Open government

Innovative citizen participation




This area of work supports countries in the implementation of Provision 9 of the OECD Recommendation of the Council on Open Government (2017), which focuses on exploring innovative ways to effectively engage with stakeholders to source ideas, co-create solutions, and seize opportunities provided by digital government tools. It focuses on new research in the area of innovative citizen participation practices to analyse the new forms of deliberative, collaborative, and participatory decision making that are evolving across the globe.


This area of work has three pillars of activity and output:


There are many different types of innovative citizen participation. Given the focus on inclusiveness and representativeness in the Recommendation of the Council on Open Government, the first focus in this research series is on deliberative processes, such as Citizens’ Assemblies, Juries, and Panels. They are one part of a bigger picture of the systemic change that is needed.

The first output is the international report: Catching the Deliberative Wave: Innovative Citizen Participation and New Democratic Institutions. The report builds a new international evidence base about the use of deliberative processes for public decision-making in OECD Member countries, presenting a comparative analysis regarding design integrity, sound deliberation, and influence on public decisions. It identifies and compares different models of deliberative processes and highlights global, regional and national trends. The empirical sections are based on an analysis of 56 different variables.

The cases included in this study needed to meet a minimum of three criteria to be included:

  1. Impact: The process must be commissioned by a public institution;
  2. Representativeness: Participants are chosen through random selection with demographic stratification,
  3. Deliberation: Requires time, operationalised as a minimum of one full day of face-to-face meetings.

The data in this report is a repository of as many cases as possible that fit the minimum criteria of inclusion during the data collection period of January-October 2019. The data collection was conducted through desk research, a targeted call to the international Democracy R&D Network of deliberative practitioners, and an open call through the OECD Toolkit Navigator for Open Government Platform.

Two chapters have been co-produced with international advisory groups of practitioners, civil servants, and academics who are implementing, experimenting and studying deliberative processes. With their contributions and extensive feedback, the report identifies principles of good practice for deliberative processes used for public decision-making and addresses the increasingly salient questions of whether and how these processes should be institutionalised, or embedded, in public decision-making procedures.

Do you know of a deliberative process that has been announced or is underway?
Please contact us or fill in this form to add the details to ourongoing database of deliberative initiatives to follow. (Please note that the full database of all cases in the report will be released upon publication of the report.)


As part of this area of work, the OECD has been engaging with a network of practitioners, designers, academics, researchers, civil servants, and curators to frame the topic and scope of research, to gather feedback and inputs to the research in an ongoing manner, and to strengthen the ties between these important groups of actors.

The objectives of the network are to:

  • Enable international connections and collaborations between democratic innovators
  • Shape the OECD Open Government Unit’s work on innovative citizen participation
  • Connect the worlds of practitioners, academics, designers, and civil servants
  • Provide physical and digital spaces for exchange through an annual meeting and the Participo platform

Learn more about the OECD Innovative Citizen Participation Network

Twitter list of the OECD Innovative Citizen Participation Network members.


The new Medium publication, Participo, is a digital space of exchange between public servants, practitioners, researchers, academics, and designers about innovative citizen and the future of democracy more broadly. The OECD team in charge of this area of work will post regular blogs and updates about the project, research, related events, and interviews with experts. There will also be external content commissioned by the OECD team on the key themes of this area of work.



Innovative Citizen Participation and New Democratic Institutions: Catching the Deliberative Wave





Innovative Citizen Participation flyer




Alessandro Bellantoni,, @AlesBellantoni

Claudia Chwalisz,, @ClaudiaChwalisz

Ieva Cesnulaityte,, @ICesnulaityte

@OECDgov  | #delibWave | #OECDOG





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