Our Indian branch, the Foundation for Community Consensus was represented through Ankitha Cheerakathil, who spoke about the School Participatory Budgeting project that was implemented successfully at Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya (RPVV) School (Hari Nagar) in West Delhi. The presentation was met with tremendously positive feedback and interest.
SDG 16 - from the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its SDGs - addresses the role of participation for sustainable development in target 16.7. It calls for ensuring “responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels”. To further this, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations organised a preparatory meeting on March 26–27, 2018 in Prague in partnership with the Institute of International Relations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic and D21 (the sister organisation of IFD21). The topic was “Towards sustainable, resilient and inclusive societies through participation of all”.
The conference engaged with civil society, local government, the private sector and academia. Best practices and experiences in fostering participation in various contexts and sectors including education, economic development and good governance were discussed. A best practices panel showcased the role of civil society organisations in mobilising participation and inclusion with the use of emerging technologies and other instruments. Examples ranging from Australia, Zambia and India were discussed with the aim of replicating, scaling up and applying best practices to advance inclusion and participation at all levels.
The meeting will result in a President’s summary, serving as an input to the 2018 ECOSOC substantive session and the 2018 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). ECOSOC will also produce a manual of best practices and case studies from the meeting.