Praia Group Task Team on Participation in Political and Public Affairs

Praia Group Task Team on Participation in Political and Public Affairs

In November 2021, the Praia Group created this Task Team to help develop the methodologies and guidance needed by NSOs to compile robust and internationally harmonized statistics on various aspects of participation in political and public affairs. Co-led by the NSO of Norway, and supported by UNDP and UN Women, the Task Team is constituted by more than 100 members, including national statisticians but also other governance data practitioners from international and regional organizations, academia and civil society/advocacy organizations.


To guide its work, the Task Team adopted the working definition of ‘participation in political and public affairs’ provided in the Praia Group Handbook on Governance Statistics, which builds on Article 25 of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and several other internationally agreed normative frameworks:


Taking part in the conduct of public affairs, including by: 

  • Registering to vote, voting and standing as a candidate in elections;
  • Being members of legislative, executive and judicial bodies at all levels of government; 
  • Accessing positions in the public service; and 
  • Engaging, individually or as members of political parties and other non-governmental organizations, in political activities such as publicly expressing political opinions, campaigning, holding peaceful demonstrations or taking part in other forms of collective mobilization.


As detailed in this conceptual and measurement framework, the Task Team identified seven sub-dimensions of participation in political and public affairs, and for each, defined key areas for statistical measurement and most relevant data sources:

  1. Participation in Electoral Processes and Referendums
  2. Participation in Political and Civic Life
  3. Representation and Participation in Political Office 
  4. Representation in Judicial Bodies 
  5. Representation in Bodies of Public Service / Public Administration
  6. Representation in Informal Governance Bodies 
  7. Enabling Environment of Participation


The Task Team aims to develop two products. The first one is a model survey questionnaire (see draft), with core and optional questions, to enable the production of comprehensive survey-based statistics on Participation that are comparable across different cultures, languages and development contexts, and over time. This model questionnaire is intended to be used as stand-alone survey or as a survey module integrated in larger surveys run by NSOs. A modular approach may be favored in view of its cost-saving benefits, which is critical for NSOs to be able to produce such statistics on a regular basis. Specifically, this model questionnaire will enable the production of statistics on electoral participation and on participation in political and civic life (sub-dimensions 1 and 2 above), as well as on the enabling environment of participation (sub-dimension 7).


The second product is a Guide for NSOs and Electoral Management Bodies (EMBs) on how to improve the collection and use of the vast amount of information that is produced by EMBs through their core activities, including voter registration, registration of candidates, polling place management, counting, tabulation and dissemination of election results, and post-election assessments, as the basis for statistics on electoral and political participation.


After an expert appraisal of the draft questionnaire conducted by Statistics Norway, the cognitive testing of the questionnaire will be carried out in 2023 by selected NSOs in diverse national contexts, including Cabo Verde, Colombia, Mali, Norway, and South Africa. A revised version of the questionnaire will be field-tested in 2024.


A detailed account of the work undertaken by these two Task Teams can be found in an article published by the Statistical Journal of the International Association for Official Statistics (IAOS) – Volume 39, Issue 2.

Please contact if your NSO would like to participate in the cognitive testing of the questionnaire or if you have any question about this process.

Key Resources: Task Team on Participation

7th Meeting of the Task Team on Participation

8th meeting of the Task Team on Participation