Back School of Participatory Democracy kicks off in Istanbul

(anglais seulement)
School of Participatory Democracy kicks off in Istanbul

From 18 to 22 September at the School of Participatory Democracy, 22 representatives of local authorities and civil society organisations in Türkiye learnt about the Council of Europe participatory democracy standards and tools. The event was jointly organised by the Division of Elections and Participatory Democracy of the Council of Europe, Argüden Governance Academy and the Istanbul citizen assembly, with financial support from the City of Istanbul.

During the training, the participants were introduced to different innovative tools and methods, including the Civil Participation in Decision Making Toolkit, CivicLab, UChange Game, and School Participatory Budgeting and acquired the basics of public space planning and organising a citizens’ assembly. They also became familiar with the laws and practices of participatory democracy in Türkiye. The training was highly interactive, providing good practice from projects implemented in various countries, and allowed participants to develop individual action plans to integrate participatory democracy in their daily work in Türkiye. “We are especially interested in translating the CivicLab methodology into Turkish, as it is a very useful tool to gather and prioritize proposals from young people on ways to build up earthquake resilience, which we urgently need”, representatives from the Youth Council stated. Tulin Hadi, the president of Istanbul citizen assembly, explained: “The use of metropolitan farmland in two municipalities is a very contested topic. Thanks to this training, I believe we are ready to explore the possibility to organise a deliberative citizen assembly to resolve this issue in a way that all parties involved benefit.”

The Council of Europe invited both civil society organisations and local authorities to build good working relationships between them and to explore different avenues of working together. In addition, the participants had an opportunity to meet with the Istanbul Municipality Head of International Relations and Head of Strategic Planning to share with them their perspectives for civil participation in Türkiye.

This one-week face-to-face training was the first event of a training cycle series tailored to the needs of participants to enable them to deepen their practical understanding of participatory democracy and to apply the learned tools in Türkiye to solve issues at local levels in a participatory way.

The ultimate goal of the Council of Europe’s School of Participatory Democracy is to create a community of practitioners across Europe and enhance citizen engagement in political decision making in Council of Europe member states.

Final report >>

Istanbul, Türkiye 18-22 September 2023
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