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Community Engagement in Local Decision Making

Indicator Phrasing

number of residents of the target communities that systematically and actively participate in the local decision-making processes
See indicator in other languages

Indicator Phrasing

English: number of residents of the target communities that systematically and actively participate in the local decision-making processes

French: nombre de résidents des communautés cibles qui participent systématiquement et activement aux processus décisionnels locaux

Portuguese: número de moradores das comunidades-alvo que participam sistemática e activamente nos processos de decisão local

Czech: počet obyvatel cílových komunit, kteří se systematicky a aktivně zapojují do rozhodovacích procesů na lokální úrovni

What is its purpose?

The indicator measures the extent to which the local citizens participate in the local decision-making processes. In this case, what matters most is not the number of people but whether people participate in a systematic way (e.g. attending most of the events where decisions are made) and in an active way (e.g. actively raising comments and suggestions, not just passively attending).

How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data

Determine the indicator's value by using the following methodology:


1) List the various occasions when the local residents can participate in influencing local decision-making processes, such as public hearings organized by the local authorities.


2) Based on the number / frequency of such events determine how many events a person needs to attend to be considered as “systematically participating” (for example, to attend at least 50% of the events). Similarly, define what a person needs to do in order to be considered as “actively participating”.


3) Define the period you are evaluating (for example, in the past 12 months).


4) Use the following methods to identify the people who in the past 12 months participated in the pre-defined events:

   - review of meeting minutes

   - review of attendance lists

   - review of any other documentation, such as photos

   - interviews with the key informants, such as local authorities, representatives of civil society organizations, more active members of the target communities, etc.

   - people who attended some of these events and are able to recall who else was participating (i.e. using “snowball sampling” methodology)


5) By conducting either in-person or phone interviews with the identified participants, assess: 1) how many and which events they attended in the past 12 months; and 2) how actively they participated. For example, did they only listen? Did they raise some comments or propose specific solutions? If so, in how many meetings did they do so?


6) Calculate the indicator’s value by counting the number of people who participated in the decision-making events in a systematic and active way, as defined by your criteria (see point 2).

Disaggregate by

Disaggregate the data by gender, by specific marginalized group, and by location.

Important Comments

1) If you decide to use this indicator, ensure that your intervention supports the local authorities in using attendance sheets during their decision-making events (including names and phone numbers of the participating residents), so that during your endline survey it is easier for you to find and the interview the residents. 


2) If you operate in a context where it is common that a large number of the local residents (e.g. 20-30% of the household representatives) participate in the decision-making events, it is better if you replace this methodology by a quantitative survey involving individual interviews with a representative sample of the local residents.  

This guidance was prepared by People in Need ©

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