Citizen Participation in Chile

In cooperation with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Chile we conducted a workshop-series for students and young politicians on the topic of citizen participation in April 2019.

After a very successful cooperation in 2018 we were re-invited to travel to Chile and to implement five workshops in different with highly diverse target groups. In Concepción we did a two-days-workshop for young politicians who will run for local councils in 2020. In different schools in Santiago de Chile we implemented the simulation game “Mi comuna, mi país” in secondary schools in Spanish, as well as in German.

The already existing mechanisms for citizen participation on municipality level in Chile are actually quite a few and some of them are even more progressive than those that are available in Germany for instance. However, the problem is that almost nobody is familiar with these mechanisms. Given this, we developed a simulation game on municipality level and created the fictitious municipality of “Los Álamos”, where participants have the chance to understand and try out some of those mechanisms. More details you can find here.

All of the workshops went very well. Although the results were different all the time of course, all groups managed to organize the necessary majorities in order to start a plebiscite on municipality level and were even using further mechanisms of citizen participation.

The method itself had a deep impact on the participants, as they were heavily appreciating the innovative and self-organizing character of the simulation game. However, the teachers and university professors were even more enthused to see their students actively participating and learning while playing. Once more the method has shown its great potential to make complex issues more comprehensive.