Decision Thinking

Participatory Activity Canvas

Welcome to the Participatory Activity Canvas, a tool designed to support your journey in creating participatory processes at any level. The Canvas offers a step-by-step approach and visual reference to guide you through the critical questions involved in designing any participatory process. Within each section of the Canvas, you will find additional resources and reflections to deepen your understanding of each step. 

These Canvas have been developed based on i4Policy’s experience in supporting governments and community-based organizations to organize democratic innovations in more than 80 countries, as well as our work implementing transnational democratic innovations, such as coordinating the world’s first global citizens’ assembly.

Let’s start!

1. Purpose: Topic

Determine the 'why' for your participatory process. It may be useful here to consider the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established by the United Nations in 2015 as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

2. Purpose: Process & Desired Outcome

Identify the current phase of your participatory process within the broader decision thinking process, and clearly define the desired outcomes. The ADDIS Decision Cycle can be useful here to help you identify and define these aspects in an impactful way.

3. Stakeholders & Roles

Map the various stakeholders and identify their interests and needs, as well as their power dynamics, and overall relationships. Then, clearly define the roles needed to ensure the integrity and effectiveness of your participatory process.

4. Outreach Method

Define the strategy that you will use to reach the right participants for your activity?

5. Level of Engagement

Consider the extent to which you intend to engage and empower the participants of your process. The '5Cs of Collective Action' is a framework developed to help you characterize the level of engagement/participation.

6. Other Important Considerations

This is a space to reflect on additional considerations not yet covered, such as facilitation, the interaction between participants, how the activity connects to other decision-making forums and institutions, etc…

7. Storyboard of the Activity

Visualize a plan for your participatory design options.