The Participatory Budgeting Project

A project which enables citizen decision-making in the budgeting process

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Web http://www.watsonblogs.org/participatorybudgeting/aboutpb.html
Maturity

In development

About the project Edit

The Participatory Budget Project was launched in 2009 by Josh Lerner and Gianpaolo Baiocchi and we incorporated as a non-profit organization in 2011. It is characterized by a bottom-up decision-making process, where diverse stakeholders work at implementing participatory budgets in their communities.

"The Participatory Budgeting Project is a project that supports participatory budgeting in North America. Participatory budgeting is a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. Various city governments that have opened up decisions around municipal budgets, such as overall priorities and choice of new investments, to citizen assemblies. In other cases, states, counties, schools, universities, housing authorities, and coalitions of community groups have used participatory budgeting to open up spending decisions to democratic participation.

Community members make budget decisions through an annual series of local assemblies and meetings. Although there are many models of participatory budgeting, most follow a basic process: diagnosis, discussion, decision-making, implementation, and monitoring.

Residents identify local priority needs, generate ideas to respond to these needs, and choose budget representatives for each community.
These representatives discuss the local priorities and develop concrete projects that address them, together with experts.
Residents vote for which of these projects to fund.
The government implements the chosen projects.
Residents monitor the implementation of budget projects.

For example, if residents identify recreation spaces as a priority, their budget representatives might develop a proposal for a new basketball court. The residents would then vote on this and other proposals, and if they approve the basketball court, the city pays to build it."

Themes

In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

What is the social value of this project? Edit

This project has a lot of benefits. It lets citizens have their word on how the budget is allocated, making for decisions that would otherwise not be taken because authorities are not knowledgeable of some citizens' needs. It also develops more active and politically engaged citizens and makes governments more accountable to the public.

What is the potential of this project to expand and develop? Edit

What was the triggering factor of this project? Edit

The first participatory budgeting project was launched in 1989, in Porto Alegre. The project yielded impressive results. Since then, PB initiatives have spread to over 1,200 cities in Latin America, North America, Asia, Africa, and Europe.

What is the business model of this project? Edit


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