Category Archives: Participatory budgeting

First example of participatory budgeting on the national level

[Written by Luis Roberto Vera, trainee in the Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS]

After a decade of regional level participatory budgeting event that started in 2008, Portugal is currently developing its first participatory budgeting (hereafter PB) project on a national scale. The initiative is called Participatory Budgeting Portugal (PBP).

PBP differs from other forms of PB not just on the level of applicability. Its budget was formally approved by Portugal’s National Senate, followed by creation of the Charter of Quality of Participatory Budgeting Portugal. This charter focuses on principles such as public regulation, continuity, transparency, deliberative and binding character, education for citizenship, equal access, among others[1]. Similarly, PBP aims at integration that motivates “participation, engagement, trust and loyalty through law.” (Meira, 2018: 280).

 

Procedure and resources

The deadline for submission of PBP projects was 24 April 2018, and voting will take place from 11 June to 30 September 2018.

The budget for 2018 will be € 5’000,000. It will be divided between 8 allocations: 7 allocations for regions, and one for the national level. 16 projects will be selected – around two projects per allocation. Winning projects could be started during 2018, but must not exceed 24 months for completion.

Citizens over the age of 18 have two votes available: one for their region, and another for the national project. Foreigners legally residing in Portugal can also participate in the procedure. Votes can be cast in person in registered polls, online, or via SMS. A national identification card and number are required to participate in the voting process.

After the submission period ended, the proposed ideas were analysed, and rejected if  “technically unenforceable”, deemed overly vague, or exceeded the amount of € 300,000[2]. For PBP 2018, a total of 692 projects are up for a vote; 419 on a regional level, and 273 on the national level. The main areas of the participatory budgeting: culture, science, education and adult training (in mainland Portugal), while the autonomous regions of Madeira and Azores focuses more on justice and internal affairs (ibid: 284). Other areas include health, sports education, environment, agriculture, national defence, social welfare, and tourism [3].

The following are four project examples taken from the pool of 273 PBP ideas, applicable on the national scale and published at opp.gov.pt:

 

TOPIC IDEA DESCRIPTION AREA BUDGET TERM
School of Trades — A Study to Relaunch Trades To tackle the shortage of technical professions and crafts in Portugal with courses, support of craftsmen and promotion of their professions Science, Technology and Higher Education

 

€ 28,428.00 18 months
National Reforestation Plan Rehabilitation of areas damaged (Pinhal de Leiria, Pedrogão, Urso, Dunas de Quiaios, Margaraça, and Covilhã National Forests) by the forest fires of 2017 Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development € 300,000.00 24 months
EBOOK Where You Want — National Digital Reading Platform Creation of a national, online-accessible e-book lending platform. Lending services of e-readers and tablets Culture € 300,000.00 24 months
Ocean Donut – Marine Waste Collection Station Construction of marine waste collection stations. They will be made with 100 % recycled plastic. Start a communication platform on the causes and consequences of ocean pollution Oceans € 300,000.00 24 months

An Excel spreadsheet with 20 examples selected randomly is available here (PBP 2018 National Projects).

 

Communicating PBP

PBP has a main web page (opp.gov.pt). General information about PB in Portugal is available on that website, along with the 692 projects. They are listed randomly, but can be filtered by scope (regional or national) or by area. There is an informative video that explains the step-by-step process of the voting.

Information about PBP has been circulating in various media since 2017;  while some attention has also been given by internationally, priority has been given to national promotion. Apart from traditional media coverage and publicity, PBP also has relatively active Facebook and Instagram accounts, with a small following (Facebook: 8858; Instagram: 319). Similarly, the main platform of opp.gov.pt provides all the necessary information that could make an average citizen familiar with the process.

Sources:

Meira Costa, Jorge (2018). “Participatory Budgeting (Portugal) as a marshalling legal process to formally and democratically defining European Monetary System and Policy” in Economic Alternatives, issue 2, 279-295[7].

 

[1]Retrieved from: https://pbscotland.scot/blog/2017/9/26/charter-of-quality-for-participatory-budgeting-in-portugal

[2] The exact criteria can be found in opp.gov.pt’s FAQ section (in Portuguese only).

[3]Retrieved from: http://www.wri.org/wri-citiesforall/publication/porto-alegre-participatory-budgeting-and-challenge-sustaining

Advertisements

Information on recent participatory budgeting events in Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries

[Information collected  by Luis Roberto Vera, trainee in the Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS]

The text is available in the PDF format here (PBSpanishPortuguese)

 

Which Spanish/Portuguese speaking countries are running participatory budgeting events?

  2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010
Spain
Portugal
Brazil
Mexico no data no data no data no data
Guatemala[6]
El Salvador no data no data no data no data no data no data no data no data no data
Honduras no data no data no data no data no data no data no data
Nicaragua no data no data no data no data no data no data
Costa Rica no data no data no data no data
Panamá no data no data no data no data no data no data
Cuba no data no data no data no data no data no data
Dominican Republic no data no data no data no data no data
Colombia no data no data
Venezuela no data no data no data
Ecuador
Peru
Bolivia no data no data no data no data no data no data no data no data no data
Chile no data
Argentina no data no data no data
Paraguay no data no data no data no data no data no data no data
Uruguay no data no data no data no data no data

 

Of all the listed countries, El Salvador applied PB in the early 90s as a series of “post-conflict initiatives seeking to repair societal divisions and build linkages to the state,” utilizing donations from USAID, not local funding[7].

 

Data on what resources (the amount) allocated by citizens in such events

 

  2018
Spain

Madrid

Other regions

 

Around 100 million euros

no data

Portugal 5 million euros
Brazil

Porto Allegre

Santos

Caruaru

Lagoa

 

No data

No data

No data

300,000 euros

Mexico

Guadalajara

 

Mexico City

 

220 million MXN [about 11.6 million USD]

To be determined

Guatemala 7 million GTQ[8] [about 935, 165 USD]
Costa Rica no data
Argentina no data
Dominican Republic no data
Colombia 209,000 million COP [about 7’185,211 USD]
Venezuela* 32’600,000 VEF [around 271 USD]
Ecuador no data
Peru 151’288,245 PEN [around 46’162,582 USD]
Chile 50 million CLP [around 77800 USD]
Uruguay No data

 

How many participatory budgeting events have been held in Spanish/Portuguese speaking countries during recent years? 

  2018 2017 2016
Spain

Madrid[1]

 

Other regions (mainly Andalucía, Murcia and Catalunya

 

1, municipal level

 

At least 2 (Zaragoza, Valladolid) insufficient data

 

1, municipal level

 

19, (approximately)[2]

 

1, municipal level

 

No data

Portugal

(all regions)

80, municipal level

1, national level

50, regional level[3] At least 1 (Braga), insufficient data[4]
Brazil

Porto Allegre

Santos

Caruaru

Lagoa

Other regions

 

 

1, municipal level

1, municipal level

1, municipal level

At least 5

 

Suspension of PB[5]

1, municipal level

1, municipal level

1, municipal level

At least 5

 

1, municipal level

1, municipal level

1, municipal level

1, municipal level

At least 5

Mexico

Guadalajara

 

Mexico City

 

1, municipal level

 

1, city-level (approved). To be implemented in 2019

 

1, municipal level

 

No data

 

1, municipal level

 

[Test period 2015-16]

 

Guatemala At least 3, municipal level At least 1, municipal level At least 3, municipal level
Costa Rica At least 1, municipal level At least 1, regional level (7 towns) At least 1, regional level (7 towns)
Panama No data At least 1, municipal level At least 1, municipal level
Venezuela 4, regional level At least 2, regional level At least 2, regional level
Ecuador At least 2, municipal level At least 1, regional level At least 2, regional level
Peru At least 1, regional level At least 1, regional level At least 3, regional level
Chile 17, municipal level At least 5, municipal level At least 5, municipal level
Argentina

Buenos Aires

Rosario

Casilda

 

No data

1, municipal level

1, municipal level

 

1, municipal level

1, municipal level

No data

 

1, municipal level

1, municipal level

No data

Uruguay

Montevideo

At least 1, municipal level No data At least 1, municipal level
Paraguay No data No data No data

 

It is worth mentioning that while data is scarce, countries like Costa Rica, Paraguay, Ecuador and Peru have implemented PB policies aimed at indigenous peoples, with the intention of including them in decision-making practices, and to revitalize their trust in political institutions.

 

 

 

 

 

[1] Retrieved from: https://www.eldiario.es/madrid/madrilenos-pueden-proyectos-presupuestos-participativos_0_644285695.html

[2] Retrieved from: https://presupuestosparticipativos.com/2017/01/02/los-presupuestos-participativos-en-el-estado-espanol/

[3] Retrieved from: https://opp.gov.pt/winners2017

[4] The site http://www.encuentroiberico.com/ argues that in 2016, Portugal was the European country with most PB events. However, there is no hard data to back the claim.

[5] Retrieved from: https://gauchazh.clicrbs.com.br/porto-alegre/noticia/2017/04/suspensao-das-assembleias-coloca-em-xeque-orcamento-participativo-de-porto-alegre-9762659.html

[6] Retrieved from: https://cerigua.org/article/complace-formulacion-de-presupuesto-participativo/

[7] Blair, Harry (2013). “Participatory budgeting and local governance” in The Imperative of Good Local Governance: Challenges for the Next Decade of Decentralization (Tokyo: United Nations University Press, 2013), 145-178.

[8] Retrieved from https://www.pressreader.com/guatemala/prensa-libre/20180413/281865824054508

* Developed by donations from the Banesco bank, not public funds.