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For Municipalities

Set up a participatory budget

08. Bürgerhaushalt.jpg
Released by unsplash.com Max Böttinger @maxboettinger

What's the use of participatory budgeting?

Participatory budgeting meets two important trends that municipalities are currently encountering: Citizens who want to be more involved and municipal coffers who are empty. Many municipal expenditures are mandatory and are not up for discussion. However, there is room for manoeuvre when it comes to voluntary benefits: will the youth club be renovated or the open-air swimming pool? Will the equipment on the playground be replaced? Will the Kultursommer take place again next year? What should money be spent on and where should savings be made?

With participatory budgeting, it is a question of jointly considering which municipal measures the public funds should be spent on. The best way to do this is with adhocracy+. Citizens* can submit proposals for projects or savings. These ideas are checked by the employees of the administration to see whether they are within the area of responsibility of the administration and whether they can be legally implemented. At the end, the local council or the local parliament decides on the submitted proposals within the framework of budget planning.

District funds and neighbourhood funds function in a similar way. Here a fixed budget is available which the citizens can freely dispose of. Here a citizens' committee decides on the applications.

In order for many people to participate, the submission of ideas must be uncomplicated and the procedure transparent. adhocracy+ offers you the digital space for this. Submitted contributions can be viewed and discussed publicly. You can also vote on all/selected contributions. This is how citizens enter into dialogue with each other.

Process

The process for participatory budgeting is strongly dependent on the structures and workflows of administration and politics. The following four phases serve as orientation:

  1. Preparation phase: If the key points for the process are clear, it takes 1 to 2 hours to set up online participation.
  2. Participation phase: This phase for submitting, commenting on and evaluating proposals can take place continuously with deadlines for the respective financial year or over several months. 
  3. Evaluation phase: The evaluation and examination of the submitted ideas takes place parallel to the participation by the administration or a responsible committee.
  4. Decision: Budget debate and budget resolution are carried out by Parliament.

Modules used by adhocracy+

Participatory Budgeting

icon_buergerhaushalt a+@2x.pngParticipants can submit their own suggestions, mark them on a map, and add a budget. The ideas of others can be discussed and rated (pro/contra).

Estimated effort

It takes about 1 to 2 hours to set up the participatory budget on adhocracy+. In addition, you have to plan time to review the ideas, forward them to the responsible offices and committees and give feedback to the citizens. Depending on the number of contributions submitted, this effort will amount to approx. 1-3 hours per week.

Participatory budget Treptow-Köpenick

Bürgerhaushalt_Treptow.pngThe Berlin district of Treptow-Köpenick introduced a participatory budget in 2003. With the introduction of the Berlin participation platform mein.berlin.de, it has also been possible to submit proposals digitally since 2015.

Participatory budget Altglienicke 2019

Kiezkasse.pngIn addition to the participatory budget, the district has set up seven neighbourhood funds. In 2019, a budget of almost 10,000 euros was available for the Kiezkasse in Altglienicke. Ideas for the use of these funds could be submitted online:

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