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Apply for the “Best Practices in Citizen Participation” Distinction

We want to make sure that NCDD members and member organizations hear about an exciting award you might be eligible for – the 8th “Best Practices in Citizen Participation” Distinction. The initiative for the award comes from The International Observatory on Participatory Democracy (OIDP or IOPD for short – their interchangeable, multi-lingual acronym), an important international body that NCDD belongs to as a member.

The awarding of the “Best Practices in Citizen Participation” distinction

…is meant to provide incentive for those who wish to initiate innovative experiences at the local level and disseminate those practices that facilitate the participation and involvement of citizens in elaborating and implementing public policies.

This award is meant to recognize those innovative experiences and ideas coordinated by local governments in the field of participative democracy that can to be replicated elsewhere.

It is understood that participative processes should, by necessity, lead to higher levels of equality, a stronger sense of citizenship, a greater sense of legitimacy and confidence in public powers, and greater effectiveness in public management practice.

You can find the full eligibility criteria by clicking here, but competition is open to

…all local governments, municipal entities and extra-municipal entities that are OIDP members and have promoted an experience or idea involving citizen participation. All such experiences must have taken place within a maximum of four years preceding the convocation, and they must be in effect by the time the candidacy presentation is mailed.

The application period goes from February 3rd to March 7th, so don’t wait to get started. The award winners will be announced at the 2014 OIDP Conference this June 3rd – 5th in Canoas, Brazil. We hope that some of you NCDDers will submit your projects and initiatives for consideration!

If you haven’t heard about the OIDP yet, we highly encourage you to check out their English website at www.OIDP.net/en. You can also find them on Facebook. The OIDP describes itself this way:

The International Observatory on Participatory Democracy (IOPD) is a space open to all cities in the world and all associations, organizations and research centers interested in learning about, exchanging impressions and applying experiences of participatory democracy on a local scale with the aim of deepening the roots of democracy in municipal government.

The network was created in 2001 within the framework of the European Commission’s URB-AL programme for decentralized cooperation. It was officially constituted in November 2001 during the 1st Annual Conference of the IOPD in Barcelona, where its internal operating regulations were approved. Since 2006 the IOPD has coordinated with United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), at present the IOPD is contributing to provide local government’s innovative knowledge in the specific area of citizens’ participation.

In November 2011 the IOPD decided to recover and place emphasis on its original goal of becoming a space for the production of knowledge and the exchange of useful experiences for the towns and cities that make up the network. Therefore the IOPD assumed the challenge of serving as a reflection in matters of participatory democracy at a worldwide level, in order to innovate and to recommend specific policies to public administrations, preferably local, throughout the world and to make the exchange of experiences its main working base.

We think it would be great to see more NCDD members become part of the OIDP – not to mention that you have to be a member to enter the competition – so we encourage you to check out their How to Join page and consider applying. We know that our members are undertaking some of the most innovative and successful public participation projects around, and that we can give any of the other entrants a good run for their money.

Please do let us know if you decide to apply, and best of luck to all of those in the competition!

Roshan Bliss on LinkedinRoshan Bliss on Twitter
Roshan Bliss
An inclusiveness trainer and group process facilitator, Roshan Bliss serves as NCDD's Youth Engagement Coordinator and Blog Curator. Combining his belief that decisions are better when everyone is involved with his passion for empowering young people, his work focuses on increasing the involvement of youth and students in public conversations.

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