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DEEP Democracy

DEEP Democracy

We believe that everyone should have a say in how our society and our communities work. In order to close the 'representation gap' we need to understand why certain groups are less likely to participate than others, and adapt our services accordingly.

For any group we want to help engage, our approach is the same. The approach, which we call DEEP Democracy, is structured around a comprehensive concept of participation that recognises the need to address the drivers of participation, not just participation itself.

DEEP Democracy model of participation

DEEP Democracy means..

  • Discussion: we promote and enable discussion of policy and politics. Active discussion has been shown to be a driver of democratic participation.
  • Education: we deliver information and interactive education on policies. When people have access to better information and engage with issues, evidence shows they are more likely to engage in democratic processes.
  • Empowerment: we provide positive messaging to empower people, focusing on the value of political participation, information about rights and accountabilities, as well as examples of where participation has created impact.
  • Participation: we encourage participation in community, local democracy and national democratic activities. We signpost ways to engage and take action.

Evidence from research (see BBC Media Action and TNS Global) shows that each of these activities promote informed participation, and that this engagement is positive for individuals, communities and societies. Together, they enable sustainable democratic engagement, and this is why they underpin the delivery of our strategy.


We believe the UK will be a fairer, happier, healthier place when democratic participation is stronger and everyone has a say.