Giving poor communities a say in how public money is spent
About participatory budgeting
Participatory budgeting (PB) was pioneered in Brazil to involve people at a grassroots level in deciding how new public investment should be best spent. Many local authority consultation processes give little reason for people to turn out except to demand lower taxes. PB establishes a process in which the effects of people’s participation are directly seen in policy change, more effective spending or different spending priorities. PB is not just a consultation exercise, but rather an embodiment of direct, deliberative democracy. Where PB has been instituted effectively there have been real improvements in the lives of the poorest.
Church Action on Poverty and participatory budgeting
Church Action on Poverty and the Community Pride Initiative jointly created the PB Unit, which worked successfully at developing participatory budgeting in Britain for six years until 2012. The PB Unit was the lead agency on participatory budgeting for the government. In July 2007, citing our pilot work, Hazel Blears, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, announced that all local authorities should be doing some form of PB within five years. Since then, PB has happened in over 150 different places
Now the work of the PB Unit is being taken forward by the PB Network and the PB Partners:
- The PB Network exists to promote the use of PB across the UK. It acts as a hub for information and research on PB in the UK and internationally, to resource further advocacy and the growth of PB. The Network builds on the success of the previous work promoting PB across the UK by the PB Unit, Oxfam, Church Action on Poverty and thousands of PB practitioners. You can get involved on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
- The PB Partners provide expert support to communities and local public budget holders to develop participatory budgeting. Click here to visit the PB Partners website.
Visit the PB Unit's own website
A series of videos showing the changes made by PB in communities
See stories of PB projects already taking place.
Latest news from the PB Unit