Participatory Budgeting in Scotland: An overview of strategic design choices and principles for effective delivery

Oliver Escobar, Chris Harkins

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

Abstract / Description of output

Participatory Budgeting (PB) is a process of involving citizens in deciding how to spend public money. At its core PB is about community members shaping local services to more effectively meet local priorities. PB is motivated by the desire to democratically reallocate public money at a community level to priority services and initiatives identified by residents. PB started in Brazil in 1989 and has now spread to over 1,500 localities across the globe with around 2,700 processes taking place.

This paper aims to support the strategic and operational delivery of PB within Scotland and beyond. There have been various attempts at generating typologies to inform PB. Here we take a different approach. Instead of proposing a discrete set of models, which may be limiting and prescriptive given the diversity of community contexts, we instead outline PB design choices and delivery principles. PB delivery organisations, communities and citizens involved in the PB process can thus use the design choices and principles selectively, flexibly and reflectively as meets their specific purpose, need and context.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationGlasgow
PublisherGlasgow Centre for Population Health and What Works Scotland.
Number of pages44
Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2015

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • participatory budgeting
  • Scotland
  • public service reform
  • local democracy
  • public participation
  • democratic innovations


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