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The Role of Citizens in Shaping Public Policy. Examples from Italy. Giovanni Moro Cittadinanzattiva – Active Citizenship Network BBL at The World Bank Washington D.C., 14 November, 2003. Summary. Cittadinanzattiva (Active Citizenship) Conceptual framework Citizens’ powers

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the role of citizens in shaping public policy examples from italy

The Role of Citizens in Shaping Public Policy. Examples from Italy

Giovanni Moro

Cittadinanzattiva – Active Citizenship Network

BBL at The World Bank

Washington D.C., 14 November, 2003

  • Cittadinanzattiva (Active Citizenship)
  • Conceptual framework
  • Citizens’ powers
  • “Civic” technologies

Cittadinanzattiva, 2003

cittadinanzattiva active citizenship
Cittadinanzattiva (Active Citizenship)
  • NPO, founded in 1978
  • Mission: promotion of civic participation for the protection of citizens’ rights in Italy and in Europe
  • 50,000 members, 180 local assemblies which elect regional and national congresses
  • Policy networks engaged in health, consumer protection, justice, education and training, public services, European issues, corporate social responsibility

Cittadinanzattiva, 2003

cittadinanzattiva 2
  • Most important initiative: Tribunal for Patients’ Rights
  • Most important result: amendment of the Italian Constitution (art. 118, no. 4) including the principle of “horizontal subsidiarity” (constitutional value of civic activism)
  • Headquarters in Rome, about 50 people collaborating
  • Funding from public, private (mostly) and individuals. Annual turnover of the headquarters: about 3.5 billion USD.

Cittadinanzattiva, 2003

active citizenship network
Active Citizenship Network
  • European and international branch of Cittadinanzattiva, established in 2001
  • Mission: involving national-based citizens’ orgs operating in New Europe countries in common policy making activities
  • Ongoing programs: European Charter of Patients’ Rights, Citizens for the New Europe, Rethinking the Principle of Subsidiarity, EU Institutional Reform, Reviewing and Assessing the criteria of representativeness of ‘civic’ NGOs, Supporting Citizens’ Orgs in Albania and FYR. Macedonia (in cooperation with WBI)

Cittadinanzattiva, 2003

active citizenship foundation
Active Citizenship Foundation
  • Established in 2002
  • Mission: support the development of civic activism through research, advanced training, cultural dialogue, mobilization of resources
  • The “Euro-American Colloquia on Citizenship” program

Cittadinanzattiva, 2003

starting points
Starting points
  • Traditional citizenship: a system of rights and duties which govern the relationship between the citizen and the state. Right of vote: highest form of expression of citizenship.
  • The limits: a) an underestimating vision of individuals; b) an overestimating vision of public institutions’ ability in managing public affairs
  • An ongoing new kind of citizenship: exercise of powers and responsibilities of citizens in the daily life of democracy, where public problems are faced.
  • Active Citizenship: the capacity of citizens to self-organize autonomously to defend rights, acting in public policy making for the caring for common goods.
  • Different forms, motivations, fields of action

Cittadinanzattiva, 2003

the purpose of active citizenship
The purpose of active citizenship
  • Caring for common goods against selfish and speculative use
  • Protecting rights overcoming implementation gaps through advocacy and delivery of services
  • Empowering citizens as powerful actors of policy making

Cittadinanzattiva, 2003

citizens powers
Citizens’ powers
  • To produce information and interpretations of reality
  • To change awareness by using symbols
  • To force institutions to be consistent with their missions
  • To change concretely situations
  • To create alliances and partnerships

They are autonomous and they are exercised along the whole policy making cycle (agenda, planning, deciding, implementing, evaluating)

Cittadinanzattiva, 2003

the framework of civic activism in public policies
The framework of civic activism in public policies
  • On the administrative side: from government to governance
  • On the constitutional side: “horizontal” subsidiarity
  • Discontinuity with political process

Cittadinanzattiva, 2003

civic technologies
“Civic” technologies
  • How to do? The operational patterns through which civic orgs can fully participate in policy making
  • A way to cumulate and transmit experiences
  • Four “families”:
  • Direct Action T.
  • Resource Mobilization T.
  • Interlocution T.
  • Activation of institutions T.

Cittadinanzattiva, 2003

1 direct action technologies
1. Direct action technologies
  • Charters of Rights
  • Advice services
  • Monitoring and production of data and information
  • Symbolic actions
  • Awareness building
  • Proximity information
  • Conflict management
  • Organization and delivery of new services

Cittadinanzattiva, 2003

2 resource mobilization techn
2. Resource Mobilization Techn.
  • People raising
  • Fund raising
  • Mobilization of technical resources
  • Collection and diffusion of good practices
  • Creation of associations
  • Gathering signatures and supports
  • Formation and training
  • Civic use of the ITs
  • Civic use of the media

Cittadinanzattiva, 2003

3 technologies of interlocution
3. Technologies of Interlocution
  • Roundtables
  • Agreements and cooperation protocols
  • Civic and participatory planning
  • Operational partnership
  • Service conferences

Cittadinanzattiva, 2003

4 technologies for the activation of institutions
4. Technologies for the Activation of Institutions
  • Claims and complaints
  • Lobbying
  • Activation of institutions and procedures called for by law
  • Legal actions

Cittadinanzattiva, 2003


Changes in:

  • Laws
  • Funding for public issues
  • Mass behavior and common wisdom
  • Stakeholders’ attitudes
  • Organizational patterns of public administration and utilities
  • Market rules

Cittadinanzattiva, 2003