The Key Ideas

#22 Use participatory budgeting where budgets are being set

Increasingly widely used by citizens across Scotland (although not 'mainstreamed' into government institutions), participatory budgeting involves citizens and affected groups being involved in the process of creating budgetary priorities. The process is deliberative—people don't just 'vote' for what they want money spent on but think together about the consequence of what money therefore wouldn't be spent on. Participatory budgeting not only improves the quality of the budgeting process, it also helps communities to learn about and understand the complexity of managing competing priorities when allocating resource. Just as with mini-publics, public sector organisations should be required to use some form of participatory budgeting whenever they are required to set budgets, or should produce a written statement of why this has not been done.