Public Participation


Public participation is a principle/ practice which denote the right of all stakeholders who will be affected by a particular decision to influence it. In essence it upholds the right of people who is to be involved in the decision making system of an enterprise/ government body which controls their life. This principle when applied to corporate is also known as participative management empowered management.

How did public participation evolve?

Public participation has its roots in the western culture and first originated 30 years back. The amalgamation of education, ethical business processes and fair policies resulted in the humanist movement which called for public participation in all walks of life. This principle relies on the slogan “people first”.

In UK public participation advantages are many and have been implemented effectively in all levels of the government through citizen participation and engagement of other stake holders. The methodology is through focus groups, online forums, consultations and special jury participations.

The aim is to create a more evolved and participative form of decision making which is in sync with the aspirations and sensibilities of the citizens.

In USA administration corporations are supposed to submit proposed rules in front of stakeholders for their comments for a pre fixed duration of time. Especially government agencies are supposed to engage in participative decision making with the public.

How does public participation benefit municipalities?

Municipalities can serve citizens better because they will be more aware of what the common citizen needs. There is an evolved sense of focus and direction as communities actively engage in participative decision making.

The municipality gets more aware of the hidden skills, talents, competencies, wisdom and specialized expertise of the community members. The resources of the human factors in the community have a stronger chance of being effectively utilized. The municipality can make decisions spurred on by the collective contribution of the public. The public will also regard the municipality with a lot of credence.