Participatory Budgeting (PB) is an innovative mechanism which aims to involve citizens in the decision-making process of public budgeting. By creating a channel for citizens to give voice to their priorities, PB can be instrumental in making the allocation of public resources more inclusive and equitable. By promoting public access to revenue and expenditure information, PB effectively increases transparency in fiscal policy and public expenditure management, reducing scope for clientelistic practices, elite capture, and corruption, thereby enhancing the government's credibility and the citizens' trust. PB can also improve service delivery by linking needs identification, investment planning, tax systems and project management. Thus, PB goes beyond a simple participatory exercise to being an integrated methodology for promoting social learning, active citizenship and social accountability, opening new ways of direct participation which complements traditional forms of representative governance.
The participatory budgeting cycle
PBF was pioneered at the municipal level in Porto Alegre, Brazil in the late 1980s, and since then reached more than 240 municipalities in Brazil. : Case study on Porto Alegre, Brazil
- A Guide to Participatory Budgeting (Wampler, Brian, 2000.) International Budget Project (109 Kb PDF)
- Acioly, C., Herzog, A. et al. (2003), Participatory Budgeting in Santo Andre: the challenges of linking short-term problem solving with long-term strategic planning in a Brazilian Municipality. Institute for Housing and Urban
- DFID Participatory Budgeting
- Harvard University (2004), Assessment of Participatory Budgeting in Brazil. Center for Urban and Development Studies/Inter-American Development Bank
- Participatory Budgeting of Porto Alegre: a discussion in the light of the principle of democratic legitimacy and of the criterion of governance performance, José Eduardo Utzig (134 Kb PDF)
- Participatory Municipal Planning & Budgeting – Country Design and Implementation Experiences. International Conference on Local Development, The World Bank, 2004
- Porto Alegre: An Interesting Example (English/Spanish): Video-session on Porto Alegre, Brazil focusing on the experience made with Participatory Budgeting in this Southern Brazilian municipality.
- UN-HABITAT (2004), 72 Frequently Questions Asked about Participatory Budgeting. Urban Governance Toolkit Series.
- World Bank, Participatory Budgeting Pilots in Albania