Participatory Budgeting Experiences in Venezuela

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On July 20-22 there was a conference in Caracas on participatory
budgeting experiences in Venezuela, organized by the Centro
Internacional Miranda. Some of the
powerpoint presentations on the PB processes in different Venezuelan
municipalities are now available on the Examples page.

A couple observations of interesting techniques used in the Venezuelan PBs:
– In Iribarren, there is a first round of training and information
workshops throughout the city focused on explaining the city budget and
the PB process, and *only* those residents who attend the training
workshops can participate in the latter rounds of budget deliberation
and decision-making. The purpose of this requirement is to ensure that
participants are sufficiently informed about the budget before making
decisions.
– In Merida and Iribarren, organized community and district walks are
designated as a full phase of the PB process, rather than an additional
activity. PB delegates and staff spend at least one day visiting
potential project sites in their area before proceeding with the budget
process.
– Venezuela’s newly forming Communal Councils are gradually being
incorporated into the PB processes. The councils, which are being
organized at the very local neighborhood level, are being used to
mobilize PB participation and help identify local needs and projects to
propose through the PBs.

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