72 Frequently Asked Questions about Participatory Budgeting(1) - 参与式工具箱 - 城市社区参与治理资源,ccpg


72 Frequently Asked Questions about Participatory Budgeting(1)

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1   What is Participatory Budgeting (PB)?  

There is no single definition, because Participatory Budgeting differs greatly from one place to the next. The present Manual will attempt to reveal this diversity. Neverthe- less, in general terms, a Participatory Budget is "a mechanism (or process) through which the population decides on, or contributes to decisions made on, the destination of all or part of the available public resources."  


Ubiratán de Souza, one of the primary people responsible for the   Participatory Bud- get in Porto Alegre (Brazil) proposes a more precise and theoretical definition that can be applied to the majority of the Brazilian cases: "Participatory Budgeting is a pro- cess of direct, voluntary and universal democracy, where the people can debate and decide on public budgets and policy. The citizens participation is not limited to the act of voting to elect the executive or the legislators, but also decides on spending priorities and controls the management of the government. He ceases to be an ena- bler of traditional politics and becomes a permanent protagonist of public administra- tion. The PB combines direct democracy with representative democracy, an   achie- vement that should be preserved and valued."5 In fact the Participatory Budget is a form of participatory democracy, in other words a combination of elements of direct or semi-direct democracy with representative democracy.  


2  When did Participatory Budgeting start?  

While there were earlier partial experiments, the PB formally came   into existence  

in 1989 in a few Brazilian cities, in particular Porto   Alegre. Outside Brazil, from 1990 onwards, in Montevideo, Uruguay, the population was invited to provide direc- tion to the use of the resources of the Municipality in its five-year plan.   




3  How have the PB experiences been expanded?  

Three large phases of expansion can be identified: the first (1989-1997) characteri- zed by experimentation in a limited number of cities; the second (1997-2000) by con- solidation in Brazil, during which over 130 cities adopted participatory budgeting; and the third (from 2000 on), by expansion and diversification, outside Brazil.

4 How many cities have participatory budgeting expe- rience at this time?

Presently, at least 300 cities worldwide have adopted this method of public adminis-tration  


      5   Where has Participatory Budgeting taken place?  

PBs primarily exist at the city, or more precisely, at the municipal level. Given the ra- pid expansion of the process, it is difficult to monitor all the experiences. Brazil con- tinues to be the primary country where PBs occur (approximately 80 per cent of the total). The countries of the Andean region (Peru, Ecuador and more recently Bo- livia and Colombia) are the second largest source of experiences. Never- theless, PB experiences do exist, to different degrees and with varying levels of formalisation, in other countries of Latin America and the Caribbean (Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Mexico). Some European ci- ties have initiated Participatory Budgeting processes (above all Spain, Italy, Germany and France) and a number of cities in Africa (for example in Cameroon) and Asia (for example in Sri Lanka) are on the verge of initiating their own processes. There are other cities and other countries which utilise other participatory mechanisms of assig- ning municipal resources which, even if they do not carry the name Participatory Bud- geting, have similar characteristics (in Kenya6, for example).  

6  In what types of cities are Participatory Budgets imple- mented?  

 Participatory Budgets are carried out in cities of all sizes, from less than 20,000 inha-bitants (Icapuíand Mundo Novo in Brazil; Rheinstetten, Germany; or Grottomare,Italy) to mega-cities like Buenos Aires or São Paulo.  They exist in rural or semi-rural municipalities (like Governador Valadares, Brazil) or totally urbanised ones(Belo Horizonte).  They also occur in municipalities with scarce public resources like Villa El Salvador in Peru (with an annual budget equal to US$20 per inhabitant)or in European cities with higher levels of funds (municipal incomes of US$2,000 per capita or more).


7   Is Participatory Budgeting only implemented at the     municipal level?

Not exclusively! Nevertheless, the great majority of Participatory   Budgets have beenand still are implemented at the municipal level,where the use of municipal funds is debated.At the sub-national level (province, region, department, state, etc.), the currently suspended experience of the State of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, which grew out of what was happening in Porto Alegre, deserves a mention. Also nota- ble are the supra-municipal initiatives in Colombia, at the provincial level (the grou- ping of los Nevados municipalities in El Tolima) or the departmental level (for exam- ple in Risaralda, since 2002).Peru has also been implementing processes at the provincial level, for example, in the provinces of Chucampas, Celendín or Moropon Chulucanas.  To date, only one country, Peru, has a National Participatory Budgeting Law applicable to all municipalities and provinces of the country.8 On the other hand,someParticipatory Budgets are initiated in or limited to a cer- tain part of the municipalit(district, zone, delegation), particularly in large cities. This was the case in Buenos Aires,and most recently in District 7 (pop. 34,000) of the city of El Alto (pop. 680,000) in Bolivia.

8   Are there regional differences in the form of implementation of the Participatory Budget?

Yes, and they are positive differences. There is no single model, nor would it be de- sirable to have one, because the experiences are the products of the reality of each region, of its local history, civic     culture, and the organization of its civil so- ciety, the available       resources and also the administrative culture of the go- vernments which administer them. In Brazil, the force of the social movements in the cities and their presence in the Workers’ Party explains why Participatory Budgets tend to be more urban. In the Andean region, the presence of Participatory Budgets in small and medium-sized municipalities has to do with the vitality ofsocial move- ments and NGOs in those areas. In Europe, Participatory Budgets allow, above all, for the modernisation of public administration linked with citizen participation.


9   What are the benefits of the Participatory Budget for the city and its citizens?

Most scholars and participants of PBs agree that one of their most   important bene- fits is the deepening of the exercise of democracy,   through the dialogue of pu- blic authorities with their citizenry. Another benefit is that Participatory Budgets ma-ke the state accountable to its citizens and contribute to the modernisation of public management. In many Latin American cases, the Participatory Budget is a tool to   re-order social priorities and promote social justice. Citizens go from being simple observers to pro- tagonists in public administration, that is to say, full, active, critical and demanding participants. In this region above all, the PB gives citizens better opportunities for ac- cess to works and services like basic sanitation, street paving, transportation impro- vements, and health and educational centres. By participating actively in the Partici- patory Budgeting process, the citizens define their priorities, and in doing so have the chance to significantly         improve their quality of life, in a relatively short timefra-me. In addition, they have the possibility to control and monitor the execution of the budget.On the other hand, the PB also stimulates processes of administrative modernisation and feeds into the strategic planning process of the municipality.  


10   What are the benefits of the Participatory Budget for       local pu- blic administration?  

The Participatory Budget:  

Improves the transparency of public administration and efficiency in public expenditures.  

Encourages citizen participation in decision-making and in the allocation and oversight the use of public funds.  

Demands increased accountability of public leaders and managers.  

Enables collective prioritisation and co-management of resources.  

Generates increased trust between the government and the population.  

Creates a democratic culture within the community and strengthens the social fabric.  


11      Who benefits from the Participatory Budget?  

All regions, neighbourhoods or sectors which participate in the discussion process benefit. As the resources available are generally inadequate to meet the volume of demands, the neighbourhoods which are well-organized and participate the most ha- ve a greater chance of benefiting more than other areas.  



Box 1:    

Porto Alegre - Results achieved in 15 years of   Partici- patory Budgeting (1989-2003)    

a.         Housing: It was possible to expand the average number of units produced locally, from 493 per year in the period 1973-1988, to 1,000 per year from 1989-2003, which allowed Porto Alegre, for the first time, to contain the growth of the housing deficit.    

b.         Street paving: The existing deficit of paved roadways was reduced from 690 km in 1998 to 390 km. In 2003, the PB helped to improve access to collective transportation and pu- blic infrastructure in the poorest areas of Porto Alegre.    

c.         Access to water and basic sanitation: The percentage of dwellings with access to treated water rose from 94.7 per cent in 1989to 99.5 per cent in 2002; the proportion with ac- cess to the municipal sewer network grew from 46 per cent in 1989 to 84 per cent in 2002; and the percentage of liquid waste that is treated went from 2 per cent in 1989 to 27.5 per cent in 2002.    

d.         Education: The number of public schools rose from 29 in 1988, to 84 in 2002, with a corresponding increase in enrolment from 17,862 students to 55,741 students. In addition, the range of educational services offered was broadened to include Adult Literacy and Youth and Adult Education, which were integrated into the public education system. Also, through the PB the Child Care Compact was created, which today reaches 126 child care institutions, ser- ving 10,000 children.    

e.         Health: Although health only appears since 2000 as one of the three priorities of the PB, public health management is an integral responsibility of the municipal government. This is in spite of the virtual freeze in the amount of the annual transfers from the central government. The Mayor today commits close to 18 per cent of the expenditures of the central administration for health, compared to an annual average of less than 10 per cent during the decade of the    


f.         Social Welfare: This area was only included in PB priorities from 1997 onwards. The various activities currently underway address a number of groups, such as people with special needs, children and youth at risk, homeless people, victims of violence, elderly in situations of abandonment, low-income families and others.    


Source: Baierle, S. in Base Document 

12    What are the dimensions of the PB?  

The Participatory Budget is a multidimensional process:  

1. Budgetary/financial dimension  

2. Participatory dimension (these two dimensions are the foundation of the process)  

3. Normative and legal-judicial dimension  

4. Spatial/territorial dimension  

5. Political/governance dimension  

              The first four dimensions are explored in the present Manual.9  



      13     Where can one find more information about the         Participa-   tory Budget?  

In general, the cities which do Participatory Budgeting also have updated websi- tes describing their own experience (See Box 2:     Participatory Budgeting web- sites). Some non-governmental organizations have specialised in one or another city. Nevertheless, the information is scarce and is generally in Spanish and/or Portu- guese.  

         In the context of the Global Campaign on Urban Governance, UN-HABITAT through the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean of the Urban Management Programme (UMP-LAC) has selected a series of resources (See Box 3: The Collec- tion of resources to     support PB and facilitate inter-regional transfers (UMP/UN- HABITAT), available at the website with the purpose of providing information and tools, which had previously been widely dispersed, in one place. These resources complement the present Manual.

        In addition, the URB-AL Network 9 on Participatory Budgeting and   Local Finance is co-ordinated by the city of Porto Alegre, and is       made up of 200 participating ci- ties and institutions. One of the objectives of the Network is the production of know- ledge and the exchange of experiences. More information is available on the websi-te



Box 2:     

                    Websites on Participatory Budgeting  

 Brazil Recife  http://www.recife.pe.gov.br    

Porto Alegre      http://www.portoalegre.rs.gov.br  


Belém       http://www.prefeituradebelem.com.br    

Belo Horizonte     http://www.prata.pbh.gov.br    

Santo André     http://www.santoandre.sp.gov.br    

Campinas     http://www.campinas.sp.gov.br    

Alvorada     http://www.alvorada.rs.gov.br    

Juiz de Fora     http://www.juizdefora.mg.gov.br    

Caxias do Sul http://www.caxias.rs.gov.br    

Icapuí http://www.icapui.ce.gov.br    

Mundo Novo http://www.mundonovo.ba.gov.br    

São Paulo www.prefeitura.sp.gov.br    

Other cities in Latin America    

México Distrito Federal, México http://www.df.gob.mx    

Buenos Aires, Argentina. http://www.buenosaires.gov.ar    

Montevideo, Uruguay.    



Introduction to the PB Resource    

Rosario, Argentina  http://www.rosario.gov.ar    

Villa El Salvador, Perú. http://www.munives.gob.pe    

Cuenca, Ecuador. http://www.cuenca.gov.ec    

Cotacachi, Ecuador. http://www.cotacachi.gov.ec    


Córdoba, España. http://www.ayuncordoba.es    

Mons, Bélgica. http://www.mons.be    

Saint Denis, Francia. http://www.villesaintdenis.fr

Palmela, Portugal. http://www.bmpinhalnovo.com http://www.cmpalmela.pt  

Bobigny, Francia. http://www.villebobigny.fr    

Pieve Emanuele, Italia. http://www.comune.pieveemanuele.mi.it    

Rheinstetten, Alemania. http://www.rheinstetten.de  

Manchester, Inglaterra www.participatorybudgeting.org.uk    

Other sites    











Box 3:    

The collection of resources to support PB and facilitate inter-regional transfers    


Four interrelated components    

(A) A Digital Library composed of three different parts: (I) an annotated bibliography of 20 ba- sic documents that are an introduction to the State of the Art. They have been selected out of 200 references; (II) a general bibliography of 130 titles, organized by cities, especially the ones that are illustrative case studies; (III) a UMP library composed of 10 titles produced by UMP and its partners. They are available in PDF format. The UMP library is completed with the ar- ticles of the special issue of Era Urbana on PB.    

(B) A set of tools composed of practical and technical instruments and laws and regulations that have been invented by the "illustrative" cities and are successfully used. With the 15 tech- nical tools included, and the examples of laws, an interested actor should be in a position to face the crucial issues that implementing a PB usually entails. He/she should find out "How to" define criteria for budget allocation,rules and functioning, examples of different PB cycles, ac- countability documents, control systems, municipal laws for transparency, etc.    

      (C) City Fact Sheets of 14 Illustrative Cities that illustrate the span of current experiences and context: size of cities, different regional differences, rate of "consolidation", level and origin of resources and variety of approaches. They invite the user to dropthe model approach and to look into the diversity, and adaptability to different local situations.    

(D) A Directory composed of three parts: (I) resource persons from the illustrative cities, (II) professionals and academics, in particular some of the authors of the basic books from the annotated bibliography, and (III) a list of the main city websites, including those of the illustra- tive cities.  

Two entry points:    

1. The present FAQ Manual, practical and as simple as possible. Users interested in more detai- led information can visit the city fact sheets. The answers to the FAQs also lead the reader to con- sult the set of tools and the digital library.    

2. The Concept Paper points the reader to the annotated bibliography, the case studies, the tools and the legal instruments. This Paper is largely conceptual but deeply rooted in practi- cal experiences. It links PB to the Global Campaign on Urban Governance and the MDGs.    



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