oregon Citizens’ Initiative Review
Abstract: Initiatives and referenda permit citizens to vote directly on legislation, but voters often lack essential policy information when deciding whether to support the measures on their ballots. Since citizens often do not trust policy experts and political elites to provide trustworthy information, the State of Oregon (USA) created an institution to address that problem.
The Atelier Climat, a French citizen consultation process set up to promote sustainable development: a local democratic innovation?
Keywords: Waste, Participatory democracy, Citizen workshops, Citizens’ juries,Citizen consultation, Democratic innovation, Changing behaviors, Environment,Efficient consumption, France
Thematic: Societal issues and Governance
Citizens participation in budget making process of the State of Odisha (India): Opportunities, Learnings and Challenges
Abstract: Annual Budget of a government – a public proclamation by the State of its projected and actual expenditures – provides vital evidence of where a State sets its priorities – whether on the poor and marginalised people or not. The state’s current budget processes reveal that citizens have no understanding of what the State is committing itself to in its policy declarations and what it actually does in its budgetary allocations.
Local innovations and initiatives in the management of conflicts and health risks in agro-pastoral zones: the SAREL and PASEL projects in the Dakoro, department in Niger
Abstract: This article examines two projects concerned with livestock production in the Dakoro region of Niger. It highlights the results obtained in the management of conflicts between livestock producers and crop farmers, and in the reduction of health risks by promoting the involvement and accountability of livestock producer associations in project activities.
Community participation and water supply in deprived areas of Madagascar
Abstract: Madagascar’s water services were reformed in the late 1990s, with a focus on community participation in cost recovery and joint service management. This participatory approach was in response to economic imperatives, and addressed the paucity of services in many urban districts.
Transparency in delivery of entitlements through empowered Civil Society Organisations (CSOs): The Consortium of Groups for Combating Corruption (CGCC) model in Rajasthan, India
Abstract: This paper presents an innovative model called “Consortium of Groups for Combating Corruption (CGCC) for the promotion of transparent and accountable government at the Gram Panchayat (GP) level in the Province of Rajasthan in India. Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS), a Rajasthan based international organisation, has attempted to improve the functioning of government at the Gram Panchayat by means of this model. This model proved to be very successful in curbing corruption and creating transparency.
Why local realities matter for Citizens’ Voice and Accountability?
Abstract: This is about an action research study of the citizen voice and accountability implemented by the Mwananchi Governance and Transparency Fund Program in Uganda. The three piloted governance innovations, which include the Bataka informal justice model, child education monitors and the Village Budget Clubs, were tested for five years.
Community development and participation in Togo: the case of AGAIB Plateaux
Abstract: In order to reinforce the capacity for action of local African communities, international organisations support “participatory” projects that encourage greater local involvement in the implementation of actions. By adopting a well-designed approach, with realistic projects that address precise needs, local communities can be given the techniques and resources for their economic and social emancipation, thereby combating poverty.
Participatory Budgeting, Rural Public Services and Pilot Local Democracy Reform
Abstract: 30 years of rapid economic development in China has brought about prosperity as well as enlarged disparity, among which is the dramatic cleavage between rural and urban, a challenge that many developing countries have to face.