Today we’re publishing our Learning Report for Digital Participatory Budgeting in Scotland.
We are working with the Scottish Government and a wider group of organisations, helping councils and communities to set up and run participatory budgeting in their communities.
Participatory budgeting is a way for communities to decide how money is spent – proposing ideas, discussing them and voting on them. The Scottish Government sees this work as part of its efforts to give communities more powers to take forward their own priorities and ambitions and has been supporting PB since 2014.
Demsoc’s work for the Scottish Government started in 2016. Since then, we’ve helped a growing number of communities and local authorities to plan, set up and deliver digital participatory budgeting, where citizens can take part in PB online.
Our Learning Report brings together our observations and reflections on that work. See a PDF version of the report
Our work so far
Our work started with an initial investigation into platforms that councils and community groups could use for participatory budgeting online. We were then involved in helping to put the findings of that work into use, supporting councils and neighbourhoods with digital PB. Phases 2, 3 and 4 of our work were hands-on, helping to train and support the development of individual communities and councils to hold online participation processes.
What’s in the report?
The report shares a host of observations from that work – reflecting on each. It includes learning from different aspects of our work, including:
- Working together as part of a wider programme
- The skills and development doing digital participation requires from local authorities and communities
- The technology and platforms for digital participation
- Sustainability for digital participatory budgeting
What’s happening now?
This year marks an important moment for the development of the PB programme – as we look forward to making PB a mainstream activity for councils and communities across Scotland.
Everyone involved in the programme – from individual citizens interested in PB, the Scottish Government, Local Government, delivery partners for the programme – is thinking about how that can happen. A workshop looked at some of the themes of this debate in more detail – you can find out more about that on the PB Scotland website.
The report helps to contribute to this conversation. In particular, thinking about how we can make digital PB sustainable – ensuring that platforms, expertise and support are available beyond our involvement. That’s also a focus for the work we’re doing now. While we’re continuing to support communities and councils to do digital PB, we are also busy creating a set of materials for learning and development for digital PB, and providing research and insight into how digital participation can flourish in Scotland.
Stay tuned for more!
You’ll see blog posts, podcasts and a host of other materials as they’re created – we’ll share them on this blog, with the tag Digital PB.
If you’re interested in the work, have any questions about the report – or are from a council or community group looking to do digital PB please contact us! Email Kelly McBride and Annie Cook – firstname.lastname@example.org