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At the crossroads of tradition and innovation, Europe’s democratic landscape is experiencing a meaningful transformation. Innovative participatory and deliberative democracy models in Europe are still evolving and expanding unevenly, and some regions excel as changemakers while others face unique challenges.

To support the next generation of changemakers, Nets4Dem offers the Democratic Innovations Accelerator (DIA) programme, as part of the capacity-building strategy of the network. DIA will select 40 participants to receive free capacity-building assistance and support for launching or improving innovative participatory programs in the European Union (EU) and Horizon Europe countries.

Over the course of six months, a cohort of 40 civil society and government organisations will develop and deliver an action plan for implementing a democratic innovation that enhances public participation in policymaking and governance. Participants will have free access to:

  • A dedicated mentor to assist in the development of the action plan.
  • Step-by-step resources such as the Participation Playbook, an interactive online tool for designing participatory programs.
  • Practice-oriented live sessions and online courses.
  • International peer-learning opportunities.

The accelerator program is implemented by the Nets4Dem network (managed by Coglobal in association with People Powered as the developer of the programme, and with support from Eurocities, Demos Helsinki, Democracy Reporting International, and European Partnership for Democracy).

How to apply?

  • Read through the program requirements and selection criteria below.
  • Complete the application form by 8 July 2024, 11:59 pm UTC.

Eligibility: Who is this program for?

  • Staff members of civil society organisations or non-governmental institutions such as schools, universities or community organisations. Please note: We encourage partnership with a government institution to facilitate the implementation of the action plan.
  • Government officials, public administration staff members and policymakers who want to launch or improve an innovative participatory program.

Organisations should nominate a lead participant who has professional proficiency in English. 

Please note: We encourage partnership with a civil society organisation/non-governmental organisation to strengthen support for the program in the community.

To be eligible for the program, applicants must be based in one of the 27 EU Member States or Horizon Europe countries (Albania, Armenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Faroe Islands, Georgia, Iceland, Israel, Kosovo, Morocco, Moldova, Montenegro, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Tunisia, Türkiye, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom).

Programme Timeline

Expectations from participants

Participants can expect to spend an average of two hours per week from October 2024 to March 2025 for the duration of the training program and mentoring support. If you are not sure about your availability for the program or if you are not selected this time, the DIA will accept new applications next year.

Participants also will be asked to set aside a few key dates on their calendars to participate in the program’s live sessions.

After the completion of the training, participants will have 12 months to implement their action plan. The amount of time you spend on your project will depend on the action plan you have developed.