Participatory Governance is the backbone of Democracy
(This Blog is written by MyGov Saathi Siddharth Roy. )
India has celebrated its 75th Independence Day. The Idea of Independence is not just limited to Freedom but extends to — Dignified Life, Public Participation and Voicing Opinions.
We as Citizens feel Neglected due to a lack of Public Participation in Governance; we often allege that Decision-Making is Centralised and Behind Closed Doors. The above statements are neither 100% True nor False. Still, there is an Innovative Practice through which every Citizen can Participate in Decision-Making Process and truly celebrate Aazadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav — Participatory Governance.
Participatory governance is a management approach in which decision-makers, whether primary or delegated, are committed to satisfactorily involving concerned stakeholders in governance. Participatory governance is based upon citizens owning a voice in policy formulation and implementation that impacts or influence them.
From district to national level, the involvement of citizens acts as a Feedback Loops for respective governments to formulate appropriate Action-Plans and amend them whenever necessary.
At the district level, citizens can participate in District Development Coordination and Monitoring Committee (DISHA) and other committees to voice their opinions and concerns. Various ministries have set up Citizen Charters to increase public participation at the national and state levels. Ministry of electronics and information technology has established a platform – MyGov, to facilitate participatory governance amongst citizens. Currently, the platform has over 2.5 crores registered users, and over 10-15 crores citizens engage via social media daily. This number might sound small if you compare it with India’s population landscape. Still, MyGov is globally one of the most actively used platforms for participatory governance or Jan Bhagidari.
Technology has swiftly changed our communication patterns, from newspapers, radio, and television to mobile phones; the world has evolved rapidly. Today, if someone wants to sell something or engage someone, it must predominantly be through Mobile Phones. MyGov hasn’t just aptly used Technology to reach out to the masses but also has developed avenues through which citizens from the flip-side of the Digital Era can be an element of this Collaborative Platform. MyGov facilitates Participatory Governance or Jan Bhagidari by-
- Two-Way Communication: Two-Way Communication is one of the core aspects of Participatory Governance. MyGov facilitates the same through ChatBots, Social Media Engagement and Innovative Platform. Suggestions from Citizens for Union Budget, Draft Education Policy, Draft National Youth Policy and so on are obtained for understanding the aspirations of the last person standing in line; this enables conversations and acts as Feedback Loops for Policy Initiatives.
- Information Dissemination: One of the significant hurdles in Policy Implementation is reaching out to the last Beneficiary, primarily due to a lack of awareness amongst the Beneficiaries. MyGov helps to reach out to the Beneficiaries and acts like aPolicy Bank for Citizens. For example – The Covid-HelpDesk has assisted millions of citizens in acquiring the correct information, updating with the latest news and downloading vaccine certificates.
- Fact Check:In an age of Propaganda and Information Overload, MyGov helps a citizen to know the facts and Government Announcements.
- Transparency: The Selection process for various Awards and Schemes earlier was Complicated and Opaque. MyGov acts like a One-Stop Platformfor filing nominations Quickly and Digitally; this increases the Trust and Confidence amongst citizens.
- Infusing Collaborations: MyGov enables Citizen-Citizen and Government-Citizen Collaborations. Like-minded citizens can work on Ideas together; it operates as a Networking Platformfor individuals who want to bring Positive change. Through Discussions, Blogs and other Engagement techniques, Citizens can portray their Ideas. The Government also actively runs Campaigns for Citizens in which they can participate – Logo Design, Theme Design, Merchandise Design and other Creative Spaces. This facilitates – Creative Disruption and Out-of-the-box Ideation.
In this Aazadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, let us strengthen our Democracy by enhanced Participation in Governance. The same can be achieved by – Voicing Opinions, Providing inputs for Policy Formation, Collaborating with Likeminded Citizens and Government for Public-Good Projects and Working for the Greater Goal. Participatory Governance is the most significant Asset of our Democracy. Let us do our bit; the rest will follow.
This Blog is written by MyGov Saathi Siddharth Roy.