The AECID and the Jordanian State Department invited Barcelona City Council to participate in a seminar on Participation and social networks on the 4th and 5th of December, within a cooperation project for the local development of towns in the Mafraq region. The visit was attended by a delegation from the Decidim project, and Elisenda Ortega, head of Participation Promotion at Barcelona City Council. A technician from the Castilla-León Network of Municipalities was with this delegation and participate as a speaker presenting the network of rural municipalities and new technologies. The seminar was attended by nearly 40 workers and spetialists people from the local governments of the Mafraq region, together with local development managers from the Governante of the region.
The presentations of the Decidim project delegation focused on two topics:
- Decidim Barcelona as a digital platform for citizen participation. Conceptualization and history of participation in the city of Barcelona, from democracy to the present day, highlighting the vitality of neighborhood and social movements in the construction of the city, the decentralization of the city into districts, the creation of citizen councils and neighborhood councils, the co-production of public policies with the social and citizen fabric, participatory strategic planning, inclusive participation, participatory processes and citizen consultations.
- Decidim as a technopolitical project and software for participatory democracy. Presentation of the Decidim project, a digital platform for citizen participation based on free software that allows the deployment of diverse spaces for participation (Processes, Assemblies, Initiatives, Consultations) to articulate democratic processes of all kinds (strategic planning, participatory budgets, etc.) in a transparent and accountable manner. Decidim also allows the establishment of communication channels between administration and citizens as an alternative to social networks and in a secure manner (with privacy guarantees).
One of the main conclusions of the international meeting consisted of a series of recommendations to adapt the platform to the local population and administration of Mafraq that would consist of translating the platform into Arabic and adapting the design for RTL languages as well as training local officials.