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​​Learning journey on citizen participation

The following moments have marked the learning journey:

  • In May 2012 for example, Vijayendra Rao, one of the authors of the controversial Worldbank study on on "Localising Development – Does Participation Work", was invited at SDC to present and discuss the study findings. Report: [PDF][PPT] Reactions: [PDF][PPT][PPT2]
  • During the 2013 network F2F event in May in Aswan participants discussed how citizen participation and government accountability can be supported to strengthen democratic governance at local level based on the findings of 8 case studies conducted in the framework of the Learning Project on Civil Society Participation and Accountability in Local Governance Processes.[PDF]
  • In May 2014 ddlgn network members participated in a two day e-discussion on Civic Engagement in Local Governance – beyond the usual suspects [PDF].
  • In September 2014, ddlgn network members participated in a ddlgn-IDS Learning Retreat on Civic engagement and socially inclusive local governance aimed at exploring current thinking, practice and lessons learned in supporting meaningful civic engagement in local governance and policy processes.[PDF]
  • In 2015/2016, based on an initiative of the Mozambique Cooperation office, and in collaboration with IDS and contributions by network members, ddlgn produced a literature review and a practice paper on "strengthening the capacity of civil society organisations to enhance democratisation, decentralisation and local governance processes." [PDF] [PDF]


You can find related documents here below.

Besides the ddlgn learning journey, several regional dynamics could be observed. In the Western Balkans for example, different SDC projects have taken on a new approach towards strengthening civic engagement in local decision making, aiming at more profound anchoring and legitimacy of CSOs within their constituencies (Macedonia and Kosovo) and working exclusively through local partner organizations (Albania). In Myanmar SDC has engaged in a locally led CSO support programme with strong notions of coaching, nurturing and internal organizational learning. In Bolivia, SDC promotes citizen led initiatives and their sense of co-responsibility for joint problem solving, together with local authorities. In Mozambique, SDC office with the support of IDS, developed a new concept for capacity building of civil society organizations (February 2016). [PDF]

At the same time we have asked some network members to share their personal learning with us on this civic engagement learning journey – Watch or read their stories to fuel your imagination of how to make best use of these rich resources to strengthen your practice. (Still in the making).

And we encourage you to share your own learning journey experience!




 Key Reading Documents


    Mediated, Everyday, Invisible Participation

    IDS | 2012 | Key Reading

    Reating to the WB report "Does participation work?". A presentation from IDS.


    Localizing Development: Does Participation Work?

    World Bank | 2012 | Key Reading

    Presentation of the report - by Vijayendra Rao at SDC.


    Does Participation Work? Comments on the report

    IDS | 2012 | Key Reading

    A few comments on World Bank Policy Research Report Localizing Development: Does Participation Work? Ghazala Mansuri and Vijayendra Rao.


    Does Participation Work?

    SDC | 2013 | Key Reading

    The dlgn and the division Global Institutions organised a presentation of the findings of the study by one of the authors, Vijayendra Rao, lead economist of the development reserach group of the World Bank.


    Localazing Development: Does Particiaption Work?

    World Bank | 2013 | Key Reading

    This report outlines a conceptual framework for participation that is centered on the concept of civil society failure and how it interacts with market and government failures. The authors use this framework to understand the key policy debates surrounding participatory development and to frame the key policy questions. The report conducts the most comprehensive review of the evidence on the impact of participatory projects to date.


    Policy brief 2 – OPERATIONAL LEVEL

    SDC | 2013 | Key Reading

    Based on case study assessments and discussions among DLGN members on Civil Society Participation and Accountability Approaches in Local Governance Processes


    Policy brief 1 – STRATEGIC LEVEL

    SDC | 2013 | Key Reading

    Based on Case Study Assessments of Civil Society Participation and Accountability Approaches in Local Governance Processes


    Capacity building of civil society organizations

    SDC, EUROSIS | 2016 | Key Reading

    This paper tries to answer: 1. Evolution of the context of the CSOs within the Internal Governance & indicators to be followed in order to reach a good performance in term of Internal Governance. 2. Main causes and context behind the weak capacity of CSOs & indicators to be followed in order to reach good results. 3. Main causes of the weak capacity of the CSOs to influence policies & indicators to be followed.


    Civil society participation and accountability in local governance processes

    SDC | 2012 | East and Southern Africa, East Asia, South Asia, Latin America and Caribbean, Western Balkans, | Key Reading

    Part II - EIGHT CASE STUDIES ON SDC LOCAL GOVERNANCE PROGRAMMES. Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lao PDR, Macedonia, Peru, Tanzania


    Civic engagement in local governance: beyond the usual suspects?

    SDC, IDS | 2014 | Key Reading

    Synthesis of facilitated e-dialogue by SDC’s Democratisation, Decentralisation and Local Governance Network (DLGN) on 7-8 May 2014

 Further Reading Documents