Involve citizens in local decision-making! Winter school on participatory democracy tools

Involve citizens in local decision-making! Winter school on the tools of participatory democracy

The Council of Europe invites practitioners from local authorities and civil society from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, countries where the Division of Elections and Participatory Democracy leads cooperation activities, and who wish to broaden their knowledge of the concepts and tools of participatory democracy at the local level to attend the first winter school on the tools of participatory democracy.

The Winter School is organized by the Division for Elections and Participatory Democracy of the Council of Europe. Council of Europe standards and instruments on participatory democracy will be presented by international experts with extensive experience in the field, and an interactive learning environment will provide opportunities to discover examples of good practice, share experiences and interact with experts and other practitioners. on how to effectively involve citizens in political decision-making.

The Winter School includes an online preparation and introduction meeting and the Winter School itself in Tbilisi.

The preparatory and introductory meeting will introduce participants to the concepts and values ​​that underpin civil participation in political decision-making and share the Council of Europe standards and guidelines on civil participation. He will address some of the most common challenges participants face in increasing citizen engagement and introduce the Tbilisi Winter School program.

At the Tbilisi Winter School, participants will meet for an event that will combine presentations, case studies, tools and models for inclusive citizen engagement with interactive group exercises and panel discussions. Sessions will cover a variety of approaches to citizen engagement at the local level, strategies for maximizing inclusion, exercises to design public consultation plans, and will include toolkits and case studies on a range topics relevant to the development of participatory policies at the local level, including public spatial planning, urban planning and participatory budgeting.

Six additional online follow-up sessions will be offered after winter school to deepen knowledge of specific tools, and a final experience sharing event will provide space to finalize the learning process.

Who can participate?

Public officials (including elected officials) of local communities and representatives of civil society in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. Participants should have a working knowledge of English, as the training will be conducted in English. Participants from the government and civil society side should already be working or planning to work on making or implementing policy decisions where citizen engagement is an important driver of informed, effective and efficient policy making. sustainable.

What to expect from winter school?

The aim is to create a shared understanding and knowledge of the values ​​and standards of the Council of Europe on civil participation and of the relevant tools which can then be implemented in the specific local contexts of the participants (the project of agenda of the integration meeting and the winter school in Tbilisi can be accessed here).


The winter school will be moderated by Jeff Lovitt, who designed the Council of Europe Academy for Participatory Democracy, which has been operating in Ukraine since 2019. He is the author of two Council of Europe books. Europe on civil participation in political decision-making in Eastern European countries. Partner countries and is a member of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) International Expert Panel.

Other experts and authors of Council of Europe tools to promote civic participation will demonstrate their experience and tools to involve citizens in decision-making processes.

Work language: English

Logistics and costs:

The costs of participation (accommodation and travel) will be covered by the Council of Europe according to the rules and regulations.


Online integration meeting: November 22, 2021

Tbilisi Winter School: December 6-10, 2021

6 online courses: February 2022

Closing meeting: March 2022


Please be aware of COVID-19 security measures in Georgia. All applicants must be fully vaccinated OR undergo a PCR test prior to travel to Georgia and three days after arrival (see for more regulations here). The Council of Europe ensures that the necessary security measures are maintained and asks participants to complete the self-declaration and present it one day before the training at the hotel in Tbilisi.

Due to the unpredictable situation, the winter school could be transferred to another location or to an online format with attendance training at a later stage.

How to register?

We invite interested practitioners from local authorities and civil society to complete this application form (here) in order to apply for the winter school. The application deadline is 25/10/2021.

Contact and information:

Anastasia STAJILA, Anastasia.STAJILA[at] (Strasbourg)

Pelagia MAKHAURI, Pelagia.MAKHAURI[at] (Tbilisi)

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