Ten interesting initiatives in democracy and participation

In late March, we arranged the “Next Era London ­– A new vision for democracy” workshop in co-operation with the Finnish Institute in London. Speakers included Elina Kiiski-Kataja, who works as a Senior Lead at Sitra and has authored the memorandum From the trials of democracy towards future participation, and Marcin Gerwin, the Polish participatory budgeting specialist.

We also explored current social innovations in democracy and participation, 10 of which are showcased below.

1. Groundbreaking work on participatory methods in the regional administration of Tuscany

The regional government of Tuscany has carried out groundbreaking work to introduce and establish participatory methods in the region. The work has resulted in legislative initiatives (Tuscan regional laws No. 69/2007 and No. 46/2013). The aim of the Tuscan model is to show that participatory activities can be part of regular, statutory governance by involving different levels of administration, public sector representatives and individuals at both the regional and local level. The TRPP initiative is funded almost exclusively by the regional government of Tuscany. Since the introduction of the legislation in 2007, around 170 participatory projects have been launched.

In 2005, Governor Claudio Martini concluded an agreement with social NGOs and organisations on the creation of a legal framework of reference, which is designed to strengthen and promote participatory governance and establish it as a routine that encompasses all regional decision-making processes. The aim is to ensure that the promotion and methods of public participation become standard practices, to make use of people’s’ knowledge and skills across society, and to promote dialogue and interaction between different sectors of society.

Deliberative theories are attracting attention in different fields, but too often not enough consideration is given to whether deliberative methods should be institutionalised as part of legislation and governance. There are many good examples of how deliberative methods can be used, but they are rarely established as part of regular governance processes. This raises questions about the relationship between deliberative processes and representative institutions. Italy on the whole has not been a model country for the use of participatory methods, but the regional government of Tuscany is a clear exception. Significant work has been done in the region, and the legislation introduced in 2007 is broadly based on deliberative paradigms. (Lewanski Rodolfo, 2013)

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Material copied from: https://www.sitra.fi/en/articles/ten-interesting-initiatives-democracy-participation/

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