Participatory governance and the capacity to engage: a systems lens

Vivier, E. ORCID: 0000-0003-3401-0365 and Sanchez‐Betancourt, D., 2023. Participatory governance and the capacity to engage: a systems lens. Public Administration and Development, 43 (3), pp. 220-231. ISSN 0271-2075

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Effective local participatory governance depends on government responsiveness. Drawing insights from empirical research in a large South African city, we show how inadequate integration of institutional platforms for community participation into the wider participatory system undermines this capacity. While much of the participatory governance literature considers tools, norms and the experiences of citizens, we explore how officials, structures and platforms within the city interact. We apply a systems lens to understand the municipal capacity to engage and respond to citizens and communities. Our analysis demonstrates that officials navigate an institutional system experiencing disconnected municipal structures, engagement practices and platforms. We theorise the government capacity to engage in terms of the personalisation, co-creation and institutionalisation of responsiveness. This capacity to engage thus requires a systemic capability that acknowledges complexity and nurtures collective learning alongside institutional design strategies that seek to address potential disconnects.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Public Administration and Development
Creators: Vivier, E. and Sanchez‐Betancourt, D.
Publisher: Wiley
Date: August 2023
Volume: 43
Number: 3
ISSN: 0271-2075
Rights: © 2023 the authors. Public Administration and Development published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 16 May 2023 08:19
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2024 10:23

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