Content dimensions of civic participation
Citizen participation simply means citizen involvement in public decision making. It is
active participation of the citizens in the society. Residents are given the opportunity,
directly or indirectly, to influence policy making, implementation and/or evaluation. It can
involve joining the conversation, brainstorming or co-deciding. Citizen participation is one of
the three OGP values, along with transparency and public accountability. And the purposes
of citizen participation include communicating information, developing relationships,
developing the capacity to act, and preserving or changing conditions.
Some methods of civic participation includes; voting and election, participation in
organization, economic acts, support of political actions, service/acts of volunteerism,
conducting awareness of campaign, monitoring government, connecting to information and
current events, direct appeals and communication with government.
Arnstein’s categorized the participation often termed as arnstein’s ladder of citizen
participation. They are;
Citizen power: citizen control, delegated power, partnership.
Tokenism: placation, consultation, informing.
Non-participation: Therapy, Manipulation.
Deborah Opia, Sumy State University, student from Nigeria