Engaging Citizens: A Game Changer for Development

Government works best when citizens are directly engaged in policymaking & public service delivery. What conditions are necessary for inclusive and effective citizen engagement? Can it improve people's lives positively? This course provides an overview of citizen engagement, critical analyzing of how it can be leveraged most effectively to achieve development outcomes.

About The Course

Recent events have shown that the relationship between government and citizens is in need of repair. In just the last few years, we have witnessed calls from all over the world, from the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street to the Open Government Partnership, for governments to become more open, accountable and responsive by deepening their engagement with citizens. As a result, interest in citizen engagement programs for effective development has gained momentum. This MOOC has been developed to explore what is meant by citizen engagement, and how it can be used to enhance development impact.

The 4-week course brings together a diverse range of experts to provide students with a comprehensive overview of citizen engagement. It begins by synthesizing the theories and concepts that underlie citizen engagement, and goes on to explore how citizens can engage in both policymaking and public service delivery. Finally, it investigates how recent innovations are shaking up the field, through detailing both successes and failures of these new approaches. Our presenters, leaders in academia, government, and civil society, provide a wide range of perspectives and real-world experience to give participants a deeper understanding of whether enhanced citizen engagement can truly enhance the process of development. Participants will also have the opportunity to collaborate with one another and design their own citizen engagement initiatives, thereby putting theories learned in the course into practice.

We have partnered with the London School of Economics (LSE), Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and Participedia, three leading institutions in the Citizen Engagement field, to collaborate on the design and facilitation of this course.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I register for this MOOC?
  • Click on the “Learn for free” button above
  • Fill in your account information (name, e-mail, password) if you are not yet registered in Coursera
2. How will I know that I have successfully registered for this course?
  1. As soon as you enroll in the course, you will receive a popup message as illustrated below. You will also receive a welcome email along with a link to a pre-course survey. You will receive a reminder email two weeks before the course begins.

  2. The next time you log into Coursera, you will see a “YOUR COURSES” section with the Engaging Citizens course on the list.
3. When does the course begin?
    The official start date for the course is: March 15, 2015. The course is open for enrollment in advance, though the course site will only open on the start date.
4. What language is the course available in?
    The course is presented and closed captioned in English. Click the “cc” button on the video to view captions. English proficiency is highly recommended for an optimal learning experience.
5. What is the format of the course?
    The course is offered over a four-week period covering the following topics:

    Week 1: Citizen Engagement: What It Is and Why It Matters
    Week 2: Engaging Citizens for Improved Policymaking
    Week 3: Can Engaging Citizens Bring Better Services?
    Week 4: Innovations in Citizen Engagement
6. How can I get the most out of the course?
    To get the most out of this course, you should be an active learner. Access the lessons as often as possible. Review the videos and core readings, and complete the quizzes and peer assignments. It is also a great idea to engage with other participants through the discussion forums, meet ups and social media channels aligned with the course. For those in the Policy and Leadership track, applying what you learn in the citizen engagement project will also be vital to your learning.
7. Will I get a certificate after completing this course?
    Yes. If you successfully complete the course requirements, you will receive a Coursera Statement of Accomplishment (for students in the Citizen Engagement Champions track) or a Coursera Statement of Accomplishment: Distinction (for students in the Policy and Leadership track). See details in the ‘Course Tracks’ and ‘Assessment Structure’ sections above.
8. Do I have to do the assignments and quizzes?
    No. If you are not concerned about formally completing the course and receiving a Statement of Accomplishment, you can dip in and out of the course, make connections with others, and learn something new. You are more than welcome to do this in whatever way makes the most sense for you.
9. How long will the course site be available?
    The course will be available on the published start date, March 15, 2015, and will run for four weeks. Thereafter, the course site will be available to review for registered students for twelve months.
10. What are the technical requirements to participate in this MOOC?

    Since our MOOC offers a rich multimedia experience, a dial-up Internet connection may not be fast enough to provide a satisfactory experience. We recommend that you connect via a high-speed broadband internet connection with a minimum speed of 512 kbps.

    Operating Systems
    Windows XP and higher or Mac OS version 10.5 or higher. Other system requirements include:
    • Monitor resolution of 1024x768 or greater and a display of 256 colors from a palette of 262, 144 colors (16 bits or greater)
    • Audio speakers or headphones
    • Adobe Flash Player V7 and above (for .flv and .swf files). Click here to download the Adobe Flash Player
    • Adobe Reader 5 and above (for .pdf files). Click here to download Adobe Reader

    • Windows: Internet Explorer 8 and 9, Firefox 3.6 and above, Chrome (stable versions), and Safa 5 and above
    • Mac: Safari 5 and above, Firefox 3.6 and newer stable versions, Chrome (stable versions)
    • Enable JavaScript in your browser
    • Disable pop-up blocking for http://www.coursera.org
You will also be invited to use some free services, such as Twitter and LinkedIn, to discuss and share your work. While the recommended web services are free to use, most will require registering with a valid email address. Communicate and share resources via Twitter using hashtag #WBEngage. Sign up for a free account at http://www.twitter.com. More details will be provided when the course begins.

You can find some tips to troubleshoot technical problems from Coursera here.

Please send us an email with your question: moocsupport@worldbank.org
Thank you!