PartiCipate offers free method cards, an overview of open-source participation platforms, and advice on participation strategies.

Are you looking for a way to get a participation strategy off the ground? Or maybe you are not sure about which of the many participatory methods to use? Your funds are limited?

Then PartiCipate could be the right address for you. This free online platform, run by the German development cooperation agency GIZ, provides a lot of valuable information and impactful participatory methods. Start by heading to their website and answering one of the two questionnaires:

  1. I want to receive free advice on participation methods: This is for everyone who would like to carry out a public participation process, such as local governments or civil society organisations. By answering the nine questions, you will receive suggested methods and designs, including PDF method cards for free download.
  2. I want to design my own participation strategy: If you are looking for a comprehensive participation strategy with attainable goals and a step-by-step process, PartiCipate will provide guidance. In this questionnaire, 14 steps guide you through important considerations and preparations, resulting in your personalised strategy.

What are the participatory method cards?

The PartiCipate toolbox consists of downloadable and printable PDFs, which each detail a method for citizen participation. There are also best-practice case studies of successful participation projects and additional digital participation tools.

Methods include neighbourhood walks, a living library, the open space conference format, e-consultations, and e-petitions, focus groups, an Ideathon, Dragon Dreaming, LEGO tools, participatory budgeting, the Walt Disney method, and many more.

Each method card has symbols that show you at first glance how big your group can be, how complex the method is, how much time it will take, and whether it requires an internet connection. This visual overview is not only very helpful but also emphasises the fun and game-like element of participation.

Which free participation platforms can I use?

Another service that PartiCipate offers is a great overview of platforms for digital participation. These open-source platforms are free to use. They each enable a form of digital participation and can support you in your work.

PartiCipate cooperates with these four platforms:

  • Adhocracy+
  • Citizen OS
  • Consul
  • Ushahidi

Their comprehensive participation platform overview shows you what to expect from each platform. You will see the potential uses, inclusivity, experience, IT requirements, and costs for additional support for each platform. Take you time going through the detailed table and reading all the questions to properly compare the platforms before choosing one.

Participation with no strings attached

While working with the PartiCipate team on communications, I got to know PartiCipate very well. I can recommend it fully and think that it is especially useful for local municipalities and civil society organisations. Any other changemakers and interested members of the public are also very welcome to use this resource. Head to the website to watch a video about a Kyrgyz community successfully setting up a participation process with PartiCipate.

Give it a try!

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