Some additional questions to be asked and answered:
- How can we measure the success of citizen engagement initiatives?
- How essential are processes of organizational and institutional change?
- Can political will towards increased participation be stimulated?
- What role does organized civil society play in citizen engagement processes?
- How can we foster inclusiveness and what are the impacts of different methods of participant selection (e.g. open, randomized)?
- Can we learn anything from the private sector about listening to external audiences?
- What is the actual role of technology (if any) in participatory processes?
- HKS Panel Discusses Urban Democracy (thecrimson.com)
New York City Council Member Brad Lander and Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone discussed the role citizens can play in crafting a local budget in a talk about urban democracy and civic engagement at the Harvard Kennedy School on Wednesday.
“Recently, there’s been a rebirth of urban democracy. You see this in community policy, school involvement, etc,” said Kennedy School professor Archon Fung, who introduced the panel. “The deepest, most notable form of participatory democracy in the urban setting, however, is participatory budgeting.”
The process of citizens drafting their own communities’ budgets, known as participatory budgeting, has been adopted in locales around the world.
- How can participatory development be improved? (devex.com)
Community development projects, and interventions that attempt to improve the “demand side” of governance, are premised on the belief that public participation will necessarily solve failures in governments and markets. The problem in the design of these interventions, however, is that civic capacity is either assumed to be high rather than something to be nurtured or is developed in a manner that does not realistically deal with the challenge of encouraging participation.
failures in government that plague most poor countries — wastage and leakage, unequal access, corruption, and poor coordination — can be potentially solved by effective public participation and civic action.
The problem lies in the incorrect assumption that failures in government can be necessarily solved by public participation. Communities are not just faced with failures in governments and markets but also by civil society’s shortcomings — the same challenges of poor coordination, and inequalities in power, information and access that affect markets and governments. The challenge of development lies in solving the unhealthy nexus of failures in markets, government and civil society. This does not allow for easy solutions.
- Eurobarometer: Does economic crisis erode CSR? (energment.wordpress.com)
The results of the Eurobarometer survey should act as a “bell” for European businesses which cause more distrust of public opinion as to the socially responsible orientation.Europeans see job creation as the positive impact of businesses (57%) of their contribution to economic development to follow (37%). On the negative side of entrepreneurship, research revealed corruption (41%), layoffs (39%) and environmental pollution (39%). Corruption refers more to developing economies particularly in India (71%) and China (65%).
Brazilians (65%), Canadians (60%) and Indians (57%) are more concerned about the environmental impact of business, while one quarter of Europeans say that encourage overconsumption.
- Op-Ed: Fight Member Item Corruption Using Participatory Budgeting (gothamgazette.com)
We believe in allowing voters the freedom to shape policy and contribute to the collective conversation by not simply being on the receiving end of a politician’s agenda, but actively helping to shape their own communities and futures. People can vote for the solutions they like, or contribute their own innovations — leading to a participatory conversation about the best way forward.
A new report by Eurobarometer on citizen engagement in participatory democracy has been recently published. Here are some of the findings:
A third (34%) of respondents say that they have signed a petition in the last two years. However, the proportion of people who have done this ranges considerably, from 53% in the UK to 7% in Cyprus. Other relatively popular forms of engagement are expressing one’s views online (28%), expressing one’s views with an elected local representative (24%), and taking part in a public debate at local or regional level (18%).
Men are more likely than women to have attempted to express their view using most of the means under discussion; they are also more likely to be members of an NGO or similar association.
A fifth of respondents (20%) are members of an organisation with a specific economic, social, environmental, cultural or sporting interest, while 17% are in another organisation with a special interest, and…
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