Demokrative - Initiative for Civic Education is a non-partisan and non-profit association based in Switzerland. With its activities, Demokrative aims at contributing to the further development and strengthening of civic education, and thus strengthen democracy.
Mission and Purpose
The purpose of Demokrative to promote democratic awareness and the ability to take part in political processes in a self-responsible and active way for as many people as possible. The association:
- initiates and promotes offers of civic education for different target groups;
- promotes the scientific monitoring of civic education programmes;
- fosters national and international exchange with actors and providers of civic education. 
Origins and Development
Demokrative was founded on 02 June 2016 in Zurich (CH) and is an association according to Art. 60 ff. of the Swiss Civil Code (Schweizerisches Zivilgesetzbuch ZGB).
Since 2017, Demokrative has been a member of the network of out-of-school actors in the realm of Education for Sustainable Development. In 2018, Demokrative became a member of the Democracy and Human Rights Education in Europe (DARE) Network (DARE is a Europe-wide network that aims to promote education for democratic citizenship and human rights). Since 2020, the association has been based in Bern (CH).
Organizational Structure, Membership, and Funding
The association Demokrative - Initiative for civic education finances its activities and projects through membership fees and project-specific support from foundations, as well as, potentially, through donations. In order to save administrative and fixed costs, the Demokrative does not maintain an office.
Demokrative functions according to the principles required in Switzerland for non-profit associations. The statute of the association can be downloaded here (in German).
A list of members and information about the current managing board and the auditor can be found online.
Specializations, Methods and Tools
For Demokrative, democracy is seen as as topic, programme, and goal. The Association Demokrative promotes civic education and democratic citizenship. Civic education enables people to recognize and represent their interests, to participate in political processes and, in doing so, to meet their fellow human beings and their concerns with respect.
Demokrative promotes civic education by initiating and promoting educational offers for different target groups, by providing scientific support for civic education, and by networking and exchanging with actors from practice and science.
Major Projects and Events
Core projects are the 'building blocks of democracy', which are instructor-led learning modules in which young people deal interactively with fundamental values and conflicting goals in democracy), projects in the area of game-based learning and the annually held Demokrative round table. The Demokrative Round Table 2019 was held on the topic 'Chances and challenges of digitization for democracies'. About 25 workshops of the building blocks of democracy program are held during one year with school classes. In the area of game-based learning, the project 'Let's play Democracy Barometer' resulted in free online print & play material. Also in the area of game based learning, the international cooperation project DEMOGAMES was started in 2019.
Analysis and Lessons Learned
In its educational work, Demokrative emphasize interactive learning environments in which democratic processes can be experienced and democratic manners and participation can be practiced. In this understanding, the field of civic education overlaps with areas such as human rights education, the promotion of participation and the like.
It is important to Demokrative that educational formats are evaluated regularly, that these evaluations comply with social science standards and that the results of the evaluations are incorporated into the further development of the offerings.
Demokrative participates in exchanges between actors from the out-of-school and actors from the school sectors and in exchanges between actors and supporting organizations in areas whose topics and methods overlap with those of civic education. These include human rights education, the promotion of participation, tolerance training, projects that address democracy as a way of life and approaches from the field of peace-building.
- Memo of the association on its understanding of civic education (in German)
- Print & Play document for an analogue democracy game based on insights from the Democracy Barometer
- Currently several analogue games and digital games are in the development stage, which will be available online: https://demokrative.ch/index.php/en/projects/demogames
The project “Democracy and Games: Analog and Digital Game-based Learning Tools for Youth Work” (DEMOGAMES) aims to contribute to this task through the provision of game-based learning tools for democray education in youth work. The goal of the project is to develop several analog and digital democracy games, which will form the “Democracy Game Box” (D-BOX).
 demokrative. (2019). Our Aims. https://demokrative.ch/index.php/en/home-en/about-us
 éducation21 - Education for Sustainable Development. Netzwerk BNE Ausserschulischer Akteure. https://www.education21.ch/de/netzwerk-ausserschulischer-akteure [German]
 Democracy and Human Rights Education in Europe. https://dare-network.eu/
 demokrative. (2019). Members. https://demokrative.ch/index.php/en/home-en/members-of-demokrative
 Ruth-Lovell, Saskia; Rebecca Welge; and Robert Lovell (2019) "Democracy and Games: Let's Play Democracy Barometer, print & play materials", Demokrative - Initiative for Political Education, [https://demokrative.ch/index.php/de-de/projekte/db-spiele].
 demokrative. (2019). E+ Demogames. https://demokrative.ch/index.php/en/projects/demogames
Educational data bank entry for Building-Blocks-Of-Democracy / Demokratiebausteine, (in German, French, Italian): https://www.education21.ch/de/data21/documents/FF5AF94E1841006BC125829C0046D6F5
- Practice example (PDF in German): https://www.education21.ch/sites/default/files/uploads/pdf-d/praxisbeispiele/Demokratiebausteine_DE.pdf
Association Statutes (in German): https://demokrative.ch/images/Dokumente_Demokrative/Demokrative_Statuten-2-2017.pdf
To stay informed about ongoing activities, individuals or organizations can subscribe to the Demokrative newsletter by sending an email to newsletter-join[at]demokrative.ch; or visit the news webpage: https://demokrative.ch/index.php/en/homepage-en
The association’s website https://demokrative.ch is available in German and English. The association’s annual reports include short summaries in English.
For additional information regarding Demokrative in English please contact the board at [email protected]