Despite the relevance and urgency of digital issues, much work remains to give regular people power over public decisions that affect their digital rights. When choosing which participatory or deliberative approach to take, it is especially important to consider which traditionally marginalized and excluded groups tend to be disproportionately impacted by the digital divide and digital harms. A combination of initiatives may be effective.
Many local and national governments have used participatory policymaking as a means of gathering citizens’ insights on specific aspects of digital governance and policy. Some of these initiatives have also incorporated digital civic participation platforms to facilitate engagement, though measures should be taken to ensure that this does not disenfranchise people with lower levels of digital literacy.
Citizens’ assemblies, participatory budgeting and legislative theater can also be used to give people power over digital decision-making, though this is still a newly developing field. Keep reading to see how digital democracy is being practiced around the world!
“The ‘Marco Civil da Internet’ is a comprehensive law that essentially creates a bill of rights for the internet in Brazil. The legislation was originally drafted through an open, collaborative process with contributions from a variety of stakeholders—private individuals, civil society organizations, telecommunication companies, and government agencies all participated.”
“There is an alternative story about disinformation. To understand it, we must help people from different backgrounds and political perspectives come together, think together and diagnose the problem together.”