Local4Action Hub Valongo: Participation4All

Local4Action of Valongo, enlightened and participatory communities, identified as Participation4All, aims to improve the quality of local democracy, proposing to assist municipalities that join the initiative in implementing citizen participation processes, aiming, above all, to involve under-represented groups, namely children, young people and the elderly, but also people with disabilities, migrants, ethnic minorities or people with fragile economic and social conditions. The Participation4All programme aims to contribute to the generation of knowledge and experience through the involvement of these groups.

The initiative will offer scientific and technical advice to 12 municipalities that express desire to deepen participatory practices with underrepresented groups. For around 12 months, the selected participants will receive free training activities and technical support. The applications received will be analysed considering the innovation, quality and feasibility of the type of participatory process they intend to implement. In the event of a tie, priority will be given to applications submitted earlier.

Project Results

The Local4Action Hub Valongo – Participation4All initiative generated enormous interest, receiving 46 applications from municipalities on the European, Asian, African and American continents, which far exceeded our expectations.
Following the evaluation, we would like to inform you that the 12 entities selected to take part in the project until June 2025 are as follows:

Gobierno de la Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina - Espacios de Participación Vecinal para Mujeres

Municipio de Tandil, Argentina – Comunidades de mulheres empreendedoras

Câmara Municipal da Maia, Portugal – Visão para a Cidade 2025 – 2050 pelas crianças e jovens

Câmara Municipal de Oliveira do Bairro, Portugal – Conselho Consultivo da Idade Maior

City of Bulawayo, Zimbabué – Empowering young people and underrepresented groups suffering from fragile economic and social conditions.

Ayuntamiento Bilbao, Espanha – Consejo de la Infancia.

Qeshm City, Irão – “Mardom-Shahr” project women social entrepreneurship

Câmara Municipal da Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal – Jovens pelo Clima

Câmara Municipal de Estarreja, Portugal – Projeto BioRia

Câmara Municipal de Pombal, Portugal – Festival Apropria-te!

Câmara Municipal de Torres Vedras, Portugal – Conselho das Crianças

Câmara Municipal de Vila Nova de Famalicão, Portugal – Cidadania no Bairro


Phase 1 - Application

18 Dec 2023 – Launch session
18 Dec 2023 to 19 Jan 2024 – Open Call
19 to 26 Jan 2024 – Selection of participants
31 Jan 2024 – Results announcement

Phase 2 - Implementation

FEB 2024 - Training actions for municipal technical bodies
8 Feb - Theoretical training session: importance of participation (4h)
15 and 20 Feb - Training session: Tools (8h)
22 and 27 Feb - Participatory process design (8h)
29 Feb - Training session on the platform (2h)
MAR/SET 2024 - Local implementation of participatory processes
Preparation of the follow-up stage
Follow-up sessions of design - 1 virtual meeting/month with each team
Follow-up sessions of implementation - 1 virtual meeting/month with each team

Phase 3 - Assessment and Report

OUT/DEC 2024 - Local impact assessment of each participatory process implemented
Conducting an information survey - 3 online meetings
Determining indicators to assess the expected changes - 1 online meeting (Focus group)
JAN/APR 2025 - Preparation of a final report, presentation of the results and its dissemination

Selection criteria

Quality and viability

  • Methodology
  • Technical team involved
  • Lenght of the process

Innovative nature of the process

  • Objectives
  • Target Groups

The participation of underrepresented groups:

There is ample evidence about the structural difficulty in involving underrepresented groups, either due to a poor understanding of their motivations, interests and availability or due to the use of inappropriate methodologies (spaces and styles of participation and mediation). The lack of diversity and equity in participatory processes is an important issue that compromises their usefulness and social value.

To encourage the participation of others and promote more qualified and inclusive participatory dynamics, it is important to implement pedagogical and awareness-raising actions that need to be disseminated. In this sense, Participation4All is intended to:

  • underrepresented groups (children, young people, elderly people, people with disabilities, ethnic minorities, migrants)
  • decision-makers and municipal technical teams who are involved in coordinating and promoting participatory processes.
  • the citizens involved, those who, for various reasons, have greater capacity to participate or influence collective decisions.
  • the academy that teaches and experiments with this type of practices and methodologies.

The results obtained with the implementation of participatory processes translate into gains for all stakeholders, namely municipal civil servants, citizens, technicians and political members, and into significant changes in the scope and social reach, resulting from the different lessons learned in the way of doing and thinking about democracy and citizen participation.

The impacts resulting from participatory processes correspond to the marks left by them in the community, particularly among the participants themselves, and constitute a kind of “schools of democracy or citizenship”, where each “group of actors involved in the process” acquires different learning (Lerner, 2009).

Therefore, with regard to the implementation of participatory processes, we consider that the final results will directly benefit both the community and residents, as well as municipal governments and elected representatives. Those who find inspiration and training in these examples to promote or share responsibilities in the development of participatory processes will benefit indirectly.

Local4Action HUBs by UCLG

The Local4Action hubs programme aims to sustain strategies for promoting local action within a sustainable global development perspective, through the initiatives and experiences of its members, improving local-global connections in the implementation of global agendas, and demonstrating how the local dimension can allow its acceleration.

Main Partners

at Local4Action HUB Valongo: Participation4All