Improving Public Participation in Decision-Making in Latvia

Latvia committed to raising awareness and strengthening processes for public participation in decision making from 2017 to 2019.

Problems and Purpose

This commitment to enhance public participation is focused on both the local and central levels of government and it was expected to be achieved “through capacity-building activities for government institutions, local governments, and NGOs.”[1]

The current action plan builds on previous initiatives by:

  • “Funding capacity-building programs for NGOs involved in advocacy work through an NGO Fund;
  • Assessing opportunities for public participation, disseminating information on good practices, and training local government officials on how to enhance public involvement (e.g., consultations); and
  • Assigning new advocacy-consulting functions to regional NGO coordinators and including this in a policy document that will be the basis for financing this function.”[2]

Background History and Context

Latvia became part of the European Union (EU) in 2004 and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2016. Membership requires aligning with Open Government Partnership values such as open data, anti-corruption, depoliticized state-owned enterprises. In the past, Latvia’s action plan commitments included non government organization (NGO) financing, enhancing e-participation, and transparency in public spending.[2]

Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities

Lead Institution: State Chancellery, Society Integration Foundation and the Ministry of Culture

Support Institutions: "Latvian Civic Alliance"; Public Policy Center "PROVIDUS"; Association "Public Participation Fund"; Association "School Data"; Latvian University, Faculty of Social Sciences (Political Science and Information and Library Science representatives); "Open Management Partnership Latvian" [1]

Participant Recruitment and Selection

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Methods and Tools Used

The public can participate via working groups, advisory councils, public discussions, and public consultations. To begin, “the authority has the task of planning for public participation, and opt for the ways that contribute to effective, open, inclusive, timely and responsible community involvement.” [1]

What Went On: Process, Interaction, and Participation

The activities to be undertaken included:

  • public participation opportunities for public institutions and local governments and decision-making process, including the e-environment and through NGOs as a resource for disseminating information;
  • technology to gather examples of good practice and evaluate public participation using internationally accepted standards;
  • using technology to increase public awareness and involvement in the work of public administration, including legislative drafting and consultation portals;
  • promoting public awareness of published open data sets and their usage possibilities [1]

Influence, Outcomes, and Effects

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Analysis and Lessons Learned

The Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) researcher assessed the potential impact of this initiative as minor because “the commitment’s activities are verifiable, but lack details, such as what budget or other resources will be allocated to the activities, the quantity of trainings and informative materials, or the targeted audiences for these educational events and materials.” Ultimately, makes it difficult to predict the extent to which these activities could improve public participation in Latvia.[2]

See Also


[1] Open Government Partnership (2017). Public Participation in Decision-Making (LV0028). Retrieved from

[2] Miezaine, Z. (2017). Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM): Latvia Design Report 2017−2019. OGP. Retrieved from

External Links [Latvian]