Published on June 11, 2014

Civic Activism Tools & Methods: Help needed

Civic activism

By Tim Hughes

Tim is Involve's incoming director, taking over from 21st January 2017. Tim has led campaigns and advocacy on open government; advised national, devolved and local governments, civil society organisations and multilateral institutions; and researched and written on topics including public participation, open government, democratic reform, civil society advocacy and public administration.

Citizen VoiceInvolve and the Building Change Trust are collecting examples of tools and methods that can be used by civil society organisations to enable and support civic activism (i.e. involving citizens in decision making processes). We need your help.

Please consider taking a few minutes to tell us about a tool or method you use or know of by completing this short form:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1FCUJAqKZ8efUDfFsTnGrjXcoBUPe4COa1I4QbZGzFTs/viewform?usp=send_form

We are particularly interested in tools or methods that can be used by a civil society organisation working at a local level (e.g. in rural, suburban or urban communities) for the purpose of:

a) Involving citizens in the organisations own work; or
b) Enabling or supporting citizens to scrutinise and engage with government.

We want to find tools and methods that support six categories of activities: [These categories are derived from Civicus’s Participatory Governance categories].

  • Public budgets – Enabling / supporting citizens to 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.
  • Public debate – Enabling / supporting citizens to be aware of their civic rights and responsibilities, collectively deliberate on priority issues and/or express their opinions and concerns.
  • Public information – Enabling / supporting citizens to have access to relevant information about government policies, decisions and actions.
  • Public oversight – Enabling / supporting citizens to scrutinise the conduct of politicians and public officials, identify corruption, oversee public action, seek redress for injustices or misdeeds, ensure that elections are free and fair and hold politicians accountable for their electoral promises.
  • Public policy – Enabling / supporting citizens to engage constructively with policy makers on public policy issues.
  • Public services – Enabling / supporting citizens to monitor and evaluate the accessibility, quality and efficiency of public services.

All of the tools and methods we collect will be published with the intention that they are shared, used and reused to inform and inspire civil society around the world. A selection of the tools and methods will be used by the Building Change Trust and Involve in our work to support civic activism and engagement in Northern Ireland, Britain and beyond.

Many thanks in advance for your help.

Image credit: Tim Hughes

2 Responses to “Civic Activism Tools & Methods: Help needed”

  1. Mary
    June 20, 2014 at 7:17 am

    We have Sydney Alliance, you have Citizens UK – they are fabulous!

    • Tim Hughes
      Tim Hughes
      June 23, 2014 at 6:08 pm

      Thanks Mary. I agree. It’s really important to have these organisations that help people come together, voice their views and achieve change.

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