Achieving Success in Public Participation
A multi-stakeholder perspective on the state of citizen involvement and participation in Germany, and implications for international cooperation
Public participation is highly sensitive to context. In Germany, numerous local frameworks exist, but institutionalization on the national level is yet to be achieved. Key considerations surrounding citizen participation include the design and implementation of processes as well as enabling conditions related to politics and culture. Based on expert interviews with stakeholders from government, administration, civil society and academia in Germany, this paper develops a set of success factors for citizen participation. In addition, it addresses the question if such conclusions might provide input for international cooperation. A second set of interviews, conducted with GIZ staff in six African countries, offers briefings on regional characteristics of citizen participation and the involvement of civil society organizations. Matching both threads of analysis shows that political ownership, accountability, transparency, communication and a sense of community are among the key indicators for assessing citizen participation.