A potpourri of participation models – Updated

An updated chase through the maze of
participation models, frameworks & theories

For years now I have been collecting information on and tracing the origins of different models, schemata and theories of participation. Enticed by a project in 2011, I put together a selection of models with their original imagery and, in excerpt, original introductions and explanations. Another project in 2012 provided motivation and momentum to review and extend the selection, and update the pdf-file (Version November 2012, 13 MB). These are the (currently: 36) models covered:

Those added in 2012 are in bold:

  • 1969 Ladder of citizen participation Sherry Arnstein
  • 1992 Ladder of children participation Roger Hart
  • 1996 Typology of participation Sarah White
  • 1997 Degrees of participation Phil Treseder
  • 1998 Wheel of participation Scott Davidson
  • 2000 Spectrum of public participation IAP2 [latest version from 2007, see comments below]
  • 2001 Active participation framework OECD
  • 2001 Pathways to participation Harry Shier
  • 2001 Clarity model of participation Clare Lardner
  • 2001 Strategic approach to participation UNICEF
  • 2002 Triangle of youth participation Jans & de Backer
  • 2002 Youth participation in society Jans & de Backer
  • 2002 Dimensions of youth participation David Driskell
  • 2002 Seven realms of participation Francis & Lorenzo
  • 2003 Ladder of volunteer participation Adam Fletcher
  • 2003 Youth engagement continuum FCYO
  • 2006 Four Cs of online participation Derek Wenmoth
  • 2006 Power law of participation Ross Mayfield
  • 2006 Levels, spaces and forms of power John Gaventa
  • 2006 The CLEAR Participation Model Lawndes & Pratchett
  • 2006 Four L Engagement Model Tony Karrer
  • 2007 Participation 2.0 Model New Zealand
  • 2007 Spectrum of public participation IAP2 [first version from 2000, see comments below]
  • 2007 Engagement in the policy cycle Diane Warburton
  • 2007 Online Participation Behaviour Chain Fogg & Eckles
  • 2009 Key dimensions of participation Driskell & Neema
  • 2009 Matrix of participation Tim Davies
  • 2009 Pathways through participation NCVO & IVR
  • 2010 Changing views on participation Pedro Martín
  • 2010 Ladder of online participation Bernoff & Li
  • 2010 Online participation across age Rick Wicklin
  • 2010 Three-lens approach to participation DFID-CSO
  • 2010 Behavior Grid BJ Fogg
  • 2010 The Participation Tree Harry Shier
  • 2011 Typology of Youth Participation Wong et al.
  • 2011 Six principles of online participation Tim Davies
  • 2012 The Yinyang Model Shier et al.


11 Comments so far. Comments are closed.
  1. João Armando Gonçalves,

    Excellent work. I’m doing a PhD thesis on youth participation in the city and this list is extremely helpful.
    Thank you
    João A.

  2. Great list!

    As far as I know, the IAP2 Spectrum of Public Participation (http://bit.ly/IAP2Spectrum) was published in 2000. Trying to confirm the year with one of the original authors.

    • Hi Tim, many thanks! The copyright on the current version of the spectrum, same as you linked to, is set to 2007 – previous versions date back to 2005 and 2000. It might even be that it has been around longer…

      • IAP2 launched their Certificate Training program in 2000. The Spectrum is a key component and predates most of the models listed here.

      • Lewis Michaelson,

        The Spectrum was created in 1999 and first delivered as part of IAP2 training at its International Conference in Banff, Alberta, Canada that same year.

      • Thanks for the clarification Lewis!

      • Full disclosure: I serve on the Board of IAP2 USA and took the Certificate Training in 2010.

      • I just checked to be sure and there seems to be no difference between the oldest version of the model that I have, which is from 2000, and the youngest that I have, which is from 2007. I am gonna switch them around in the next version Tim, thanks for the heads-up. Maybe use your connections through the board and make sure this is made explicit on the website as well as the pdf available for download?

  3. João Armando Gonçalves,

    hi, Andreas
    I don’t fin this covered, maybe it interests you
    Reddy & Ratna’s ‘Scenarios of Adult-Children Engagement’
    you can find it here

    And the original document here

  4. Note for self: flower of participation by Choice, leaning on the ladder: