Invited Spaces, Invited Participation
Yamini Aiyar (2010)
Governments around the world have undertaken institutional reforms aimed at opening up spaces and inviting citizens to participate in directing and monitoring public service delivery. These spaces have taken different shapes and forms, reflecting the evolution of debates on participation and accountability, as well as the influence of donors, and civil society-led accountability efforts. Often backed by legal and constitutional guarantees, these are spaces where citizens are invited by the state to become part of its governance machinery.
Some of these spaces are supported by institutions created through decentralization reforms, where citizens are invited to participate in the state’s deliberative processes. In others, citizens are invited to assist in the implementation and administration of programs, and in yet others, invitations have been extended to scrutinise and monitor the everyday operations of the state. In all its different shapes and forms, the institutional landscape for development is now crowded with “invited spaces” that are part of the new development blueprint.