Digital Platform for Participatory Democracy

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Citizen participation and oversight over elected officials and decision making authorities constitutes a fundamental pillar for a solid, just and truly open democracy. Unfortunately, to this day, central governments and parliament leaderships have failed to invest much of their time and effort in creating the right conditions for the facilitation of citizens’ engagement in public affairs. This in turn has resulted in the latter feeling disenfranchised, voiceless, underrepresented and subsequently apathetic towards public life. The consistently dropping percentage in voters’ turnout during elections is a sound indicator that innovative participatory means need to be deployed in order for democracy to re-win the hearts and minds of citizens.

The objective of this project is to offer the citizens of the four biggest Greek cities (Athens – Thessaloniki – Iraklion – Patra) with all those tools necessary to facilitate their active participation in the shaping of the public life of their cities whilst keeping their elected representatives accountable.

 

In particular the project aims at developing an innovative civic technology platform (modelled after Vouliwatch) equipped with a series of components which will allow them to monitor & question publicly their elected representatives, (co)draft policy proposals with the platform’s community, evaluate their municipality, organize volunteering activities in their cities and have a say on how the municipality budget is shaped (participatory budgeting).

 

In addition to this, a series of participatory workshops will be hosted in the aforementioned cities which will bring together citizens, specialists and stakeholders in order to co-draft policy proposals which will then be included in the platform for public consultation and subsequently sent to the relevant authorities. Participatory workshops will also be employed in order to co-design and test the digital participatory components of the platform prior to its launch.

The main beneficiaries of this project are the citizens and civil society groups of the aforementioned municipalities as well as the local authorities themselves.

 

Vouliwatch will be responsible for the design, development and implementation of the platform as well as for the communication of the project to both citizens and the municipalities. While commonspace will take on the organization and running of the participatory design workshops and the involvement of citizens and relevant stakeholders in them.

Area

Athens-Thessaloniki-Patra-Heraklion

Year

2021-2023

 

Funding

Active Citizens Fund - EEA Grants

Project partners

Vouliwatch

commonspace

Commonspace's project team

Dimitris Poulios

Giouli Athousaki

Thanos Andritsos

Emmy Karimali

Melina Vlachou

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