Activities of the Network are developed openly and collaboratively with its membership to benefit from their collective knowledge and insight, and ensure widespread ownership of the Network. Through a series of development days, surveys and one to one conversations we have developed a governance model aimed to help us make decisions and ensure the sector can effectively shape the work of the Network. Below outlines the different levels of governance and decision making within the Network.


Involve are the host organisation for the Democracy Network. They provide support, HR systems, insurance, oversight and line management to Network staff, but they also ensure sound governance and organisational infrastructure is in place.


We have a Steering group made of apx 14 representatives from our membership. They are voted on by Democracy Network members at our AGM.

  • Strategic decisions are largely made by the Steering Group and Network Staff.
  • Overarching Network objectives and plans are developed by Network staff and agreed by the Network’s Steering Group.
  • The Steering Group advises on operational decisions of the Network and acts as a sounding board
  • Network staff report on Network activity to The Steering Group including how it is achieving its objectives


We have a Council of Reference (CoR) made up from around 30 individuals representing organisations from across the democracy sector. They are invited to join via Network Staff, to represent as diverse and wide a section of the sector as possible.

  • The CoR helps ensure resources are mobilised to achieve the Networks aims in key sectors
  • The CoR is consulted with around ideas, strategy and overarching direction of the Network
  • Decisions are often made via deliberative measures to ensure collective ownership over key decisions, although we will also use surveys and iterative feedback.


Any individual or organisation can join the UK Democracy Network by providing some initial information and signing up to our value statements here.

  • Members will be consulted two to six times a year on decisions taken/proposed by the Steering Group and Network Staff.
  • Regular communication through multiple channels between the Steering Group and Network Staff to convey key messages and consult on wider sector issues with the wider membership.
  • Members can vote in the election of the steering group at the AGM


The annual meeting is both an Annual General Meeting where the Steering Group is elected, and a celebration of the Network’s members and all their hard work.


Following a call for proposals, Involve was awarded an initial three-year grant of £350,000 from the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust (JRRT), which included a contribution of £50,000 from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust (JRCT), to develop, incubate and coordinate the Democracy Network. Further funding will be sought to expand our work and other income generating activities are being explored.

Democracy Network
Democracy Network