July 21, 2012

Participatory Budgeting

PARTICIPATORY BUDGETING is a decision-making process in which community members decide how to spend parts of a public budget. It allows citizens to identify, discuss and prioritize public spending projects and gives them the power to make real decisions about how money is spent. While the model is flexible and various forms exist, the basic process involves citizens in the analysis, deliberation, decision-making, implementation and monitoring of public spending.

A sample general mode might include:

1. Local officials give guidance on general budget guidelines and may specify spending ceiling.
2. Residents identify and prioritize local needs and brainstorm ideas to respond to these needs.
3. Residents develop concrete projects that address the identified needs.
4. Residents vote for which of these projects should receive funding given budget constraints.
5. The government implements the chosen projects.
6. Residents monitor the implementation of these public spending projects.

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