New spaces for change?

Many development actors see participation as the key to increasing citizens' influence over the institutions and policies that affect their lives. In some places, spaces for citizen participation have been created by the state. In others, citizens have created spaces for participation themselves. This research programme carried out empirical research focused on both state-created and popular spaces for participation.

It explored the dynamics of participation in these spaces, and the relationships between different kinds of local institutions, actors and sectors affiliated with the spaces to better understand the opportunities, constraints and limitations that these spaces offer to truly influence the institutions and policies that affect people's lives.

The programme was co-convened by Andrea Cornwall (IDS) and Vera Schattan (CEBRAP) and involved partners from Mexico, Brazil, South Africa, Bangladesh, India and the UK.

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