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MOOC? Engaging citizens: A game changer for development?

Utpal Misra's picture

MOOC posterOften it is the simple things that make major impacts, and engaging citizens for better development results is a very simple concept. However, at a time when participatory approaches such as crowdsourcing, feedback, transparency and citizen engagement are increasingly popular and seemingly effective, we are bound to ask if engaging citizens does in fact improve development results.  As simple as the concept of citizen engagement is, designing and implementing successful citizen engagement approaches and interventions in practice is especially complex.

Is citizen engagement a game changer for development? The World Bank, in partnership with London School of Economics (LSE), Oversees Development Institute (ODI), Participedia and CIVICUS, explores this question in a free 5-week course on Citizen Engagement, hosted by the World Bank Group Open Learning Campus, envisioned as a single destination for development learning.  

The course provides a holistic overview of citizen engagement through interactive videos, resources, and activities. It explores underlying theories and concepts of citizen engagement, examines the role it can play in improving policymaking and public service delivery, and investigates the impact of new technologies, particularly in developing countries.

Following a successful offering to over 16,000 participants around the world in 2015, this latest version of the course in February will include a new, exciting fifth module that looks at Citizen Engagement in practice. This version of the popular course will feature practitioners implementing different Citizen Engagement approaches in various sectors including water, health, and education. They discuss how Citizen Engagement tools and mechanisms are adapted for their specific country context and sector while examining practical challenges and lessons learned. We also look at Korea’s innovative approach to involving citizens in the audit of public services.

Be sure to sign up here by February 1!  Read more about the course syllabus and format by visiting the course site. And start joining the conversation and connecting with others: #citizensengage

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Submitted by Wendy Quarry on

I am also interested in engaging citizens in my own country to help them get involved with and understand more about development

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