The Ash Center’s Program on Democratic Governance strives to foster innovation in participatory democracy through initiatives such as Participedia. The Center’s work explores new models of participation, such as participatory budgeting, democratizing government through open and accessible data, and recent developments in deliberative and direct democracy. Participedia, which was developed in part through the efforts of Professor Archon Fung, harnesses the power of collaboration to respond to a recent global phenomenon: the rapid development of experiments in new forms of participatory politics and governance around the world.
We live in a world in which citizens of most countries are asking for greater involvement in collective decisions. Many governments, non-governmental organizations, and even some corporations are responding by experimenting with ways to increase public participation.
Hundreds of thousands of participatory processes occur each year in almost every country in the world. They are occurring in a wide variety of political and policy problems. And they often supplement and sometimes compete with more traditional forms of politics, such as representative democracy.
Participedia responds to these developments by providing a low-cost, easy way for hundreds of researchers and practitioners from across the globe to catalogue and compare the performance of participatory political processes.
Practitioners, activists, government officials, and journalists will benefit from Participedia’s searchable database of cases, methods, and organizations, including knowledge about how well processes have worked for similar problems, under similar conditions.
Social scientists, policy analysts, democratic theorists, and other scholars will benefit from access to a dynamic, diverse, and growing source of comparable qualitative and quantitative data. We encourage you to contribute information on case studies, methods and organizations. The more you participate, the more you will appreciate what this site has to offer.
The Participedia Team
The initial vision for Participedia was developed by Archon Fung (Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University) and Mark E. Warren (Department of Political Science, University of British Columbia), and is guided by an Executive Committee. This site was created by Drupal developers Affinity Bridge in partnership with the SIM Centre at Emily Carr, with contributions from a wide range of collaborators.
Participedia's research goal is to develop a large article and database that will support evidence-based answers to the question: What kinds of participatory processes work best, for what purposes, and under what conditions? We hope that you and other practitioners, academics, and students from across the globe will be part of this endeavor, through either contributing content or sharing your analysis of the data found on this site.
Participedia provides open access to crowdsourced resources that are useful for undergraduate and graduate classroom settings, as well as professional development resources for practitioners, civil society organizations, and NGOs. Resources range from course syllabi and class assignments, to handbooks, simulations, and multi-media training material.