”New Tools of Civic and Public Responsibility” – the CoD’s panel discussion at the Warsaw Dialogue for Democracy

The Permanent Secretariat of the Community of Democracies is hosting a panel discussion on “New Tools of Civic and Public Responsibility” that will take place on November 22, 2018 from 13:45 – 15:15 on the margins of the Warsaw Dialogue for Democracy in Warsaw, Poland.

The panel discussion will serve as an opportunity to foster a dialogue on the challenges new technologies offer to modern democracies, and how these technologies can be employed to promote political participation, increase democratic resilience, and strengthen civic oversight.

 One of the main provisions of the Warsaw Declaration is “the right of every person to freedom of opinion and of expression, including to exchange and receive ideas and information through any media, regardless of frontiers” (Principle 4). A bold assertion of a core democratic value at the time of its signature, in June 2000, it holds the same relevance today. Nevertheless, rapid, unprecedented technological advances engendered a new world of communication, alongside specific opportunities and challenges.

Technology has redefined how citizens engage with each other and with their government. Social media have created new opportunities to expand social inclusion, encourage accountability and transparency in public institutions, and strengthen civic oversight. In many parts of the world,  these platforms mobilize and coagulate people, successfully replacing traditional media and other forms of public opinion aggregation.

Some of the member states of the CoD Governing Council have become leaders in promotion and strengthening of good governance and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) as tools for empowerment, including the free flow and access to information, and increasing the possibilities for citizen´s participation in decision making processes with the use of ICT.

The side-event will serve as a platform for experts and practitioners to have an open conversation about the opportunities and challenges new technologies represent in modern democracies, with a focus on identifying and sharing best practices that could feed further reflection and action. The panel will discuss how to increase transparency and accountability in public institutions through technology as well as how to use technology in order to revise top-down political decision-making processes.

Opening remarks

Thomas E. Garrett, Secretary General, Community of Democracies 


Alberto Fernandez Gibaja, Programme Officer, Political Participation and Representation Programme, International IDEA (Spain)

Vardine Grigoryan, Democracy Monitoring and Reporting Coordinator, Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly – Vanadzor (Armenia)

Nikolai Kvantaliani, Director of the Association “New Group” (Belarus)

 Karolina Wysocka, Community Builder, Techsoup Europe (Poland)


Patricia Galdamez, Senior Advisor, Community of Democracies