Update from Porto Alegre

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Sergio Baierle, from the NGO CIDADE, just published a critical report
on the status of Porto Alegre’s PB. See the summary below, or the full
report at:

http://www.ongcidade.org/site/php/noticias/noticias.php?area=artigos&completa&id_noticia=1021


Whittling down the Potential of Participatory Budgeting?

by Sérgio Baierle
2008-08-19
“PB is still alive!”, The government repeatedly and publicly claims, as
if it is trying to convince itself. There are doubts about the validity
of its statement, the most serious of which have been pointed out by
participatory budgeting council members themselves. How can one defend
the idea that PB still exists, they say, if 1) The decisions made by
people do not translate into more resources being allocated in the
Investment Plan?; 2) The neighborhoods that haven’t prioritized certain
themes receive more of those resources than those that prioritize
them?; and 3) When it comes to implementation, the city government
cherry-picks initiatives that suit its needs without paying any
attention to the priority scales that are voted on in each neighborhood
and without setting up collective management teams to preside over the
public works?

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