Participatory processes: a way to more effective and inclusive policies

ENLARGE is a project funded by the European programme Horizon 2020, that allows people to better understand the outcomes of their involvement in participatory processes, with a special focus on sustainable energy. In doing so, the project creates and disseminates knowledge on how to implement participatory processes that can be legitimated by the involvement of citizens, stakeholders, and public administrations, be able to influence the policy process and sustainable over time.

an article by Irene Zanetti, Head of Communication Department, ALDA – The European Association for Local Democracy

Gamebook for participatory processes

The main outcome of ENLARGE will be the development of an online gamebook for public administrations, citizens, NGOs, industry, and more on how to deal with various participatory processes. The gamebook will take the form of a “Choose your own adventure” book, which doesn’t aim to list recommendations or best practices, but rather to shed light on the various potential outcomes of public participation and paths to reach them. “One-size-fits-all” principle cannot be applied to civic participation, but by making the most out of the existing knowledge and success stories, we can stand on the shoulders of giants and design processes fitting our communities.

ENLARGE began with defining collaborative policy-making in sustainable energy. According to the project framework, collaborative policy-making in sustainable energy refers to co-decision, co-production and co-evaluation processes carried out within initiatives focusing on energy that is produced from renewable sources in a sustainable way, consumed efficiently and with low GHG emissions and waste load. Moving from the theory to the practice, the project searched for real life practices on these issues through a call for participatory practices regarding sustainable energy addressed to a wide range of stakeholders. After consulting with 31 groups and conducting an in-depth case study methodology, ENLARGE constructed a framework of participatory practices noting the successes, obstacles, and failures in the practices they encountered.

ENLARGE has produced an analysis of the collected collaborative practices in sustainable energy. If you want to find more about collaborative practices in sustainable energy read the Enlarge collection of case studies and check-out the Enlarge series of videos telling their story.

Enlarge has also hosted a deliberative debate on factors favouring/hindering social legitimacy, institutional sustainability and policy effectiveness of collaborative processes in sustainable energy with stakeholders from EU and non EU MS to discuss. If you want to find out more on how to design accepted, sustainable and effective collaborative processes in sustainable energy, read the “Manifesto for Boosting Participatory Processes in Sustainable Energy”.

Test the gamebook and help us improve it!

We are looking for communities interested in testing the “Choose Your Own Adventure” book on participation, once finalized. Their input and suggestion will edit and integrate the book for two years following the project completion, in order to have a final consolidated guide paving the way to all stakeholders who intend to set up participatory processes, in particular in sustainable energy.
If you are interested in testing the gamebook, contact us:

Join the world of ENLARGE!
• Read more about the project ENLARGE on its website
• Read the Manifesto for boosting collaborative processes to achieve relevant results in sustainable energy policies and processes
• Follow @ENLARGEproject – #ENLARGEproject on Twitter
• Watch our videos on YouTube
• Subscribe to the newsletter

The project ENLARGE is led by IRS – Institute for Social Research (Italy), the project involves ALDA – the European Association for Local Democracy (France), University of Turin (Italy), and Stockholm Environment Institute Tallinn Centre (Estonia).


Publication date

April 10, 2018