Introduction and information on participatory budgeting

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Introduction

Participatory budgeting is a process in which the residents if a city or other jurisdiction actually make decisions about how some portion of the city budget is spent. It is distinct from more common processes in which residents are consulted, but the decision is still reserved for elected representatives or hired staff.

Generally such decision-making is limited to a discretionary portion of the budget, and in some insistances only applies to special districts.

The city of Porte Allegre in Brazil made the issue famous with its intensive process, but some form of participatory budget is in use in many cities around the world. It is by far most common in Latin America, but is also in use in a few locations in Europe and Canada. We are not aware of any jurisdiction in the United States that uses participatory budgeting.

Resources

participatory budgeting

United Nations: 72 Questions and Answers on Participarty Budgeting

Bringing Budgets Alive, participatory budgeting in practice

The Wampler Guide to Participatory Budgeting

The World Bank on Participatory Budgeting

participatory budgeting in the UK

Participatory budgeting in Porto Alegre: Toward a redistributive democracy

Wikipedia entry on participatory budgeting

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