Participatory Governance Toolkits

Through a global stocktaking exercise, the CIVICUS PG Project has identified participatory governance practices from across the globe which have proven effective at promoting transparent, responsive, accountable and effective governance, at both the local and national level, through active citizen participation.

This on-line toolkit provides information on nine different categories of participation governance practices (described below) and currently includes more than 30 individual approaches/tools. Additional tools are under construction and will be posted over the coming months, so visit often!

Each tool entry provides: a brief introduction to the practice, explains how it is carried out, and outlines key benefits, challenges and lessons learned. Each tool write-up also includes links to: additional resources (operational manuals, guidelines, articles, reports), individuals/organisations with expertise in using the tool and relevant case study materials.

This is a collective and interactive toolkit. Expert organisations and individuals have contributed to it either by submitting entire entries or through peer-review. As a user, we welcome you to comment on the content of the toolkit (comment boxes are included at the end of each tool write-up) and to contribute your own additional tools or case studies. In addition, each tool entry has an associated discussion group which invites you to share your experiences on the field application of the tool. Please note that you must be registered to contribute to tool discussion and add tools, case studies and other resources.

Welcome to the PG Exchange Toolkit!

The PG Exchange Toolkit contains tools and resources relating to nine different categories of participatory governance practices. Check out the following categories and find the tool that’s right for you.

  • A.  Public information – A first step towards participatory governance is helping citizens to have access to relevant information about government policies, decisions and actions.  Check out this category for tools relating to advocating for freedom of information, supporting government transparency and facilitating the dissemination of public information.
  • B.  Education and deliberation – Another important dimension of participatory governance is citizen education and deliberation. This category includes tools for making citizens aware of their rights and responsibilities (civic education), as well as a variety of innovative methods for helping citizens collectively learn about and deliberate on issues of priority public concern.
  • C. Advocacy and citizen voice – Helping citizens to publicly express their opinions and concerns is a core aspect of participatory governance. This section of the toolkit contains a number of tools for enhancing citizen voice and advocacy.
  • D.  Public dialogue – Enhanced dialogue between citizens and the state lies at the heart of participatory governance. This section of the toolkit describes a range of innovative approaches and tools for promoting more productive interactions between multiple state and non-state actors.
  • E.  Elections – Voting is a principal right and responsibility of citizens and a fundamental form of citizen participation.  The tools presented in this section of the toolkit contribute to ensuring that elections are free and fair and help citizens make informed choices and hold politicians accountable for their electoral promises.
  • F.  Policy and planning – The design and implementation of public policies and plans that respond effectively to citizens’ priorities and needs are a key task of any government. The tools presented here enable citizens and civil society organisations to contribute actively and meaningfully to processes of public policy-making and planning, at both the local and national level.
  • G.  Public budgets and expenditures – Transparent, accountable, effective and efficient public financial management is key to good governance.  The tools in this section of the toolkit are designed to help citizens understand and influence decisions about the allocation of public resources, monitor public spending and hold government actors accountable for their management of public financial resources.
  • H.  Monitoring and evaluating public services – Citizens around the world depend upon public services for their day-to-day existence. Services such as health care, education, water and sanitation and public transport are essential for citizens to thrive and, indeed, survive.  This important collection of tools offers innovative ways for citizens to monitor and evaluate the accessibility, quality and efficiency of public services – leading to improved services and better quality of life for all citizens.
  • I.  Public oversight – Many government around the world are plagued by corruption, patronage and lack of accountability.  This section of the toolkit outlines a number of methods that citizens and civil society organisations can use to monitor and oversee public action and seek retribution for injustices or misdeeds.


Have an additional tool or category of tools to suggest? Please contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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