The Open Observatory
An Introduction to Decidim
Decidim, from the Catalan 'We decide', is a platform, a digital infrastructure for participatory democracy, free and open source, for cities and organisations. Decidim is open source. An open source code can be used, modified, improved and redistributed under the same licence by anyone, which is why it was chosen for the Open Observatory. Created by the city of Barcelona, Decidim is an online space where citizens can deliberate and make decisions in a transparent way in collaboration with the municipality. Specifically, Decidim is a web environment (a framework) produced in Ruby on Rails (a programming language) that allows anyone to create and configure a web platform to be used as a political network for democratic participation.
But Decidim is much more than that: 'participatory democracy' refers to that form of 'government of the people, for the people and by the people' in which people participate as equals. On Decidim, platform users (participants) interact through participatory mechanisms known as components within different participatory spaces that channel their democratic power towards specific outcomes such creating communities, collaborations, and transparent decision making.