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Participatory Governance Toolkit

Through a global stocktaking exercise, the CIVICUS PG Project has identified participatory governance practices from across the globe which have proven effective at promoting transparent, responsive, accountable and effective governance, at both the local and national level, through active citizen participation.

This online toolkit provides information on nine different categories of participation governance practices (described below) and currently includes more than 30 individual approaches/tools.

Each tool entry provides: a brief introduction to the practice, explains how it is carried out, and outlines key benefits, challenges and lessons learned. Each tool write-up also includes links to: additional resources (operational manuals, guidelines, articles, reports), individuals/organisations with expertise in using the tool and relevant case study materials.

Welcome to the PG Exchange Toolkit!

The PG Exchange Toolkit contains tools and resources relating to nine different categories of participatory governance practices. Check out the following categories and find the tool that’s right for you.

A. Public information – A first step towards participatory governance is helping citizens to have access to relevant information about government policies, decisions and actions. Check out this category for tools relating to advocating for freedom of information, supporting government transparency and facilitating the dissemination of public information.
B. Education and deliberation – Another important dimension of participatory governance is citizen education and deliberation. This category includes tools for making citizens aware of their rights and responsibilities (civic education), as well as a variety of innovative methods for helping citizens collectively learn about and deliberate on issues of priority public concern.
C. Advocacy and citizen voice – Helping citizens to publicly express their opinions and concerns is a core aspect of participatory governance. This section of the toolkit contains a number of tools for enhancing citizen voice and advocacy.
D. Public dialogue – Enhanced dialogue between citizens and the state lies at the heart of participatory governance. This section of the toolkit describes a range of innovative approaches and tools for promoting more productive interactions between multiple state and non-state actors.
E. Elections – Voting is a principal right and responsibility of citizens and a fundamental form of citizen participation. The tools presented in this section of the toolkit contribute to ensuring that elections are free and fair and help citizens make informed choices and hold politicians accountable for their electoral promises.
F. Policy and planning – The design and implementation of public policies and plans that respond effectively to citizens’ priorities and needs are a key task of any government. The tools presented here enable citizens and civil society organisations to contribute actively and meaningfully to processes of public policy-making and planning, at both the local and national level.
G. Public budgets and expenditures – Transparent, accountable, effective and efficient public financial management is key to good governance. The tools in this section of the toolkit are designed to help citizens understand and influence decisions about the allocation of public resources, monitor public spending and hold government actors accountable for their management of public financial resources.
H. Monitoring and evaluating public services – Citizens around the world depend upon public services for their day-to-day existence. Services such as health care, education, water and sanitation and public transport are essential for citizens to thrive and, indeed, survive. This important collection of tools offers innovative ways for citizens to monitor and evaluate the accessibility, quality and efficiency of public services – leading to improved services and better quality of life for all citizens.
I. Public oversight – Many government around the world are plagued by corruption, patronage and lack of accountability. This section of the toolkit outlines a number of methods that citizens and civil society organisations can use to monitor and oversee public action and seek retribution for injustices or misdeeds.

Full Table of Contents
Public Information
-Access to Information Monitoring

Education & Deliberation
-Public Forums
-Appreciative Inquiry Summits
-21st Century Town Meeting
-Study Circles
-Citizen Juries
-Civic Education
-Deliberative polling

Advocacy and Expression of Citizens Voice
-Referenda & Citizen Initiatives
-People Centred Advocacy

Public Dialogue
-Mediation Tool
-Facilitation Tool
-Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue
-Public Conversations Project Dialogue
-Sustained Dialogue

Electoral Transparency & Accountability
-CRINIS – Transparency in Political Financing
-Pre-election Voter Awareness Campaign

Policy and Planning
-Community-based Monitoring System
-Participatory Development Planning
-Participatory Policy-Making

Public Budgets & Expenditures
-Participatory Budgeting
-Community-led Procurement
-Public Expenditure Reporting and Tracking
-Alternative Budgets
-Independent Budget Analysis
-Budget Transparency
-Public Revenue Reporting and Monitoring

Monitoring & Evaluating Public Services
-Stakeholder Surveys
-Community Monitoring & Evaluation
-Citizen Report Cards
-Community Score Cards
-Social Audits

Public Oversight
-Democracy Assessments
-Social Contracts for Political Accountability
-Citizen Advisors
-Integrity Pacts

Visit the link below to access this free, comprehensive toolkit today!


Mukut's picture

Very Informative

Grt post and very informative.

Mukut Ray

swabhiman's picture

Participatory Governance Toolkit

I want this toolkit plese join me with you


mrbeckbeck's picture

Access at the link, here

Hello Swabhiman,
You can access the guide at the link here:

I'm glad you're interested! Let us know how you use it.

Scott Beck
World Pulse Online Community Volunteer

Jennifer Brier's picture

Wow-Thank you for this link!

Wow-Thank you for this link! This toolkit has some really great information in it. I have committed to being more active and aware within my community from local to global governance and since I have spent most of my adult life working within the United States government structure I often feel as if I don't fully understand the nuts and bolts of being a change agent outside of 'the system.' This website will be very helpful! Blessings!

In partnership,


"I am a woman, that's my weapon!" ~Catherine Robbins

mrbeckbeck's picture


Wonderful to hear that you're ready to dive into this toolkit! I think that holding leadership accountable is a key piece of a healthy democracy, and the leaders don't go out of their way to make it easy for us to engage with them.

I'd love to hear how you put this into practice!

Scott Beck
World Pulse Online Community Volunteer

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