Popular participation can be defined as the active involvement of citizens in the socio-political activities of a country. It can also be seen as the practice of involving the citizens in the governance of their country and in deciding important socio-cultural, political and economic matters.
Popular participation gives unrestricted equal opportunities to all citizens in expressing their views towards the activities of the state.
Importance of Popular Participation
- Popular participation promotes political awareness and education.
- It fosters political stability.
- It promotes self-fulfillment and satisfaction of citizens
- It enhances development.
- It ensures responsive and responsible government.
- It promotes popular consciousness.
- It creates greater opportunities for citizens.
- It enhance confidence of the people to hold government accountable.
- It improves the quality of governance.
- It influences the direction of government policies.
- It enhances collective effort in the development of the political system.
- It promotes a sense of belonging among the people.
- It ensures every member of the society is carried along in the process of development.
- It ensures equity in the allocation of societal resources.
- It enables people to gain socio-economic and political power.
Modes of Popular Participation
- Direct/face to face popular participation: This is the form of popular participation which requires the direct or face to face presence of the citizens in political issues
- Indirect popular participation: This is the form of popular participation that does not involve face to face but involve sending opinions, suggestion and participating through phone calls via television and radio.
- Traditional mode of popular participation: This is the mode of using local traditional leaders to promote politics; it is a mode which allows room for physical participation like the face to face mode of participation.