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Democracy from the Ground Up: Innovations in Participatory and Deliberative Governance

Innovations in participatory and deliberative governance are fostering inclusion, accountability, and civic engagement around the world. From citizen’s assemblies, to community action groups, to participatory planning, a broad range of approaches can increase citizens’ ability to engage actively in governance. As the Summit for Democracy convenes national-level leaders, Mercy Corps, World Vision, and the International Republican Institute convened a comparative discussion on what deliberative democracy looks like at the community level. This event sought to shed light on three interventions focusing on Ward Development Planning in Kenya, Citizen Voice and Action in Bangladesh, and Participatory Budgeting in Ecuador, The Gambia, and Morocco. By improving local legitimacy and accountability, these types of approaches are empowering communities to address challenges including climate change and conflict prevention.


  • Hussein Noor Abdille – Chief of Party, Nawiri, Mercy Corps Kenya
  • Eguiar Lizundia – Senior Advisor, Governance and Anti-Corruption, International Republican Institute
  • Nirmal Sarker – Senior Technical Advisor for Nobo Jatra Project II, World Vision Bangladesh
  • Dr. Tara Grillos – Associate Professor of Political Science, Purdue University (Moderator)