And how do we make sure that they work for our context? Let’s see at the example of Demo.Reset/Lab
With populism on the rise and the stalling or decline of democracies, we have an urgent need to bring innovative methods of governance and renew the way we make political decisions. Unfortunately, oftentimes these conversations and innovative efforts come from the developed context of the Global North. Obviously, this context is different from many developing countries of the Global South and thus a lot of innovative solutions are not suitable for their contexts. So what should we do to jump start democratic innovation in the Global South?
We bring experts and practitioners of democratic innovation and public participation together and let them do their magic!
Demo.Reset is an international project that brings together the best practices of 150 countries located in Sub-Saharan Africa, Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, and Latin America. In partnership with the National Endowment for Democracy and Extituto de Politica Abierta, coordinators of the project brought together the experts to first map the most common challenges and needs and provide master classes with leading experts, including our co-founder Katya Petrikevich who discussed our approach to systematic participation in local communities.
Afterwards, 6 team leaders were selected and invited to lead multidisciplinary teams and to prototype a solution to a problem faced by the team leader’s community. This two week experience in Bogotá, Colombia, gathered together over 30 experts and practitioners from all around the world. People from anywhere – from Australia to Chile – joined Demo.Reset/Lab. Our co-founder Katya was invited to join one of the teams that is looking to help improve the quality of life of small farmers in India through ensuring their systematic participation in decision-making promises.
This team with people from Chile, Czech Republic, India, Poland, and Colombia brought in complementary knowledge about process design, agriculture related advocacy, and Indian context of farming and agriculture. The work in those two weeks included step by step design processes that invited all the participants to redefine their challenge, set goals, understand their end user, and possible limitations and obstacles. As the result of this hard work and many hours of discussions, the team put together a prototype of a process that aims to both create policy recommendations and establish a network of local actors who would be able to continue working with participatory methods and run effective advocacy campaigns based on the data gathered through public participation.
Working in international teams at Demo.Reset/Lab
All of the six prototyped projects will now move to the residency stage where international experts will be invited to support local teams on the ground in testing the designed prototype. The projects will also be supported by People Powered, which has been one of the partners of the Demo.Reset/Lab.
Coincidentally, a lot of designed solutions and projects echo the needs identified and prioritized by the members of People Powered and its regional Hub for Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans. It indicates that we need to be looking for solutions to climate change conflicts and for engagement of marginalized communities together in order to transfer the best practices from similar contexts and design new solutions together that fit specifically to our shared needs and goals.
We are looking forward to the next steps of Demo.Reset and implementation of the solution designed for Indian small and marginalized farmers.
If you would like to learn more about our work and our engagement in Demo.Reset, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.