Participatory budgeting: the opportunities and limitations of what Civic Tech can do

Panthea Lee

20 Mar 2019, 9:30 a.m.
Room CC9, Level -1 (Conference Centre)

Participatory budgeting has been widely lauded as an effective process to strengthen democracy — one that can improve service delivery while increasing trust, engagement, transparency, and accountability between citizens and governments.

Reboot, a social innovation firm specialising in governance and development issues, was engaged by the Hewlett Foundation in early 2018 to understand and explore new mechanisms to advance participatory budgeting efforts. Researching in four diverse local contexts, they encountered many approaches to implementation, both online and offline, and evaluated the potential for participatory budgeting to deliver on the ambitious objectives that have garnered its global reputation.

Pulling insights from Reboot’s immersion in cities across Madagascar, Spain, Mexico, and South Korea, co-founder Panthea Lee offers a deep dive into whether, and how, technologies can enhance the unique value proposition of participatory budgeting initiatives. She shares recommendations around the opportunities and limitations of Civic Tech, and how the community can co-design technologies that will support participatory budgeting as a tool for civic education, strengthening our democracies along the way.