Call for good practices – participatory society

Call for good practices – participatory society


VNG International is looking for inspiring examples about participatory practices to present them at local level during the Annual General Assembly of the Association of Netherlands Municipalities. We are collecting ten good practices from local governments about their participatory approaches within the social domain, of which two will be invited to deliver a key note speech on the 17th of June amidst Dutch local politicians.


In the Netherlands, a broad and large decentralisation process is being prepared within the social domain, in which tasks and responsibilities regarding long-term care, youth care and social services will be transferred from national and provincial level to the local government level. The decentralisation process is accompanied by budget cuts, meaning that local governments will have to deliver the services with less budget than used to be available before these tasks were decentralised.

These changes are part of a wider shift in the Netherlands from ‘welfare state’ to a so-called ‘participatory society’. This  implies that a larger responsibility will be placed upon citizens and that citizens will have to rely more on their own network and less on all kinds of services provided by the government.

Local governments are struggling with their new role. What services should they still provide themselves? And what would be their role to organise, support or facilitate initiatives within this ‘participatory society’?

Call for inspiring cases

We are looking for interesting cases that might serve as an inspiring example for Dutch local governments: how are citizens being made responsible for certain tasks in your country? How do you foster or stimulate active participation from your citizens?

Our aim is to inspire Dutch local governments by collecting and describing innovative and creative initiatives from abroad in which citizens themselves play an active role. And in which local governments have found a way to relate to these initiatives that corresponds with their legitimate role, and that creates added value. We are especially interested in cases related to the social domain, such as long-term care, youth care and social services.

The ten most inspiring cases will be collected in an online publication, and two cases will be invited to be presented at the Annual General Assembly of the Association of Netherlands Municipalities on 17th June 2014. VNG International will cover travel expenses if your case is selected to be presented in the Netherlands.

Deadline for submitting suggestions is 24 march. Just a few lines with a summary of the case would be sufficient. We can then see in mutual consultation whether to further elaborate the case. Suggestions can be submitted to Irene ten Teije: [email protected]

Good practices, Participatory society