The role of digital technology in democratic innovation

Christopher Edgar / Senior researcher, NESTA

In recent years, there has been an increasing desire to enhance the democratic process and make it more accessible to citizens. In the UK for example, recent findings indicate that 77% of the general public believe that local residents should have a say in determining how government funds are utilised within their respective communities. These findings support a broader global trend, with one study reporting that 56% of people surveyed across 17 advanced global economies believe there should be major or complete reform of their political systems. There is a clear demand for democratic reform, and this demand has led to the development of a number of tools and platforms that facilitate citizen participation and engagement in democratic innovations such as citizens assemblies and participatory budgeting initiatives.