43 citizens help shape Melbourne City Council’s $5 billion, 10-year financial plan
Professor John Dryzek, from the University of Canberra, is a world expert on deliberative democracy. He says there’s been an “explosion” of citizens’ forums in the past decade, and experience has proven lay people worthy of the task. “All you need to do is give people time,” Dryzek says. “Give them access to information, enable them to ask questions of the experts and people really can get their head around incredibly complex issues.”
15 Participatory Budgeting projects that give power to the people
“To create vibrant communities, people need to share in the decisions that affect them. This is true for neighborhoods, cities, and beyond. Participatory budgeting, in which people decide together how a portion of a government’s (or organization’s) budget is spent, is a proven way to give decision-making power to the people. It enables citizens to play an active role in shaping their community and creates more transparent governments.”
On 27th September 2018 the Open Government Cymru network held a webinar on participatory budgeting. The webinar heard from four amazing speakers from Scotland, Portugal, Northern Ireland and Wales, who have all worked collaboratively with their local communities, local authorities and governments to help develop and deliver participatory budgeting (PB) projects that demonstrate the positive impact this approach can have on people’s everyday lives. View the notes and recording here:
The PB Network has lots of useful resources and information.
This report describes how Community Pride Initiative have tried to use the principles of participatory budgeting, as developed in Brazil, to improve the way public money is used in Greater Manchester. It outlines how to create added value from adopting participatory budgeting ideas and shows that it is possible to operate participatory budgets using no more than a few per cent of the annual revenue budget of a Local Authority. With a positive approach, that money can bring about substantial changes in established ways of working. It outlines the necessary preconditions for participatory budgeting, and gives a detailed outline of how it works in practice, describing the key elements and stages of a participatory budgeting process.
Read the full report from Oxfam.