The special issue of the FACTS Report titled, “Stories of innovative democracy at local level: enhancing participation, activism and social change across the world”, compiles ideas, stories, project evaluations and research from CIVICUS members and partners and beyond. From participatory budgeting (Lisbon, Nigeria, India, China) to local development initiatives (Niger), distribution of public services (Madagascar, India) and improving the dialogue between government authorities with citizens (Oregon, France, Argentina), these 14 articles tackle key issues for democracy such as government transparency and accountability, to make government institutions more receptive to citizens’ voices and demands.
“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.
At the same time, the increase in social demands echoes a desire among citizens to take control of their own destiny, to have their say, and to be given their due. But it also reflects a new aspiration: to go beyond representative democracy alone, punctuated by periodic elections, towards a democracy of “content”, seen as a continuous process, with the aim of bringing public policies more into line with social demands. That requires a change in the way public policies are devised, implemented, and monitored, and a reshaping of public governance to make it more democratic and more legitimate.
Numerous initiatives have been developed around the world, over the last 10 years and more, to meet these goals and build a more participatory democracy, more receptive to people’s demands. This special issue of FACTS Reports—compiled in partnership with CIVICUS, World Alliance for Citizen Participation—sets out to identify these “democratic innovations”, to understand them better, to learn actionable lessons from them and, above all, to share them. The objective of FACTS is to test these ideas rigorously, and to facilitate their dissemination on a larger scale.”
Foreword FACTS Report on Stories of innovative democracy at local level
Deputy Director, Institute for Research and Debate on Governance (IRG)
The full FACTS report is available in English and Spanish, while the French version is available through the RESOLIS Journal. Individual articles are available here.
CIVICUS would like to thank the FACTS Initiative and RESOLIS team for their hard work, and all the authors, members and partners for their willingness in sharing their research and work and peer-reviewing the articles, and the UN Volunteers translators for their efforts and time.