New website showcases participatory governance tools from around the globe
June 28, 2010
Johannesburg, South Africa
World Alliance for Citizen Participation's newly launched website provides a range of information and tools for engaging all kinds of people in dialogue and problem solving at both the local and national level.
World Alliance for Citizen Participation has launched a global virtual platform for knowledge development, sharing and learning on participatory governance, available at: www.pgexchange.org. It targets practitioners from around the world working in the field of participatory governance in different sectors and levels and will also be of interest to members of academia and the donor community.
The website offers free access to: (i) information about a wide range of participatory governance practices and tools that aim to promote active citizenship and more transparent, responsive, accountable and effective governance at both the local and national level; (ii) a global virtual "Community of Practice" where practitioners can share information, ask questions, seek resources and participate in online discussion groups. The site also includes (iii) an online global calendar of participatory governance events.
PG toolkit: The PG Exchange "toolkit" represents one of the most exhaustive online reference hubs available today on participatory governance tools and methods. It currently contains "how to" operational information on 33 approaches and tools and this number will grow over time. Most of the tool descriptions have been prepared by pioneering practitioners themselves and include brief case study descriptions of practical experiences. The tools are organized under nine categories covering the whole governance cycle and include: Public Access to Information; Civic Education and Deliberation; Advocacy and Expression of Citizen‟s Voice; Public Dialogue; Electoral Transparency and Accountability; Public Policy and Planning Processes; Public Budgets and Expenditures; Monitoring & Evaluation of Public Services; and Public Oversight. Among others, these categories capture a range of so-called "social accountability" practices – approaches and tools such as Independent Budget Analysis, Social Audits, Community Scorecards, Participatory Expenditure Tracking and, Citizen Oversight Committees. The toolkit also includes tools such as Crinis to assess transparency in political financing, Access to Information Monitoring, 21st Century Town Meetings, Multi Stakeholder Dialogue and so on. The tools are presented in a user-friendly format giving a concise description of the methodology, an assessment of the benefits, lessons learnt and challenges followed by a listing of relevant informational and organizational resources and case studies.
Global Community of Practice (CoP): The global CoP is a shared and facilitated space where PG practitioners working at different levels and across different sectors worldwide can interact and learn from one another through thematically and geographically based discussion groups. The CoP members can also send private messages, publicize dates of events and other points of interest and partake in periodic "e-conferences". In addition to providing a hub for knowledge generation and sharing, the CoP will serve to link supply of capacity development and peer support with demand, by allowing CoP members to use the site to identify potential resource people, partners and allies, seek advice, or propose collective actions. A unique feature of PG Exchange is the „wiki‟ principle, which enables
members of the CoP to add or change content and upload new articles, reports and tools, as well as share their experiences on field application of the tools.
CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation is a global movement of civil society with members and partners in over a hundred countries. The Participatory Governance programme of CIVICUS seeks to develop the capacity of citizens and civil society organisations around the world to participate meaningfully in processes of governance and public decision-making that directly affect their lives. www.civicus.org.
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