Open and free platform for participatory democracy

Duration: 2017 – 2019

Source of funding: Ayuntamiento de Barcelona

Project Responsible: Arnau Monterde, CNSC (‘Internet Interdisciplinary Institute/ Universitat Oberta de Catalunya)


Decidim is more than a digital platform, it is a free and open infrastructure for participatory democracy. It involves: code, documentation, design, training, legal frameworks, collaborative interfaces, development-user-facilitation community and a shared vision.

It helps citizens, organizations and public institutions to self-organize themselves democratically at all levels: It helps society to self-organize democratically; It helps citizens and institutions to co-produce strategic planning and participatory budgeting; it facilitates massive and distributed decision-making; it boosts collective intelligence for the common good; besides, it helps institutions on their accountability and political transparency.

Decidim is produced and deployed under the following innovative principles for technological sovereignty: (1) It is open to collaboration, with licenses such as Affero GPLv3 for the code (free to be deployed, used, copied and improved), CreativeCommons BY-SA license for the content and Open Access Database Licences for the data. This implies that Decidim infrastructure is auditable, collaborative, trustworthy and, therefore, democratic. (2) Participatory content is transparent, traceable and integral, all content is accessible, downloadable, traceable and non-manipulable. (3) Users are guaranteed privacy with verification, meaning that their personal data is never disclosed yet their identity as unique citizens with democratic rights is preserved. (4) The platform guarantees democratic quality, meaning non-discrimination and equal opportunities for all users and proposals. (5) The infrastructure is multilayer and makes possible multi-mode participation (digital and physical meetings and democratic spaces are integrated). (6) Users control personal data and notification preferences.

The platform’s interface, as well as the code and development, of Decidim is done in English and can be downloaded and contributed to at the platform’s GitHub webpage.