This third Democracy 2025 report documents findings from a systematic review into what works in public participation.
Uniquely, the report integrates expertise from two distinct approaches to citizen engagement, co-design and deliberative engagement. Each approach offers different yet complementary insights into the variables that lead to effective citizen engagement, providing useful evidence that can inform public sector capability in this area. This report contributes to the growing body of evidence on effective citizen engagement by developing a conceptual model for assessing the quality and impacts of representation and nonrepresentation related variables.
The conceptual model draws on 33 case studies and 36 theoretical studies to identify six key variables that interact to influence outcomes in co-design and deliberative engagement.