Internal Operations Guide

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The community of practices “The Participatory Group” is born as an informal workgroup with the goal to promote collaboration towards the exchange of best practices, joint work to design new ways of participation and improve the existing ones, as well as to promote knowledge related to citizen participation.


The mission of The participatory Group is to promote the adoption of best practices on citizen participation at an international level through the exchange of ideas, experiences and knowledge between the members of the group.
This group is thus formed as a community of practices in which its members are local and regional governments with actual citizen participation policies. Its goal is not to generate a body of theoretical knowledge or an analysis on citizen participation but to get real improvements in the participatory processes of its members.

The group goals are:

  1. To promote citizen participation in the geographical space of its members.
  2. To facilitate cooperation between its members, with a focus on sharing experiences in citizen participation.
  3. To evaluate the impact of participation policies and initiatives on citizens.
  4. To promote collaboration and alliances with other similar groups or networks at a local and global level, as well as with other public administrations, universities, citizen labs or innovation institutions.
  5. To promote the use of new technologies in citizen participation.
  6. To push or help studies and research that can contribute to a better quality in participatory processes.
  7. To drive forward innovation in citizen participation.
  8. To promote the use of tools that help to implement participatory processes.

How can I be a member of this community of practices?

Any local or regional government or similar entity can be a member of the Participatory Group, regardless of the country in which it is located and its population.

Similar entities are those that embody a political and administrative territorial division recognised as such by law in the country that they belong to, that have competencies on citizen participation and that are below national level.

To be considered a member, the government must request it through the following form I want to join, so members of the group can consider it.

Can other agents be part of the group?

Other public and private agents who, without being members of the Community, support the activities of the group or contribute their talent and experience to the fulfillment of the objectives of The Participatory Group, may participate as collaborators.

National governments, city networks, universities, innovation laboratories, sponsors or other similar organizations and entities formally constituted and with a recognized track record in innovation, local public management and/or citizen participation are eligible for this category.

To participate as a collaborator, you can send an e-mail to so that the administrations that are currently part of the Community can take it into consideration.

What activities are we doing?

In order to accomplish its goals, the Community must do activities and initiatives, including:

  1. Training and awareness of the employees of the members of the Community.
  2. Development of joint projects and tests by the members of the Community.
  3. Research and analysis about the state of the art in participation, as well as writing reports and studies.
  4. Organization of events, workshops and seminars about citizen participation.
  5. Participation in events, congresses and seminars organized by third parties.
  6. Publication and communication of materials of citizen participation.
  7. Communication of the activities of the Community in its web site, social networks, etc.

How will the Community operate?

The group as a whole will hold a coordination meeting at least once a year, with the participation of at least one third of its members.

In order to promote the work, the participants of the Community of Practices shall designate a Steering Group composed of seven of its members. The composition of the Community of Practices shall be reflected in terms of the socio-cultural and geographical diversity of the members, as well as the population volume they represent, and annual rotation shall be ensured among the members of the Community that request it.

The Steering Group will meet at least once every three months and will have, among its objectives, to propose the programming and activities of the Community and to promote its correct development.

The collaborators or experts considered appropriate at any given time may be invited to the meetings of the Community of Practice and the Steering Group

To help with the operations of the Community, the Municipality of Madrid will help with:

  1. Communication with members to announce meetings, events, or any relevant information.
  2. Facilitation and coordination of the work, meetings and projects of the Community members, as much as the resources available allow it.
  3. Managing communication tools, including the web site of the Community, email lists, online collaboration and debate spaces and any other resource that might be set up.

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