Public Participation Mechanisms and Challenges
The terms “participation” and “engagement” have a minor difference in meaning, but in this book, they are used interchangeably. Engagement refers to actively participating and sharing suggestions and thoughts, whereas participation can be just sitting in a meeting without an exchange of views. There are two ways for citizens to interact with the government, share their concerns and thoughts, or receive a government service: direct interaction and indirect interaction. Citizens can directly interact with government organizations and share with them thoughts and problems themselves by directly meeting with government officials or communicating with them. Alternatively, citizens could get their work done indirectly through the legislature, provincial councils, tribal or village leaders and elders as well as religious scholars (mullahs). Citizens would generally prefer direct interaction with local government offices and solve their minor issues and problems without getting assistance from others. However, the authoritative attitude of the government officers often compels applicants to seek the assistance of the legislature and tribal elders even for minor issues. Sometimes, access to members of the legislature and provincial council is also limited because of their busy schedules and strict security measures applied.
KeywordsElection Public engagement and consultation Social audit Citizen-based monitoring and evaluations
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