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Approaches to civic and democratic engagement

The devolution agenda in England is new and emerging and so too are the approaches to civic and democratic engagement that are being used.

Like devolution there is no ‘one size fits all' approach and there are numerous examples and methods of engagement from which devolution areas can learn.

This section describes a range of approaches that areas can use at varying scales from local to city region, all of which can be re-modelled to suit various budgets. Each approach has been tried and tested in a range of contexts in the UK and abroad, and comes with a set of case studies explaining how they work in practice.

There are five approaches covered:

  1. Citizens' assemblies: a body formed of citizens to deliberate on a particular issue.
  2. Digital engagement: online conversation about government issues.
  3. Participatory Budgeting: a process where citizens decide on how public money is spent.
  4. Community organising: engaging with existing community networks to make decisions.
  5. Co-production: where citizens and professionals co-design and co-deliver public services.

Engaging citizens in devolution