We’re thrilled to announce that PBP is launching a new global hub for PB practitioners and advocates, thanks to a $560,000 grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The Global PB Hub will coordinate knowledge sharing, research, learning, and resource development for PB practitioners and advocates around the globe.

The PB Hub will build on the knowledge and expertise of implementers and supporters around the world. We will work with the PB community to map existing knowledge and to identify priorities for new PB research and resources. To start, we’re inviting PB implementers, advocates, and researchers to apply for the Hub’s Governance Board and Research Board.

Why do we need a Global PB Hub?

Over the past 30 years, PB has expanded to more than 7,000 cities across the globe, becoming the most widespread model of participatory democracy. PB leaders have generated a wealth of knowledge and expertise, but these resources are often inaccessible to local implementers and advocates. And despite PB’s global growth, local PB processes still face common challenges: limited guidance for implementers, labor-intensive coordination, empty top-down mandates, and slow implementation of winning projects.

These were the main findings of the PB Exchange, a  co-design workshop held in November 2018 that gathered experts and implementers from 21 countries to assess the challenges and opportunities of PB implementation. Based on the recommendations of the PB Exchange participants, the Hewlett Foundation dedicated a two year grant to pilot a global hub to coordinate PB knowledge and peer exchange around the world.

What will the Global PB Hub do?

PBP is honored to receive this grant and to host the PB Hub. This global effort aims to improve and expand PB around the world by addressing the common challenges and opportunities identified by PB implementers and advocates. Over the next two years, the PB Hub will:

  • Establish new communications and governance systems for the global PB community, including a global PB governance board.
  • Create an online library of PB research and resources, to consolidate, organize, and disseminate the most useful PB research, data, tools, and resources in an accessible format.
  • Convene a global PB research board to identify PB research priorities and kickoff new research addressing these priorities.
  • Identify PB implementers’ priorities for new resources and tools, and develop and disseminate new tools and resources that address these priorities.

Call for Applications

The PB Hub is calling PB implementers, advocates, and researchers around the globe to apply for its new Governance Board and Research Board. We’re looking for candidates eager to improve the quality and impacts of PB, by addressing key challenges and opportunities faced by PB implementers and supporters around the world.

The Governance Board is the high-level governance and decision-making body for the PB Hub. It is responsible for setting PB Hub strategy and policy, planning for its financial sustainability, and ensuring that it is carrying out its goals effectively. The board is also responsible for identifying priorities for new PB research and resources, with the broader PB community and the research board.

The Research Board coordinates global research on PB and its impacts. It is responsible for developing a global PB research agenda and supporting researchers in launching new studies that address research priorities.

The boards will meet up to six times a year, with most meetings via video but at least one multi-day in-person meeting. Board service is a volunteer position, but we will pay for travel costs for in-person meetings. 

Please help grow PB around the world by applying to serve on a board or sharing with others who might be interested in serving on a board. Deadline: August 9, 2019.

We’re also hiring a paid intern to work on the PB Hub – apply here and indicate Hub interest in your letter.

We look forward to working with you to build stronger and more equitable democracy around the world!

About Josh Lerner

Josh is co-founder and Co-Executive Director of the Participatory Budgeting Project. He has over 15 years of experience developing, researching, and working with leading community engagement programs across North America, Latin America, and Europe. He is the author of Making Democracy Fun: How Game Design Can Empower Citizens and Transform Politics, Everyone Counts: Could Participatory Budgeting Change Democracy?, and over 20 articles.