Participatory Budgeting

Thursday the 16th of February 2023 

11:00 (New York) / 17:00 (Paris)

Budgeting, i.e., the allocation of money or other sparse resources to specific projects, is one of the key decisions any political body or organization has to take. Participatory budgeting was developed in the 1990s in Porto Alegre, Brazil, as a method for making such decisions in a more democratic way, by putting the selection of projects to be funded to a vote. It has found rapid adoption worldwide, in particular at the municipal level. Nevertheless, it is still a comparatively new tool for democratic decision-making and many questions about its benefits and drawbacks as well as the best way to implement it remain open. Our meet-up offers a chance to discuss these questions with leading researchers from various disciplines and with practitioners that bring participatory budgeting to life in their municipality.

Professor of Global Studies and Political Science
(Boise State University) 

Participatory Budgeting is one of the world’s most widely used citizen participation programs. Created in Brazil in the late 1980s, it is now found everywhere from Kenya to Paris to Indonesia to Mexico City. In this brief presentation, Dr. Brian Wampler will discuss PB’s core tenets, key adaptations to internal rules (along time and spatial dimensions), and relevant impact-related findings. PB programs often work better when governments and their civil society allies are able to combine broader democratizing goals with specific project implementation. 

Skadi Renooij                         Renske Poelma

Program Manager "Democratisation"              Project Leader "Neighbourhood Budget South"(Municipality of Amsterdam

Participatory Budgeting is implemented in the seven districts of the city of Amsterdam as an instrument for its democratisation agenda. In district South the participatory budgeting project “Neighbourhood budget South” started in 2020 and is currently running its third year. Program manager Democratisation, Skadi Renooij discusses the motivation to use this instrument and the specific approach used. Project leader Neighbourhood budget South, Renske Thalia Poelma will discuss the case of a specific neighbourhood to highlight how this instrument is implemented, with experiences from the field. A very brief reflection on its successes and shortcomings will surely spark discussion!