International Observatory on Participatory Democracy

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About IOPD

The International Observatory on Participatory Democracy (IOPD) is a space open to all cities in the world and all associations, organizations and research centers interested in learning about, exchanging impressions and applying experiences of participatory democracy on a local scale with the aim of deepening the roots of democracy in municipal government.

The network was created in 2001 within the framework of the European Commission's URB-AL programme for decentralized cooperation. It was officially constituted in November 2001 during the 1st Annual Conference of the IOPD in Barcelona, where its internal operating regulations were approved. Since 2006 the IOPD has coordinated with United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), at present the IOPD is contributing to provide local government's innovative knowledge in the specific area of citizens' participation.

In November 2011 the IOPD decided to recover and place emphasis on its original goal of becoming a space for the production of knowledge and the exchange of useful experiences for the towns and cities that make up the network. Therefore the OIDP assumed the challenge of serving as a reflection in matters of participatory democracy at a worldwide level, in order to innovate and to recommend specific policies to public administrations, preferably local, throughout the world and to make the exchange of experiences its main working base.

In order to fulfil that challenge IOPD provides incentives for knowledge in the field of participatory democracy at the local level thanks to the following activities and projects: