To support our site, Class Central may be compensated by some course providers.

Engaging Citizens: A Game Changer for Development? The World Bank

The World Bank via Coursera

students interested

Taken this course? Share your experience with other students. Write review

Overview

Sign up to Coursera courses for free Learn how

Recent events have shown that the relationship between government and citizens is in need of repair. In just the last few years, we have witnessed calls from all over the world, from the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street to the Open Government Partnership, for governments to become more open, accountable and responsive by deepening their engagement with citizens. As a result, interest in citizen engagement programs for effective development has gained momentum. At the same time the World Bank Group, which has long recognized the role of citizen engagement in improving development results, has developed a strategic approach to mainstreaming citizen engagement in its operations. This MOOC has been developed to explore what is meant by citizen engagement and how it can be used to enhance development impact.

This second offering of the course includes a new, exciting fifth module that looks at citizen engagement in practice. We hear from local practitioners implementing different citizen engagement approaches in various sectors including water, health, and education in Ghana and Kenya. They discuss how citizen engagement mechanisms and tools are adapted for their specific country context and sector, examining practical challenges and lessons learned. We also look at Korea’s innovative approach to involving citizens in the audit of public services.

The 5-week course brings together a diverse range of experts to provide students with a comprehensive overview of citizen engagement. It begins by synthesizing the theories and concepts that underlie citizen engagement, and goes on to explore how citizens can be engaged in both policymaking and public service delivery. Finally, the course investigates how recent innovations are shaking up the field, and how citizen engagement is implemented, monitored and evaluated in the field. Our presenters, leaders in academia, government, and civil society, provide a wide range of perspectives and real-world experience to give participants a deeper understanding of whether citizen engagement can truly enhance the process of development. Participants will also have the opportunity to collaborate with one another and design their own citizen engagement initiatives, thereby putting theories learned in the course into practice.

Course Instructors and Facilitators

The course instructors are Jeff Thindwa, Björn-Sören Gigler, Tiago Peixoto and Helene Grandvoinnet. You can click on their names on the right to view their detailed profile. Kate Henvey will also be playing a key role in the course facilitation. You will be able to look at her detailed profile by clicking on her name below.



Partners

We have partnered with four leading institutions in the citizen engagement field to collaborate on the design and facilitation of this course:

 

Syllabus

Overview
The overview will provide a course roadmap and explain the rationale behind this course—why this topic, and why now?

Week 1: Citizen Engagement: What It Is and Why It Matters
This week examines the theoretical underpinnings of citizen engagement and how it can lead to better development results. We begin by exploring the definitions and history of citizen engagement, as well as related concepts such as transparency, accountability, responsiveness and inclusiveness. We then look at the concept of the feedback loop, and the differences between intrinsic and instrumental approaches. Next we examine the crucial role of sociopolitical context and the enabling environment, and finally introduce the concept of strategic and tactical approaches to citizen engagement.

Week 2: Engaging Citizens for Improved Policymaking
This week explores the role that citizens can play in actively shaping public policy. We start by examining how citizens participate, analyzing the differences between ‘thick’ and ‘thin’ forms of engagement and asking strategic questions such as who should participate, how should participants interact with decision makers, what information do participants need, and how will participation impact policy decisions. Next, we survey examples of crowdsourcing and open innovation that are helping governments and citizens better interact. Finally, we unpack why citizens participate, moving beyond the mere calculation of costs and benefits described in the rational choice model to an analysis of broader factors that influence participation.

Week 3: Can Engaging Citizens Bring Better Services?
In this week we examine the role of citizen engagement in public service delivery. We first unpack different conceptions of the government-citizen relationship and then explore the ways citizens can serve as active agents of, rather than passive recipients in, the delivery of public services. We then provide an in-depth look at a range of citizen engagement projects in this area by exploring the methods, tools, barriers to inclusion and factors for success of case studies, particularly in developing country contexts.

Week 4: Innovations in Citizen Engagement
Having outlined the role of citizen engagement during policymaking and service delivery, the final week investigates recent innovations in citizen engagement. We begin by examining how recent advances in information and communications technology (ICT) can be used to enhance citizen engagement from a human development perspective, and review some of the most compelling new developments in this area. Next, we explore the reasons why some of these innovative approaches succeed while others fail, and look at how hybrid approaches-those that combine ICT tools with traditional methodologies-are being used in an attempt to maximize development results.

Week 5: Citizen Engagement in Practice
The last module of this course analyzes citizen engagement in practice. We hear from local practitioners implementing different citizen engagement approaches in various sectors including water, health, and education in Ghana and Kenya. They discuss how citizen engagement mechanisms and tools are adapted for their specific country context and sector, examining practical challenges and lessons learned. We also look at Korea’s innovative approach to involving citizens in the audit of public services.

We conclude the course with a review video, as well as ‘call to action’ videos from high-profile leaders in government, civil society and academia and to provide you with tangible next steps to put your knowledge into practice.

Course Tracks

Depending on your level of interest, you can choose to participate in one of two tracks:

  • Track 1: Citizen Engagement Champions (1-2 hours/week)
  • Track 2: Policy and Leadership (2-4 hours/week)

Students can move from the Citizen Engagement Champions track to the Policy and Leadership track at any point during the course. We encourage students to join the Policy and Leadership track to gain deeper knowledge and practical experience.

Track 1 – Citizen Engagement Champions

Target Audience

      This track is suitable for anyone with a general interest in citizen engagement. It provides insight into underlying concepts and current trends in citizen engagement, and the ways in which it can be utilized to improve development results.



Track-Specific Objectives

      • To understand the theoretical underpinnings of citizen engagement and why it is a critical component of good governance.
      • To evaluate current citizen engagement initiatives for development around the world.


Assignments

    • Assignments focus on facilitating an understanding of mandatory course material (video talks and core readings) through multiple choice quizzes and peer-reviewed short answer responses.
    • Optional exercises are also suggested.


Track 2 – Policy and Leadership

Target Audience

      This track is designed for those wishing to gain greater practical experience in citizen engagement, as well as to develop networks of practice with counterparts from around the world. Our hope is that this track will catalyze the launch of real-world initiatives.



Track-Specific Objectives

      • To understand the theoretical underpinnings of citizen engagement and why it is a critical component of good governance.
      • To evaluate current citizen engagement initiatives for development around the world.
      • To build networks of practice and catalyze collaboration among students.
      • To allow students an opportunity to design and create a citizen engagement project that could be implemented in their community.


Assignments

    • Assignments focus on facilitating an understanding of mandatory course material (video talks and core readings) through multiple choice quizzes and peer-reviewed short answer responses.
    • Students must also design a citizen engagement project and represent it creatively online through a digital artifact.
    • Optional exercises are also suggested.
Connect

Participants are encouraged to communicate and share resources via Twitter—using hashtag #CitizensEngage— and meetup.com. Sign up for a free accounts for these services at http://www.twitter.com and http://www.meetup.com/.

Help Center

Most commonly asked questions about Coursera Coursera

Reviews for Coursera's Engaging Citizens: A Game Changer for Development? The World Bank
4.0 Based on 2 reviews

  • 5 star 50%
  • 4 star 0%
  • 3 star 50%
  • 2 star 0%
  • 1 star 0%

Did you take this course? Share your experience with other students.

Write a review
  • 1
Anonymous
5.0 3 years ago
Anonymous is taking this course right now.
This curse is very helpful for development and/or under development countries, specially my country Afghanistan, because here the space between government and citizens are much high- I'm preferring this course to be taken by each development worker and as well as interested citizens

Thanks, Ehsanullah Zahir Afghanistan
2 people found
this review helpful
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Vickey V
3.0 4 years ago
by Vickey completed this course, spending 7 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be very hard.
It is a good course. Especially if you're going into civil service and/or government. This is NOT a beginners course. Make sure you know something about all the components before starting the course.
2 people found
this review helpful
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
  • 1

Class Central

Get personalized course recommendations, track subjects and courses with reminders, and more.

Sign up for free

Never stop learning Never Stop Learning!

Get personalized course recommendations, track subjects and courses with reminders, and more.