At a glance

The Democratic Society, mySociety & the RSA
January 2019 to March 2020
Project Type: 

The Innovation in Democracy Programme will support local authorities during 2019 to open up a policy decision to citizen deliberation through citizens’ assemblies.1 We will be working with the Democratic Society, mySociety and the RSA to provide support to each of the local authorities.

The programme was announced during the summer as part of the UK Government's Civil Society Strategy:

The government will launch the Innovation in Democracy programme to pilot participatory democracy approaches, whereby people are empowered to deliberate and participate in the decisions that affect their communities. The government will work with local authorities to trial face-to-face deliberation (such as Citizens’ Juries) complemented by online civic tech tools to increase broad engagement and transparency.

The programme is being jointly run by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). In partnership with the Democratic Society, mySociety and the RSA, we will be providing each local authority with support to:

  • Design, run and report on their citizens' assembly;
  • Develop a digital strategy to extend the reach, transparency, and accountability of the process; and,
  • Collect and share their learning within and beyond their local authorities.

Many people feel disempowered and disengaged from politics. This programme is an opportunity to get people involved in the decisions that affect their daily life.

Miriam Levin, Head of Community Action and Giving, DCMS