Participatory budgeting is a process through which citizens of South Brazil present their demands and priorities for civic improvement, and influence budget allocations made by their municipalities.

Brazil's participatory budgeting program

Government budget processes in any country are often daunting to comprehend or engage with.

Since the late 1980s in one of the largest cities in Brazil, citizens have been negotiating how government funding is allocated in their municipalities. Though citizen delegates and large assembly meetings held in all manner of public spaces (including circus tents and gyms) over 40,000 everyday people from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds are influencing how government money is spent.

These processes have led to more funding for: schools, public housing, water and sewerage connections. ‘Participatory Budgeting’ has since been adopted by over 5,000 other municipalities in Brazil.

Image source: flickr

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