In this edition of Global Local, we showcase the wide variety of LGIU resources which support local democratic engagement while asking critical questions about the future of local government as part of our LGIU@40 programme. This newsletter includes exclusive think pieces and interviews, brand-new research from the Local Democracy Research Centre and new insightful reports from leading research institutes around the globe.
LGIU@40: What if people really participated in local democracy?
LGIU support for local democratic engagement and key questions for the future of local government. 🌎
The power of participation
Defending local democracy
As LGIU celebrates its 40th anniversary, local government faces a pivotal moment. Traditional challenges like funding and growing demand for services and infrastructure clash with emerging issues such as climate change, populism, and complex technology. The LGIU@40 campaign leverages our deep experience in local government yet fixes on the future. Focusing on three key areas – participation, trust, and finance – we've collaborated with members and the broader sector to develop innovative approaches for improving local government. A manifesto, set to be published at the end of the year, will offer a roadmap to transition from aspirations to actions and establish a solid foundation for local government to successfully exploit the opportunities and overcome the difficulties ahead.
What's in this edition that can help?
Our latest reports from LGIU’s Local Democracy Research Centre, a brand new participation collection, with an exploration of challenges from voting to youth attitudes to local democracy (it's complicated) and the double-edged sword of technology.
Plus this September’s Global Local Think Tank Review includes the latest findings from leading think tanks about conducting impactful public engagement and a new Global Local executive panel with insights from senior decision makers in local government.
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This week's feature
LGIU@40 The participation collection
Our brand-new collection explores some of the existential challenges to engaging effectively and looks at tools and approaches that can bridge divides between citizen and state.
LGIU's Global Local highlights
Could electronic voting drive more effective participation
Think piece | 4-min read ⏳
As part of our LGIU@40 programme we are asking senior decision makers to ask the challenging questions about how we might do things differently in the next 40 years for local government. In this provocation piece, Ian Cowie, Chief Executive of the City of Gosnells in West Australia asks if online voting could support more effective participation in the context of compulsory, and largely mail-in voting.
How local government can improve political literacy and democratic engagement
Case study | 6-min read ⏳
Shout Out UK is a multi-award winning social enterprise that provides impartial political and media literacy training and campaigns focused on democratic engagement and combatting disinformation online, tailored to locl circumstances and culture. In this article, Matteo Bergamini, SOUK’s CEO and Founder, reflects on their recent work in London shedding light on the ways local authorities can encourage political literacy and democratic engagement.
See her elected
Case study | 9-min read ⏳
Dr Michelle Maher, Programme Manager of See Her Elected, discusses how they are working to increase women’s participation in local government in Ireland, especially ahead of the 2024 local elections.
Don't have time to read these resources right now?
Register on the LGIU website, so you can bookmark resources for later! Look out for the 'Bookmark' button on each page. You will then find all your bookmarks in your account dashboard – your own library!
Further food for thought
Recent reports and think pieces from leading research institutes around the globe.
Is democracy destroying itself?
Just 41% of Americans 18 years of age and older today are consistent supporters of democracy. 59% majority are inconsistent supporters of democracy who believe for example that a strong leader who does not heed election results or acknowledge congressional authority is acceptable. Young Black men are especially sceptical about democracy. If growing numbers of young citizens do not support fundamental democratic tenets, over time, the base of consistent supporters for democracy in the United States will inevitably decrease. This research dives into the reasons why younger Americans doubt democracy and the depth of their distrust and misunderstanding.
Protecting democracy online in 2024 and beyond.
In 2024, more than 2 billion voters across 50 countries - including in the United States, the European Union, and India - will head to the polls. Nearly a decade after social media was weaponised to influence election outcomes and with the technological advancements of today, such as generative artificial intelligence, poised to worsen or cause new problems, it is important that technology platforms and governments do everything in their power to safeguard elections and uphold democratic values online. This report makes recommendations incorporate learnings from past elections and introduce new ideas to encourage technology platforms to safeguard democratic processes and mitigate election threats.
Democracy and the life of cities
This publication examines and challenges the role of cities in generating and strengthening democratic practices as authoritarianism rises across much of the world. Cities have a reputation as being bulwarks for democracy, standing up to autocracy and populism and overcoming democratic gridlock and polarisation to make progress on problems such as climate change.
Defining and measuring civic infrastructure
This report offers a framework for defining civic infrastructure and presents some measures that provide information to help monitor civic infrastructure across the United States, in individual states, in communities, and across diverse populations. Civic infrastructure is defined as 'the places, policies, programs, and practices that undergird strong communities and foster civic engagement'. It finds considerable variation in access to civic infrastructure between states & communities in the US, though data are patchy and more research is needed.
Events not to miss
Global Local executive panel: Community engagement done well
Free for LGIU or VLGA members, attendance fee for non-members
The Global Local Executive Panel Series brings together executive speakers from local government across the countries we work in and beyond to share solutions they’ve found to critical challenges faced worldwide.
Find out how senior leaders in local government have overcome barriers to effective participation and dealing with persistent challenges.
9 Nov 2023,
18:30 (AEDT)/ 8:30am BST
Venue:Online via Zoom
Training: Community engagement
Who should come to this course?
Councillors who want to go beyond the basics, with a burning issue they want to resolve or just learn more about how to achieve the goals for their residents. Officers who support councillors in their leadership of place role.
The course is led by a councillor with years of experience in local government and the voluntary sector.
LGIU Members £120 + VAT
Non-Members: £160 + VAT
Online: 17 Oct 2023, 09:30–12:30 BST
Global Local Think Tank Review
The Global Local Think Tank Review highlights key findings from leading think tanks and research institutes across the globe.
This month: constructive climate conversations, youth involvement in placemaking, childcare challenges, employability support schemes and digital inclusion.
More Global Local resources from LGIU
Articles and reports
Free to read for everyone
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