72 Frequently Asked Questions about Participatory Budgeting(5) - 参与式工具箱 - 城市社区参与治理资源,ccpg


72 Frequently Asked Questions about Participatory Budgeting(5)

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59 How and when should the Participatory Budget process be formalised and legalised?  

In the majority of Brazilian cities, the Participatory Budget is not institutionalised nor legalised. It depends on the will of the local government, and the mobilisation and desire of the population. The Rules of Procedure elaborated by both parties defines the principal rules of the game. The reason given for not institutionalising the PB is in order to preserve the dynamics of the process, and avoid both bureaucratisation and political co-optation. The annual discussions to modify the Rules of Procedure and adjust them to the local reality allow for the self-regulation of the process and preserve its creative nature. On the other hand, there is a greater risk in tying the permanence of the Participatory Budget to the electoral results of a given party.   

In the majority of non-Brazilian cities, the Participatory Budget is regulated and institutionalised by municipal orders or decrees approved53 by the City Council and/or drafted by the Mayor. To avoid "top-down" decision-making, some cities legalise the process after one or two years of functioning and even then only legalise those elements that are considered essential to consolidate the process without affecting its dynamic nature.  

60 What aspects of the Participatory Budget should be inscribed in a legal framework?  

The answer has to be tailored to the existing legal conditions and normative frameworks. Nevertheless, at least the following elements can be legalised, in order to ensure the continuity of the PB while preserving the flexibility and evolutionary nature of the process.   

. Municipal decree recognising the participatory process as a form of municipal administration   

. Insertion of the Participatory Budget in the Municipal Finance Law or the Organic Municipal Law (where they exist)   

. Designated budgetary line voted on and approved.   

. Provision of resources for the municipal Participatory Budget team, aiming at ensuring adequate functioning of the administrative machinery.   

. Vote and approval by the City Council on the "budgetary matrix" prepared during the process. Publication of the result and the corresponding amounts in the "Official Gazette" or other official publication.   

. Municipal by-law relating to the composition and prerogatives of the "Participatory Budget and Public Works Monitoring Commission". This by-law can be modified and added to as needed.  

61 Is it necessary for the Participatory Budget to be related to a Development Plan (long-term, strategic or physical)?  

It is not absolutely necessary, and several Participatory Budgets are not, above all because these plans do not exist at the municipal level. However, it is highly recommended for them to be linked. In this way, short-term decisions which could be disadvantageous to the city in the long-term, can be avoided. 


62 How can the Participatory Budget be tied to urban planning instruments?54  

Various cities have opted for tying the Participatory Budget to city planning proces ses, innovating complementary paths and strengthening the PB itself. Two typical situations occur:   

The first situation has to do with cities that have Development Plans and in which the Participatory Budget comes after the approval of such plans. In this case, the PB "is inserted within the Sustainable Development Plan, the Master Plan and the Physical Master Plan" .55 In  several cities, the Participatory Budget has become an instrument for the selective implementation of the Plan. To facilitate the link, the municipality should make an effort in educating and training the participants in the Participatory Budget on the content of those plans. At the time of the technical appraisal of the requested projects, the municipal technicians examine the compatibility of the demands with the existing plans.   

The second situation relates to cities where Strategic Urban Development Plans do not exist, or where they are obsolete and/or not applied. In these cases Participatory Budgets are a first step towards participatory planning of the city. Upon elaborating these long-term plans, the needs and concerns of the population are integrated. This situation has been very common in Brazil.  

63 Who makes the link between the long-term plans and the Participatory Budget?   

Those who make this link are, first of all, the citizens who participate in both processes. The links between the short and long-term56 perspectives are the delegates, council members and representatives who act in both arenas. In Porto Alegre, for example, the councillors of the PBC are, at the same time, representatives (not the only ones) of the Urban Master Plan Council. On the one hand, this allows them to draw on immediate demands when debating about the future of the city, and on the other, these same representatives/delegates conduct the discussions about the Master Plan within the Participatory Budget Process.   

If the role of the citizen is central, the ordering and integrating role of the local government should be valued. It is the responsibility of the public authority to create an integrated system of participation which links diverse channels and spaces of debate and in particular, long-term plans and the Participatory Budget.


64 Are there eva luation mechanisms or systems for the Participatory Budget?   

There are very few, and even though there are incipient efforts57, there is a clear deficit in eva luation resources given the multiplicity of experiences in various regions. The eva luation of 103 Brazilian58 experiences, the documentation of 25 international cases parting from a common model 59 in the context of the Urb-al Network 9, and a study on participation and PB in Europe are three initiatives which use a common body of variables and criteria.  



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