Decidim: why digital tools for democracy need to be developed democratically

Blog by Adrian Smith and Pedro Prieto Martín: “On Wednesday 18 January 2023, a pan-European citizen jury voted Barcelona the first European Capital of Democracy. Barcelona has a rich history of official and citizen initiatives in political and economic democracy. One received a special mention from the jurors. That initiative is Decidim.

Decidim is a digital platform for citizen participation. Through it, citizens can propose, comment, debate, and vote on urban developments, decide how to spend city budgets, and design and contribute to local strategies and plans.

Launched in 2016, more than 400 organisations around the world have since used the platform. What makes Decidim stand out, according to our research, is developer commitment to democratising technology development itself and embedding it within struggles for democracy offline and online. Decidim holds important lessons at a time when the monopolisation of social media by corporate power presents democrats with so many challenges…(More)”.