Participatory budgeting meets two important trends that our democracy is currently facing: Citizens who want to be more involved and municipal coffers who are empty. Many municipal expenditures are mandatory and not open to 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? What should money be spent on and where should savings be made?
It can make sense to combine participatory budgeting with a citizens' council. At random (approx. 60-100) citizens are selected, the proposals for a participatory budget are worked out and addressed to the politicians, e.g. in the form of a report on the party programme. Politicians are not necessarily more competent in every field. Suggestions from citizens can help to remedy this situation.
With participatory budgeting, it is a question of jointly considering for which regional measures the public funds should be spent. The best way to do this is with adhocracy+. Citizens can submit proposals for projects or savings. At the end of the day, the politicians decide on the proposals submitted within the framework of budget planning. District funds and district funds function in a similar way. Here a fixed budget is available for the citizens* to decide on.
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.
The process for participatory budgeting is strongly dependent on the structures and workflows of administration and politics. The following four phases serve as orientation:
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.
The citizens' meeting was an exercise in deliberative democracy. With the help of expert, impartial and objective advice, 100 citizens discussed topics of electoral reform. Their conclusions formed the basis for recommendations to the chambers of the Oireachtas.