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Develop and implement digital participation platform at local level (NL0041)



Action Plan: Netherlands Action Plan 2020-2022

Action Plan Cycle: 2020

Status: Active


Lead Institution: Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK)

Support Institution(s): Other Actors Involved State actors involved  Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK)  Provinces of South-Holland and Groningen CSOs, private sector, multilate rals, working groups  Netwerk Democratie  Rathenau Institute  Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG)

Policy Areas

Automated Decision-Making, Digital Governance, E-Government, Local Commitments, Public Participation

IRM Review

IRM Report: Pending IRM Review

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Pending IRM Review

Potential Impact: Pending IRM Review

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review


What is the public problem that the commitment will address?  Better quality of decision-making processes. Studies by the Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP), the Netherlands Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR) and others have revealed that there is a dissatisfaction with the responsiveness of authorities and politicians and that there is an urgent need for more direct involvement in policy-making and decision-making. Progress in digital technology is creating more and more opportunities to shape the desired influence using digital means. The Rathenau Instituut and other parties have concluded that, so far, governments have only made scant use of digital applications.  An international comparative study ‘Democracy rapport 2020’ by the V-Dem institute also revealed Dutch public administration to still be insufficiently open to public consultation and participation and forms of direct democracy. The Netherlands is in 42rd position overall (out of 170) when it comes to participation options (including direct forms of democracy). This study compared both national, regional and local levels.  The development of platforms such as digital deliberative forums which enable the easy exchange of ideas and opinions has several advantages, including: o Enhanced legitimacy of decisions; o Shifting the focus to the general interest; o Mutual respect among actors;  This development can be designated as ‘Digital Democracy’ which focuses on supporting current democratic processes by means of digital tools as well as on the challenges surrounding the implementation of such tools. (B. Mulder and M. Hartog, Applied e-democracy: the need for an information framework to support development, 2013).

What is the commitment?  The commitment will lead to a network approach of the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations with the Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG) to promote the possibilities of digital participation platforms and facilitate the use of it by local authorities. This will be done with research partners such as the Rathenau institute, advocates for digital participation such as ‘Netwerk Democratie’ and local authorities. This will serve the following objectives: o To vitalise democracy by demonstrably increasing the responsiveness of local authorities. o To explore the question of how to effectively add a digital channel to the existing participation approach. o To study to which criteria successful participation tools should comply with. 11 o To increase awareness among authorities of the risks and opportunities of digital democracy. To promote open source as the programming standard. o To promote and increase the use of digital participation tools by local authorities. o To foster the collaboration between local governments in developing and improving open source and shared public tools for citizen participation.

How will the commitment contribute to solving the public problem? The use of participation tools by local authorities by several partnerships called ‘provinciedeals’ will contribute to the strengthening of local representative democracy with participative elements. Support will take shape in facilitating knowledge and supplies to use the tools. This will be organized with an agreement and partnership with Provinces in the Netherland so they can equip the municipalities in that province. This will promote the use of these tools and thereby strengthen te representative democracy with participatory elements. On a national scale the Ministry of The Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK) and the Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG) will be the helpdesk for implementing and using digital participations tools.

Why is this commitment relevant to OGP values? The use of digital applications enables government organizations and residents to quickly exchange large volumes of information and to consult with each other without having to meet physically. The government's service provision can be optimised further by means of these digital applications. This leads to the conclusion that the action point will contribute to more information being released and also that the action point is relevant as regards transparency. The action point will also create wide-ranging opportunities for participation in public matters. This makes this action point relevant as regards social participation. Aspects which demonstrate this include: opportunities for citizens to contribute to policy-making, decision-making and implementation at local level, through the use of innovative digital instruments. With the attention for shared open source tools the commitment also contributes to the development of participatory technology which citizens can trust. By enhancing the open and collaborative development of the tools this action point increases the quality and accountability of public participation tools. The action point offers democratically legitimized actors an extra channel for involving citizens in, and informing them about, the different aspects of public accountability – information phase, debate phase and evaluation phase. This justifies the conclusion that the action point is also relevant for public accountability.

Additional information The actions in 2020 and 2021 will be done within the program of ‘Democratie in Actie’ (‘Democracy in Action’) by the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations (BZK) and the Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG). The publications and helpdesk for local authorities can be found on: Milestone Activity with a verifiable deliverable Start Date: End Date: There will be at least three partnerships (Provinciedeals, ‘Province deals’) with Provinces in the Netherland to promote the use of digital participation platforms by municipalities. Two of those partnerships have already started. - Zuid - Holland/South-Holland (okt ’20 – april ’21) - Groningen (sept ’20 – april ’21) Sept 2020 Dec 2021 Maintaining and improving the helpdesk for digital participation with up-to-date publications and research. This helpdesk can now be found within the program ‘Democratie in Actie’. After this program ends (dec 2021) the helpdesk can be found at the Association of Netherlands Municipalities. Sept 2020 Dec 2021 Every quarter in 2021 there will be a networking event surrounding digital participation. During these events there will be update concerning the latest trends and publications. There will also be the opportunity for local municipalities to discover the possibilities of digital participation tools and meet partners to implement them. Jan 2021 Dec 2021 Piloting the open source digital tool and AI powered consensus platform (cooperation between Groningen, Amsterdam, Netwerk Democratie, Democratie in Actie). Nov 2020 Aug 2021 Further developing the open source participation platforms such as Open Stad and Consul and making it available for municipalities. Sept 2020 Dec 2021


  1. Present legislation on campaign finance transparency

    NL0039, 2020, Anti-Corruption

  2. Create national portal for transparent election results

    NL0040, 2020, Anti-Corruption

  3. Develop and implement digital participation platform at local level

    NL0041, 2020, Automated Decision-Making

  4. Make FOIA information available through open data platform

    NL0042, 2020, Access to Information

  5. Encourage active disclosure of government information

    NL0043, 2020, Regulatory Governance

  6. Implement plain language initiatives

    NL0044, 2020, Capacity Building

  7. Determine balance between government confidentiality and citizens' right to information

    NL0045, 2020, Access to Information

  8. Training civil servants in active disclosure

    NL0046, 2020, Capacity Building

  9. Develop contract monitoring register

    NL0047, 2020, Anti-Corruption

  10. Pilot open data communities concept

    NL0048, 2020, Access to Information

  11. Increase availability of open source software

    NL0049, 2020, Automated Decision-Making

  12. Improve government purchase and use of algorithms

    NL0050, 2020, Automated Decision-Making

  13. Publish complaints about public services as open data

    NL0051, 2020, Access to Information

  14. Local Digital Democracy

    NL0028, 2018, E-Government

  15. Dilemma Logic

    NL0029, 2018, Capacity Building

  16. Join EITI

    NL0030, 2018, Access to Information

  17. Open Algorithms

    NL0031, 2018, Automated Decision-Making

  18. Open Local Decision-Making

    NL0032, 2018, Access to Information

  19. ‘Open by Design’ Pilots

    NL0033, 2018, Access to Information

  20. Open Contracting

    NL0034, 2018, Access to Information

  21. Open Parliament

    NL0035, 2018, Anti-Corruption

  22. Open Government Standard and Dashboard

    NL0036, 2018, Access to Information

  23. Pioneering Network for an Open Government for Municipalities

    NL0037, 2018, Capacity Building

  24. Transparent Political Party Finance

    NL0038, 2018, Anti-Corruption

  25. National Open Data Agenda

    NL0019, 2016, Access to Information

  26. Stuiveling Open Data Award

    NL0020, 2016, Access to Information

  27. Groningen Open Data Re-Use

    NL0021, 2016, Access to Information

  28. Releasing Ministerial Research Reports

    NL0022, 2016, Access to Information

  29. Detailed Open Spending Data

    NL0023, 2016, Access to Information

  30. Open Local Authority Decision-Making

    NL0024, 2016, Access to Information

  31. Training Civil Servants on Public Participation

    NL0025, 2016, Capacity Building

  32. Easier Freedom of Information Requests

    NL0026, 2016, Access to Information

  33. Open Government Expertise Centre (LEOO)

    NL0027, 2016, Access to Information

  34. Further Develop and Promote Disclosure and Use of Open Data

    NL0001, 2013, Access to Information

  35. Increase Financial Transparency Through Open Budget and Experiments with Open Spending and Budget Monitoring

    NL0002, 2013, Access to Information

  36. Open House of Representatives

    NL0003, 2013, E-Government

  37. Instruments for Integrity

    NL0004, 2013, Anti-Corruption

  38. Revamp the Legislative Calendar

    NL0005, 2013, Access to Information

  39. More Online Consultation

    NL0006, 2013, E-Government

  40. More Transparency in Decision-Making Through Volgdewet.Nl Legislation-Tracking Website

    NL0007, 2013, Access to Information

  41. Informal Approach to Freedom of Information Requests

    NL0008, 2013, Access to Information

  42. From Rules to Freedom

    NL0009, 2013, Public Participation

  43. Change Attitudes and Procedures Through Smarter Working and ‘Public Servant 2.0’

    NL0010, 2013, Capacity Building

  44. Water Coalition

    NL0011, 2013, Public Participation

  45. Develop and Implement Participation Policy at the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment

    NL0012, 2013, Public Participation

  46. Make Government Information Accessible and Easy to Find

    NL0013, 2013, Capacity Building

  47. Make Citizens Better Informed and More Empowered: Public Inspection and Correction of Information

    NL0014, 2013, E-Government

  48. Open Announcements and Notifications

    NL0015, 2013, E-Government

  49. Public Services and the User Perspective

    NL0016, 2013, E-Government

  50. Designate Categories of Government Information for Active Access

    NL0017, 2013, Access to Information

  51. Rethink Information Management and Active Access: Four ‘Open by Design’ Pilot Projects

    NL0018, 2013, Access to Information

Open Government Partnership