Citizen participation goes digital during the pandemic

Citizen participation goes digital during the pandemic

Participation. The Decidim Barcelona digital municipal platform has quadrupled its user base.

The Covid-19 crisis has highlighted the need to move forward with the digital transformation. The online citizen participation platform Decidim Barcelona strengthened its position in 2020, adapting to the health crisis to ensure participation telematically in neighbourhood meetings, public audiences, participatory processes and new initiatives such as activities from home and the sharing of lockdown experiences.

All citizen participation since the start of the pandemic has revolved around the platform Decidim Barcelona as a space for debate, a repository for information and documentation and a means of accessing the different telematic sessions which have been convened.

New user registrations on Decidim Barcelona numbered 11,000 in 2020, four times more than the figure for 2019 (6,000), with a total of 44,380 users in all. The platform hosted 515 sessions in different regulated participatory bodies in 2020, some 6% more than the previous year. In total:

  • 114 neighbourhood council meetings
  • 38 public audiences
  • 127 sectoral boards
  • 22 city board commissions
  • 214 sectoral board meetings for the city

Participation spaces created during the pandemic

Specific spaces were set up to foster citizen participation during the months of the lockdown, such as:

  • “Barcelona, des de casa”: for local people to share community, cultural and solidarity initiatives. These initiatives numbered nearly 700.
  • “El regidor respon / la regidora respon”: telematic sessions between councillors and citizens.

Safe participation guide

Experience and good practice in terms of telematic participation during the months of the Covid-19 have been set out in a guide entitled Guia de participació ciutadana en temps de pandèmia. Produced by Barcelona City Council, the guide includes recommendations on how to participate safely in the current context and how to foster inclusive digital participation.



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