The initiative is based on the experience in the implementation of participatory processes at the local level in Valongo and on current theoretical knowledge about public participation policies.
Within the framework of the implementation of its participatory budgets, Valongo City Hall has worked with Portuguese universities and international experts in the implementation of participatory processes. At the same time, Valongo participates in national and international studies about participatory processes and is even referred to and invited to participate in studies on the dissemination of good practices in citizen participation.
The initiative will also benefit from the creation of the Observatory on Local Civic Participation through a partnership with the Planning and Public Policies Laboratory of the University of Aveiro. In addition, the Valongo Municipality holds the Presidency of the Participatory Municipalities Network (RAP) since 2018, which is a space for sharing good practices, developing methodologies associated with public participation, research, systematizing information from literature on these matters, and also promoting and expanding the knowledge acquired. This Network already has about 70 participating municipalities in Portugal.
The Local4Action HUB Valongo focuses on supporting the implementation of participatory processes in various municipalities with the aim of increasing citizen engagement and revitalizing local democracy. The ultimate goal is to extend the principle of participation to other municipalities, promoting stronger local democracy with more engaged and informed citizens who can actively participate in decision-making.The initiative aims to achieve impacts in various areas, including internal and external effects of participatory processes, material and immaterial changes, and the transformation of how things are done and thought.
To ensure scientifically valid and rigorous results, the initiative will use appropriate scientific procedures and methodologies while working closely with the coordinating team of the HUB.
- Invitation of local governments from diverse geographical locations to join the initiative and implement participatory processes
- Participating municipalities will receive information and training sessions to kickstart local initiatives
- Monitoring of the local implementation of participatory processes by the Valongo team
- Facilitation through an online platform
- Establishment of parameters for evaluating the impact of the initiative
- Disseminate the results through a final international event
The Local4Action HUB Valongo seeks to inspire further local action and build an ecosystem that will more easily meet global sustainability goals, achieving more sustainable and resilient cities and communities, ensuring peace, justice, and strong democratic institutions. By doing this, the HUB is contributing to accelerate and localize the implementation of global agendas.
Link to Agenda 2030
- SDG 5 – Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
- SDG 10 – Reduce inequality within and among countries
- SDG 11 – Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
- SDG 16 – Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
Link to the UCLG Pact for the Future of Humanity
- Commitments for People
- C1 – Guarantee equal rights and opportunities for all and respect and celebrate diversity.
- C2 – Foster universal and equitable access to public services, including housing, health, education and participation in cultural and political life.
- C3 – Promote informed and sustained citizen’s participation in public life and decision-making promoting freedom of speech and conscience and artistic expression.
- C6 – Promote the role of voluntary associations, and facilitate caring through voluntary activities.
- C7 – Ensure that women and girls are fully empowered to achieve their full potential as citizens and foster a feminist way of going about politics
- C9 – Foster open, accessible and verifiable information and data to promote inclusion, education and communication.
- Commitment for Planet
- C4 – Empower local communities to play a central role in protecting biodiversity, water, the environment and the planet and recreate local employment, optimise resources, to increase quality of life and protect the environment.
- Commitments for Government
- C1 – Promote inclusive, participatory, responsible and accountable multilevel governance leading to global action.
- C3 – Protect and promote all public institutions, ensure the integrity of the justice system, and ensure equal access for all citizens.
- C4 – Strengthen public institutions to enhance the protection of our global commons and provision of public goods.
- C5 – Involve the scientific-community, civil society and local communities in the process of policy and decision making.
- C6 – Promote truthful independent and accountable information sources to combat the spread of misinformation which fuels polarization and a widening cultural divide, notably in the digital sphere and counter hate speech, threats and violence.
Link to other Global Agendas
- European Charter of Local Autonomy
- Training campaigns and events
- Local implementation of participative processes by the municipalities adhering to the initiative
- Evaluation of the local impact of each of the participatory processes implemented
- Dissemination of the results.