Participa, Medellín's citizen participation platform



Type of experience

participatory planning e-government, open government


governance and transparency local development civic responsibility


SDG 11 SDG 16

The city of Medellín has created a digital platform to allow its citizens to exercise their right to participate in political decisions.


  • Enable citizens to take part in decision-making in their community.
  • Ensure and encourage the direct participatory democracy of the city's citizens.


The citizens of Medellín


Medellín is a district of Colombia and capital of the department of Antioquia. It is the most populous city in the department and the second most populous in the country after Bogotá.

The city has a population of 2 533 424 inhabitants (2020), while that number, including the metropolitan area, amounts to 4 055 296 people (2020), making it the twelfth most populous metropolitan area in South America. 



In Participa, citizens can find all the information related to the spaces, mechanisms and actions that allow citizen participation in the public management cycle. From diagnosis, formulation, implementation, evaluation and monitoring, all of this through the web portal of the Municipality of Medellín. Its purpose is to involve citizens and other stakeholders in public decisions and actions, strengthening advocacy, promotion and guaranteeing participation as a right.


This platform is a digital tool that allows citizens to prioritise local development plan projects of interest to them in their respective commune or district, according to the budget allocated. This budget is equivalent to 5% of the City's total free investment. The prioritisation process is carried out at a certain time of the year, generally at the end of September, according to the Local Development Planning (LDP) and Participatory Budgeting (PB) route schedule, to be included in the following year's Annual Operational Investment Plan before the Honourable District Council. This process also optimises the use of public resources, as the technological infrastructure is deployed outside the district's servers, as a good transparency practice, since the platform is operated by a third party.


The inhabitants of Medellín have several mechanisms for citizen participation that allow them to exercise their right to participate in political power. These include:

  • Plebiscite
  • Referendum
  • Popular consultation
  • Open council
  • Legislative initiative
  • Revocation of the mandate

These tools, established in the 1991 Constitution, ensure and encourage the direct participatory democracy of Colombian citizens. Through these mechanisms, all citizens can participate in decision-making and in the resolution of common problems, as well as exercise control and set limits to the powers, in accordance with the precepts of the Constitution and the law.


Participation instances are spaces for permanent dialogue, with different levels of influence, between citizens and the administration on specific public management issues, created by a national, regional or local regulation. These spaces, whether citizen or mixed, consolidate participatory public management through deliberative processes in which citizens have an impact on public policies, plans, programmes and projects. The objective is to increase effectiveness, transparency, co-responsibility, governance, cooperation and the guarantee of rights.



Sources of information (in Spanish)