Most assessments of engagement look at its value to whoever funds or manages the process. This working paper written for a group of Dutch NGOs looks at how the process can be evaluated from the point of view of the participant.
Increasingly around the world new spaces and opportunities are emerging for citizen engagement in policy processes, from the local to the global levels. Participation,rights-based approaches and inclusion have become buzz words of development. Policy instruments, legal frameworks and support programmes for promoting them abound. And yet for civil society actors and others like, there is scepticism. Does this represent a real shift in power? Does it really open up spaces where participation and citizen voice can have an influence? Should we engage with them, or should we work to build our own social movements, organisations and alternatives in our spaces? How do we know?