About the Playbook

What is the Playbook?

The Participation Playbook is an interactive guide — think of it as your co-pilot, helping you make the key decisions necessary to successfully advocate for and implement a participatory democracy program. It begins by helping you identify the participation solution that’s right for you and your local context. It then navigates you through a set of questions curated by our global team of researchers and practitioners, helping you develop a personalized plan — a playbook tailored to your needs.

Who is the Playbook for?

If you’re passionate about transforming institutional structures to invite more meaningful and equitable community participation, whether you’re in civil society or government, the Playbook is for you! This includes:


Activists in civil society organizations and government who are trying to win approval for participatory programs.


Government officials and community partners who are trying to create an effective plan for participatory programs.

Program managers

Staff in government and civil society organizations who are responsible for implementing participatory programs.

How can you use the Playbook?

The Playbook can navigate you through various challenges of planning and implementing participatory solutions — from ensuring the inclusion of marginalized groups, to promoting accountability and transparency in public spending, and working toward equitable access to housing, transportation, food and other policy issues. You can even find specific guidance and tools for addressing climate change and digital policy issues. To find out how the Playbook can help you address a problem you’re facing, start by answering a few quick questions.


What can you expect when you begin your Playbook?

When you create a new playbook, you’ll begin by answering a few quick questions to find out how the playbook can help you address a problem you’re facing. Click here to get started.

If you already know which Participation Solution is right for you, you can select a specific type of process by clicking on this link.

You can also complete the Playbook with a mentor as part of People Powered’s mentorship or accelerator programs. The Playbook is freely available for full public use. Find out more about the support we can offer here.

Who developed the Playbook?

Lead Organization

The Playbook is managed by People Powered, a global hub for participatory democracy. Our mission is to expand people’s power to make government decisions, by supporting organizations and governments that are building participatory democracy around the world. We build the power and impact of government reformers who are leading programs such as participatory budgeting, participatory policymaking, legislative theater and citizens’ assemblies. 

Web Development



How was the content developed?

The Participation Playbook is a collaborative effort, involving dozens of people and organizations who have researched, advocated for, designed, implemented and evaluated participatory programs around the world. To create the initial content, People Powered contracted a group of lead editors with years of research and on-the-ground experience in the design, implementation and evaluation of participatory programs. Each lead editor drafted key questions for planning the participatory program of their expertise and, for each of these questions, they prepared options, relevant background and help content, and a short list of recommended resources.

Dozens of People Powered members and partners then reviewed the content, tested the Playbook, provided feedback and suggested additional resources. The lead editors used this input to revise and improve the content. The ultimate goal was to make sure that the Playbook meets the needs of diverse practitioners around the globe.

Alongside their varied expertise in participatory democracy, our content editors and reviewers represent a diverse mix of genders and geographical backgrounds and contexts, bringing their unique perspectives to the development of the Playbook. This diversity has allowed us to identify the most helpful content, especially for practitioners in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America. 

The content you’ll find on this website is in its second iteration, after an initial cycle of development, piloting and revision. Built on the collaborative knowledge of dozens of practitioners, this is just the beginning — we will continue to refine the content with your input. Complete this form and share your ideas for improving the playbook content and user experience.


Content developers

A global team of experts developed the content of the Playbook and manages ongoing content development:

  • Participatory policymaking: Rocío Annunziata (lead editor, Argentina), with Sebastián Calderón (Colombia), Abdoulaye Cisse (Senegal), Catalina Fernández (Chile), Agustin Frizzera (Argentina) and Cui Jia Wei (Taiwan)
  • Participatory budgeting: Thea Crum (lead editor, United States), with Nikhil Kumar (United States), Timothy Kiprono (Kenya) and Hao Xiang (China)
  • Legislative theater: Katy Rubin (lead editor, United States), with Julian Boal (Brazil), Liz Morgan (United States), Bárbara Santos (Brazil), José Moura Soeiro (Portugal), Oluchi Igili (Nigeria), Sanjoy Ganguly (India) and Maria Lucien (India)
  • Citizens’ Assembly: Silvia Cervellini (lead editor, Brazil), with Mathilde Bouyé (France), Nicole Curato (Philippines), Mateusz Wojcieszak (Poland), Patricia Lacerda (Brazil), Edwin Msewa (Malawi), Brenda Ogembo (Kenya), Jose Zeferino Sanchez Ruiz (France), Jesse Worker (United States) and Carole Excell (United States). Emma Obermair (Italy) created the initial content based on resources developed by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), newDemocracy FoundationMarcin Gerwin, and the World Resources Institute.