In November 2001, the International Observatory on Participatory Democracy was set up within the framework of the European Commission's decentralised cooperation projects. Since then, the network of local governments, municipal bodies, research centres and civil society organisations that make up the IOPD has broadened its membership, creating new meeting spaces and deepening reflection and knowledge exchange on participatory democracy.
The technical secretariat of the OIDP has been provided by Barcelona City Council since the network's creation. Since 2006, the OIDP has been working in collaboration with United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) through an agreement for the operation and maintenance of the Technical Secretariat of the OIDP network.
The Technical Secretariat has worked to position the IOPD as a global reference centre for the production of innovative knowledge and to consolidate it as a space for the exchange of experiences of participatory democracy at the global level.
The year 2020 was marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, which modified the IOPD's work plan, postponing the annual conference and other activities. Despite this, the IOPD secretariat continued to work within the UCLG World secretariat as a reference space on local participatory democracy at the global level.
Due to these circumstances, we have organised this management report to present first the activities prior to the impact of the pandemic and then the work of the rest of the year.