Fostering Citizen Engagement with Digital Strategies

Date of publication
Citizen engagement
Smart city and technology
Type of resources
Policy Brief
According to the Global State of Democracy Initiative, roughly 58% of citizens worldwide engage in the voting process for legislative and executive national elections. When observing local democracy, the participation turnout decreases to 54%. This number continues to grow thinner when it measures how citizens can participate in direct popular decision-making; the global average is 11%. Promoting participation at all levels remains challenging, but boosting the reciprocal relation between metropolitan authorities, Local and Regional Governments (LRGs), and citizens should have special attention considering its impact on decision-making, accountability, and life quality standards.

The Internet and digital gadgets as 21st-century tools are vital allies to face the participation dilemmas between reach and impact while facilitating problem-solving mechanisms. The challenge is how to use digital strategies to effectively co-create solutions to urban challenges, accounting for scale and diversity. The co-creation process is a constant, adaptive and flexible interaction between citizens, stakeholders, and local, regional, or metropolitan authorities. Decisive and impactful participation increases the legitimacy of public policies and actions.