Terms of the award
16th edition of the IOPD Award “Best Practice in Citizen Participation”
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 experiences on a local scale.
The award aims to encourage and value the implementation of successful experiences at the local level and to disseminate practices that promote the participation and involvement of citizens in the process of developing and implementing public policies.
The goal of this Award is to acknowledge experiences that are being implemented by local and regional 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.
The nominations 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, supra-local and regional governments that are members of the IOPD and that have promoted a participatory democracy experience on a local or regional scale.
- Cities and governments that are not members of the IOPD and wish to apply must fill out the membership form when submitting their application.
- Individuals or non-profit organizations may also submit a candidacy, based on some experience related to local and regional governments.
- All the experiences must have started to be applied during the period 2019-February 2022.
- Experiences that have been submitted in previous editions of the Award cannot be re-submitted.
- Nevertheless, experiences that began before 2019, or that have been submitted in previous editions of the Award, may be re-submitted as long as there has been 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.
- Applications must be related to any public policy, strategic plan, assembly, council or experience, whether temporary or permanent, that involves citizen participation and/or the functioning of local democracy.
- It is recommended to submit one or two applications per city. In exceptional cases, up to three applications may be submitted, provided they are experiences from different fields and topics.
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 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
- To improve any public policy through the active participation of the public
4. PROCESS STAGES
First Stage – Submitting Proposals
Proposals should be submitted by filling out the online form and emailing it to
firstname.lastname@example.org in a Word Document, in Arial 11 format. It is recommended to respond in a clear and concise manner, adding links to complete the information. The application form can be sent in English, French, Spanish or Portuguese.
You are invited to send any attachments you deem necessary (images, videos, publications, documents, etc.).
The IOPD Technical Secretariat may request any additional information it deems necessary in relation to the proposals submitted. The deadline for submission of proposals is May 31, 2022.
Second Stage - Revision of Formal Requirements
The IOPD Technical Secretariat will check that the applications are presented correctly and completely. If necessary, the contact persons will be reached to correct errors and oversights in the application
Third Stage - Comments and Voting
People who are registered on the digital platform will be able to comment on the proposals and ask questions that can be answered by the responsible of the proposal.
Each member of the platform will be able to vote for the five proposals that they consider most interesting and successful.
All proposals will be ranked: the top 15 proposals passed onto 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.
The members of the jury will be able to choose up to 10 candidates from the non-selected ones to go on to the final evaluation. The criteria for this selection are to guarantee geographical, thematic and type of experience diversity.
Fourth Stage - Jury Evaluation
The jury will be made up of between 8 and 10 people of recognized prestige and experience in the field of citizen participation, open government, local governments, political science, sociology, urban planning or social movements. A balance of gender and regional origin will be sought. An open call will be held to form the jury.
In June/August 2022, each member of the Jury will evaluate between 10 and 15 proposals and fill out a document 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.
In September 2022, a meeting of the members of the jury will be organized to deliberate on the different proposals with the best value. In this meeting it will also be determined if, in addition to a winner, special mentions will be awarded. If there is no agreement on the winner during the meeting, a secret vote will be held among the members of the jury.
Special thematic mentions can be awarded if the jury considers it appropriate in categories: a) best experience of a regional government b) best experience from a gender perspective c) best experience in the field of ecological transition d) or another field that it considers the judge.
Final Stage - Publication of Results and Feedback
The result of the awards will be made public in October or November 2022. The awards ceremony will take place in December 2022 within the framework of the 21st Conference in Grenoble.
The jury's comments will be sent to each of the candidate cities and regions that have passed the jury stage, so that they can be used to improve participatory democracy practices. The candidatures will be shared in a publication and in the experiences space of the IOPD website.
5. EVALUATION CRITERIA
During the first phase (open to all IOPD members) the experience as a whole will be valued. The people who participate in the evaluation will assess the experiences they consider best: be it for their methodology, their implementation, their results, the degree of innovation or inclusion.
For example, involvement of traditionally non-participatory sectors of the population, ability to generate participatory culture in the city itself, promotion of cross-cutting actions, use of new technologies, etc.
During the jury phase, the evaluation criteria will be the following:
- Level of innovation: the introduction of new methodologies, practices or strategies
- Level of inclusion: if groups that generally do not participate in the political and institutional life of the city or territory are engaged in this process.
- 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-organised).
- Mechanisms for the evaluation of the results and the accountability of those stakeholders with specific competences.
- Precision, concision and style: the proposal clearly answers the questions asked, avoiding repetition. It is effective in communicating the experience.
The award jury is made up of between 8 and 10 experts in citizen participation from different parts of the world. The Technical Secretariat will choose these members of the jury, seeking a gender and regional balance. The names of the jury will be secret until the announcement of the award results. The members of the jury must communicate if there is any personal or professional relationship with any of the candidacies presented, in which case it will not be assigned for review.
The Award will be delivered during the celebration of the IOPD Conference in December 2022.
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 technical secretariat will produce a publication with the summaries of the nominations, which will also be included in the compilation of practices on the IOPD website.