There is great saying which defines Participatory Budgeting:
if it feels like we have decided, it is PB. If it feels like someone else has decided, it is not
Done properly, Participatory Budgeting is a decision about the use of a public budget, and involves real decision making with, by and for the public.
We believe PB is good for our democracy – it makes you feel good too! It is empowering for citizens and makes public servants feel proud to adopt highly participatory and empowering processes.
Whether you are co-designing services, de/re commissioning services, or developing greater involvement of the public in your overarching governance processes, PB can be a great democratising tool. It shouldn’t be a one off event though, so do have a chat with us about what is involved in delivering effective and successful PB, or pop along to the PB Network site where you can find a range of resources to help you: http://pbnetwork.org.uk
We are in the second generation of PB according to the latest research in Scotland, and have a PB Network to help share tools and techniques across sectors. What are you waiting for? Let us help you build a more participatory democracy!
Our bespoke support has secured great results for a number of clients who wanted innovative forms of commissioning.
- We have used it to support local people set up a domestic violence drop in centre from scratch: Wythenshawe PB Case Study.
- We have used it to prepare meaningful ‘options’ for significant change in health commissioning: NECS Urgent Care PB Case Study, and used it to de/re commissioning youth services: Brent PB Case Study.
- Some areas have used significant funds to distribute across a large geographical area, and trained people in those areas to develop their own processes of PB: Cheshire East PB Case Study and Greater Manchester PB Case Study
If you are thinking about participatory budgeting and need to know a bit more about it, you could start by listening to what members of the PB Network say it is (academics and practitioners):
Our Director, Susan Ritchie, is the current Acting Chair for the PB Network, and a passionate believer in PB as a method to really change the way we make decisions with communities.
You might also want to see what a typical ‘small grants PB event’ looks like, in which case check out some of these great events that our clients have delivered with our support: