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Institut Veolia Environnement

Call for proposals on Local Democratic Innovations

Guidelines for authors

The FACTS Initiative and CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation are pleased to announce a call for proposals on local democratic innovations for publication in a special issue of the FACTS Reports, on the 2013 website of the journal, and on the CIVICUS website.

This special issue of the FACTS Report, in partnership with CIVICUS, is to promote, publish and publicize new projects and ideas on participatory and accountable governance of public institutions at local and national levels. This call for proposals is not limited to field actors working on governance, but also includes observers – individuals or institutions, public or private – who wish to make contributions in the form of publications on democratisation processes. In addition, it also aims to promote innovative actions conducted by civil society actors.  

The proposals should focus on presenting, reflecting and/or doing a monograph of key projects or initiatives on local democratic innovations, participatory and accountable governance, and experiments in participatory and/or direct democracy. Local democratic innovations refer to any new, creative and inspiring projects, perspectives, partnerships or initiatives which aim at improving democracy, governance, citizen participation and actions, and any related processes at the local level. Proposals could deal with a range of topics included in, but not limited to, the list below:

  • Examples of a participatory project on different aspects of budget, environmental governance, taxations, essential services, planning, security, monitoring and evaluation, etc.;

  • Examples of inclusive democratic processes at the local or national level, and/or of democratic and accountable institutions, and/or participatory governance;

  • Strategic partnerships between organisations or sectors to achieve social change at the local level;

  • The impact of the open data technology and movement on governance;

  • Innovative involvement of citizens, citizen’s associations, organisations and movements in local governance systems, and/or in the elaboration of local politics or projects (at the environmental, social, budget, economic levels and so on);

  • The use and impact of online public petitions;

  • How to cultivate civic involvement by strengthening connections between volunteers/NGOs and government leaders/institutions by creating new, original projects and/or methods supported by both government and civil society.

Examples of questions that might be addressed in the articles:

  • What was the goal of the innovation?

  • How was the action implemented? What barriers/problems were encountered?

  • What are the innovative features of this initiative?  Is it possible to observe, or measure, the effects of these innovations? Can the limitations (environmental, economic, social, and cultural) of the initiative be identified?

  • What lessons can be learned from this innovative action? Can they contribute to improving any development or international co-operation policies?

  • What are the impacts of the initiative to the community, constituency and beneficiaries?

About the FACTS Initiative and CIVICUS

The FACTS Initiativeis a forum for the expression and exchange of ideas, for the promotion, the reporting and diffusion of local innovations driven by local needs and demands. These innovations may be primarily technical, social or managerial, and may be related to the different components of sustainable and inclusive development. TheFACTS initiativewas initiated and is currently supported by Philippe Kourilsky, Professor at the Collège de France in Paris and Director General of the Institut Pasteur from 2000 to 2005. This initiative also has the support of a committee of eminent figures composed of Amartya Sen, Rajendra K. Pachauri, Ellis Rubinstein, Ismail Serageldin, and Mamphela Ramphele.

The FACTS Reports’ objective, as an international journal dedicated to field actions and featuring a peer review process, is to propose mechanisms for communication, evaluation and recognition between practitioners acting in the field, especially in developing countries.

CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation is an international alliance of members and partners which constitutes an influential network of organisations at the local, national, regional and international levels, and spans the spectrum of civil society. CIVICUS has worked for nearly two decades to strengthen citizen action and civil society throughout the world, especially in areas where participatory democracy and citizens' freedom of association are threatened. This is based on the belief that the health of societies exists in direct proportion to the degree of balance between the state, the private sector and civil society.

Selection process

Send a 300-word abstract of your proposed paper, in English, French, Spanish or Portuguese, with your CV and a one paragraph biographical statement before 28 February 2013.

An ad hoc committee composed of the FACTS network and CIVICUS partners will review the proposals and select those that comply with the criteria listed above and show evidence of a high level of innovation, creativity and initiative.  

Authors will then be contacted to develop their proposals into articles by 18 March and should submit their complete manuscripts before 5 May. The selected articles will be peer reviewed. The ad hoc committee will have the discretion not to publish an article. The articles will be published on the FACTS and CIVICUS websites. A special issue of Facts Reports devoted to democratic innovations will be published in the summer 2013.

Calendar

  • Submission of abstracts (300 words max.): 28 February

  • Notification of acceptance: 18 March

  • Submission of full articles (around 5000 words): 5 May

Advice to authors

Submitted articles must not have been published previously or be under consideration for publication in another journal. All articles will be peer-reviewed. Guidelines for authors and other useful information for submitting manuscripts can be found in the section “Instructions for authors” on the FACTS website: http://factsreports.revues.org/index106.html.

Pre-submission requests for information and all abstracts should be sent by e-mail to the coordinators of the project, with the mention “Call for proposal FACTS”:

Completed articles should not exceed 5000 words, excluding the summary of 150 to 250 words. The references should appear at the end of your article and be mentioned in the text. Authors must suggest a small number of keywords, which enable the article to be found by search engines. Articles can be submitted by an individual or may be co-authored by several writers. Articles must be written in English, French, Spanish or Portuguese.

Figures and illustrations, numbered and captioned (with the sources correctly cited), must be placed in the text where the author(s) would like them to appear. Image source files must also be sent separately, so we can verify that the quality and format conform to the requirements for subsequent online publication (minimum resolution 300 dpi, and format in PDF, JPG, PNG, GIF, or TIFF).

Articles published recently may be found at: http://factsreports.revues.org/742.