A potpourri of participation models

For years now I have been collecting information on and tracing the origins of different models, schemata and theories of participation. Enticed by a current project, I have put together a selection of models with their original imagery and, in excerpt, original introductions and explanations. I will review and extend the selection regularly, and update this post as well as the pdf-file (Version July 2011, 11 MB). These are the (currently: 30) models covered:

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 Four L Engagement Model Tony Karrer
  • 2007 Participation 2.0 Model New Zealand
  • 2007 Spectrum of public participation IAP2
  • 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


5 responses to “A potpourri of participation models”

  1. Povilas Plukas Avatar
    Povilas Plukas

    Wonderful job! Thanks.

  2. Andreas Karsten Avatar

    Thank you Povilas!

  3. Pablo Castineiras Avatar

    Great work! Thanks for the effort. We need to know what was thought in order to discover new ways of participation so needed nowadays.

  4. Pedro Prieto-Martin Avatar

    Hi Andreas, very good job!
    I’ve seen you mention in the entry “2010 Changing views on participation Pedro Martin” one graphic that I prepared some time ago.
    Thanks for mentioning it.

    There are two things that you should know, for the case you prepare a second version of your text:

    1. It would be better if you consider my lastname to be “Prieto-Martin”, and my name “Pedro”. It’s confusing for everybody, that we have two last names in Spain. :-)

    2. The “changing views” on participation was just a reflection. But if you want to see where that reflection finished… this could be a real candidate for your 31st model: “The matrix of civic implication”.
    It includes 4 dimensions (more could be added, but these were considered as the most significant). I think it is an honest attempt to learn from previous model, and try to create a “tool” tha is at the same time powerful, practical and easy to use, that allows practitioners and theorists to compare in a matter of minutes different Participatory experiences.

    The model is explained in this video.


    We haven’t still been able to prepare a real translation of the subtitles, but you can get the automatic english subtitles that youtube creates using Google Translate. I think it is good enough, by now, as to get the main ideas.

    This model is still pending to be presented as a text. We actually thought it would be easier for people to “visualize” it if we presented it as a video.

    This series of videos where included as part of the teaching materials of a course on electronic participation.

    The link I provided is for the 10.b “The advent of civic implication”, and I think you will also like the schema included in the 10.a about the “Participatory activities in the XXI century”.

    And… well, in general, you will probably like the rest of the materials, that for example analise what is changing by the arrival of Internet, how to empower municipal participation, and others.

    Kind regards. Thanks for your work!!
    PS: If you write me an e-mail, I can provide you with the english version of the matrix

  5. sara Avatar

    Thank you.