Local government is the sphere of government closest to the people. Many basic services are delivered by local municipalities, and local ward councillors are the politicians closest to communities.
Local government serves a two-fold purpose. The first purpose is the administrative purpose of supplying goods and services; the other purpose is to represent and involve citizens in determining specific local public needs and how these local needs can be met.
Participatory democracy is a necessary complement to representative democracy.David Moscrop, Canadian author
International Observatory on Participatory Democracy
The International Observatory on Participatory Democracy (IOPD) is an international network open to all cities, organizations, and research centres interested in learning about, exchanging, and applying experiences of participatory democracy at the local level.
The IOPD recently held its annual Conference with a focus on sustainable cities/territories. It will also host three two-hour virtual sessions from November 29 to December 1, 2021, in collaboration with United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG).
The virtual sessions on Zoom start at 10 A.M. Atlantic time with translation in English/French/Spanish.
To register for any of the three sessions, click here.
- Monday, November 29: Citizen Participation in Ecological Transformation
Local governments must play a key and pioneering role in the ecological transformation of our societies, and citizens cannot be only spectators in this process. In this session we want to share experiences and the steps to follow in order to foster government-citizen dialogue and the co-creation of solutions for the ecological transition.
- Tuesday, November 30: Revisiting local democracy
The impact of the pandemic on democratic institutions and procedures has added to the problems and crises already being felt by democracies. In this new session we want to think about ways to revitalise local democracy such as citizens’ assemblies or other forms of deliberation by lottery, online participation tools, and the debate around digital rights.
- Wednesday, December 1: Feminist municipalism and participatory democracy
The global feminist municipalist movement is a key building block of a better normality towards a renewed local democracy. We want to open this space for dialogue where strategies for deploying feminism and participatory democracy in local politics converge.
- The Role and Purpose of Local Government
- Enriching Public Life With Participatory Democracy by David Moscrop, author of Too Dumb for Democracy?
- About Participatory Democracy by People Powered (USA)
- Municipal Government in Canada