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The Facilitation Impact Awards (FIA) honours organisations that have used facilitation to achieve a measurable and positive impact as well as the facilitator(s) who worked with them. More about FIA
Platinum award
Regione Emilia Romagna, Participation Department
Bologna, Italy

Participatory Community of Practice


The Regione Emilia Romagna (RER) Participatory Community of Practice (CDPP) initiative is a systemic long-term ambitious process that will continue to have an institutional impact.

The core of the CDPP was created with 120 empowered and motivated public employees (181 to date) who become agents of change and co-design. The CDPP launched 12 participatory policy making projects within two years, leveraging 300.000 euro directly through the participatory call and 5 million euros indirectly through other national and EU resources.


The project also:

  • increased awareness of the power of facilitation and its impact
  • set up a continuous team building process for civil servants through mutual support and coaching on the field
  • created a team of 10 inhouse facilitators capable of running 5 participatory events and 20 working groups a year collaborating across departments and breaking the silos of over 15 departments.

Context and challenges

The RER has 4.4 million inhabitants and is one of the few Italian regions with a law that guarantees, encourages and moderates the participation of citizens and stakeholders in the RER policy making process. The Participation Department employs 5 civil servants and has a yearly budget of 600,000 euros including resources to support and leverage participatory processes.

The RER is the most active region in Italy and Europe promoting participatory processes and facilitation. Since 2004, RER civil servants have promoted hundreds participatory policy-making projects. The challenge was to connect these policy-making change-agents and strengthen the internal capabilities of RER to leverage best practices and multiply the impact of the great wealth of initiatives.

Project objectives

Create a thriving regional CDPP to consolidate the network of people who deal with participation in the RER, local authorities and associations.

Bring people together to collaborate, develop, share, learn, apply and continuously improve skills for the design, management and facilitation of participatory processes.


Facilitated processes were used throughout the launch and creation of the CDPP for several months leading to the main one day “Pianeta Partecipazione” interactive day. It involved 90 participants from 15 different policy services (senior staff), the RER Director of the Legislative Assembly and the Director of Resources, Europe, Innovation and Institutions.

Facilitation has characterized the entire CDPP RER through experiential activities based on learning by doing.