Terms of the award
14th Edition of the IOPD Award for “Best Practice in Citizen Participation” implemented by local governments
The IOPD Award “Best Practice in Citizen Participation” is an initiative launched by the International Observatory on Participatory Democracy (IOPD). The IOPD is open to towns and cities throughout the world, along with those associations, organisations and research centres interested in learning about and exchanging impressions on participatory democracy and applying participatory democracy experiences on a local scale.
Through the award of this Award we aim to promote the implementation of innovative experiences on a local scale, to extend practices that promote participation, and also to introduce the citizens involved to processes involving the elaboration and implementation of public policies.
The goal of this Award is to acknowledge the innovative experiences that are being implemented by local governments in the field of participatory democracy. Moreover, our aim is also to provide these practices with visibility in a more direct way, bringing them to the attention of other local governments so that they can be copied, and also in order to promote networking.
In this edition the awards will be evaluated by a Jury of Experts, after passing through an initial appraisal stage by all of the IOPD members, via the online participatory platform. The purpose of this initial stage is, on the one hand, to provide all of the proposals with a certain visibility and, on the other, to find out the opinions of our members with regard to the different practices submitted.
- Applications may be submitted by those local, municipal and supra-municipal governments that are member of the IOPD and that have promoted a participatory democracy experience on a local scale.
- Applications may only be submitted by those members who have signed up as users of the online platform and have filled in their personal profile.
- The implementation of the experiences must have begun in the period 2018-2019.
- Experiences that have been submitted in previous editions of the Award cannot be re-submitted.
- Nevertheless, experiences that began before 2018, or that have been submitted in previous editions of the Award, may be re-submitted as long as there has been a substantial methodological innovation. In this case, the application will have to be submitted with a view to the innovation, rather than the experience in its own right.
- It is recommended that just one application per town or city be presented, although in exceptional cases up to three applications per town or city may be accepted, insofar as such applications are submitted by different IOPD members.
3. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA
Applications may only be submitted if their main goal is one of the following:
- To achieve higher levels of equality in terms of participation and to incorporate diversity as a criteria for inclusion
- To empower the community
- To empower non-organised citizens
- To increase citizen’s rights in terms of political participation
- To connect different tools of participation within a participatory democracy “ecosystem”
- To improve the quality of public decision making through the mechanisms of participatory democracy
- To improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the mechanisms of participatory democracy
- To improve the evaluation and tracking of the mechanisms of participatory democracy
4. PROCESS STAGES
First Stage – Submitting Proposals
Proposals must be submitted by filling in the online form, providing answers to the following questions:
- Who is the proposal being submitted by? (maximum 100 words)
- Which practice/innovation is being submitted and what is its purpose? (maximum 300 words)
- Why is this an innovative practice? (maximum 150 words)
The deadline for the submission of proposals is the 17th March 2020.
The above questions will have to be answered in three languages: Spanish, English and French. Should this not be possible, assistance with translation can be requested by sending the proposal to email@example.com before the 3th March 2020.
Second Stage - Evaluation of Formal Requirements
The Technical Secretary of the IOPD will evaluate compliance with the requirements, as specified in section 3 of these Terms, and will reject any proposals that do not comply herewith.
Third Stage - Comments and Voting
Those IOPD members that are registered on the digital platform will be able to both comment on the proposals and ask questions about them. The members who have submitted the proposals will be able to comment on and answer the questions.
Each of the platform members will be able to vote for the three proposals that they consider to be most innovative.
A ranking, for all of the proposals, will be drawn up and the 20 proposals with the most votes will be passed on to the next stage. Should less than 40 proposals have been submitted, only those that are among the 50% most voted will be passed on to the next stage. If there are two or more proposals with the same number of votes, lots will be drawn to decide which of them will be passed on to the next stage.
Fourth Stage - Submission of the Complete Proposal
Members will now have to submit their complete proposals, filling in a form with questions related to the evaluation criteria that the Jury will be applying.
In addition, complementary information may be submitted to enhance the application. Additional information will only be accepted in digital format, given that evaluation by the International Jury for the awarding of the Award is carried out on a virtual basis.
The complete proposal will have to be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org before the 31st May 2020.
Fifth Stage - Jury Evaluation
Each member of the Jury will evaluate 10 proposals and submit a form with their report on each of those proposals. These reports will include the awarding of points for each of the evaluation criteria (see Section 5 of the Terms below), accompanied by a brief justification.
The proposal that is awarded the most points will be the winner. The Jury will also be able to select as many as five Special Mentions. Two special mentions will be deliver to the best experiences linked to the IOPD thematic priorities for 2020: “climate change” and “gender approach”.
Final Stage - Publication of Results and Feedback
Announcement of the Distinction and Special Mentions awarded will be made during the annual IOPD Conference.
The Jury’s comments will be forwarded to each of the applicants selected for the fifth stage, so that they can be used for the improvement of participatory democracy practices.
5. EVALUATION CRITERIA
The first stage (open to all members of the IOPD) will consist of an evaluation of the level of innovation, i.e. the evaluation of those experiences that introduce an improvement based on unusual mechanisms and/or processes, such as: the implication of sectors of the population with a traditional reluctance to participate; the capacity to generate participatory culture in the town or city; the promotion of transversal actions, the use of new technologies, etc.
During the Jury stage, the evaluation criteria will be based on:
- Level of innovation (as in the first stage.)
- Level of transferability: i.e. the capacity of the experience to allow for repeated use of the essential elements that make it up, in a context other than the one for which it was created, and with a high probability of success.
- Level of feasibility: an experience may be considered feasible if, during the design stage, it has taken into account the economic, technical, organizational and socio-political context in which it is to be implemented.
- Level of planning and coordination of the participatory democracy practice, along with the kind of stakeholders involved in each stage of the process. The level of coordination with pre-existing participatory processes will also be evaluated, along with the context in which the practice is being implemented.
- Level of co-responsibility of the different stakeholders taking part in the process: a Good Practice must necessarily count on political stakeholders, technical stakeholders and the citizens (organized and non-organized).
- Mechanisms for the evaluation of the results and the accountability of those stakeholders with specific competences.
The maximum number of points that can be awarded for criterion a) is 50, while for criteria b) to f) the maximum is 10 points.
The Jury will be made up of 10 citizen participation experts from around the world. The Technical Secretary will select the members of the Jury and will endeavour to ensure a balance in gender and regional terms. The names of the Jury members will be kept secret until the announcement of the results.
The languages that can be used are: Catalan, Spanish, English, French and Portuguese. For participation in each Call, IOPD members may only send one file, containing a single experience. Should such be required, the Distinction Technical Secretary will request all of the complementary information that he or she may consider necessary with regard to the proposals submitted.
The Distinction will be awarded during the celebration of the 14th Conference of the International Observatory on Participatory Democracy, which is to be held in Cocody, Ivory Coast, in July of 2020.
The IOPD Award “Best Practice in Citizen Participation” will consist of the presentation of the Best Practice, within the framework of the Conference, by a representative of the award-winning institution, whose transport and accommodation costs will be paid.
The winner will be notified of the Jury’s decision, which is final and indisputable, in June 2020. However, the town or city that has been awarded the Distinction may not make the result public prior to the official awarding thereof.
The remaining participating towns and cities, along with the general public, will be informed of the results during the annual conference.
All of the experiences that have been submitted will be entered into the IOPD database and may be brought together in a joint publication.
The submission of a project for the awarding of the Distinction requires the acceptance of the present Terms and the determinations of the Jury with regard to whatsoever aspects may not have been foreseen in these Terms.