Global Participatory Budgeting Hub

The Global PB Hub aims to improve and expand participatory budgeting (PB) around the world by addressing common challenges and opportunities faced by PB implementers and supporters. It coordinates research, shares learning, and develops resources, building on the expertise of the PB community. PBP is incubating the Hub as a new fiscally sponsored initiative.

Background

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 William and Flora Hewlett Foundation dedicated a two year grant to launch a global hub to coordinate PB knowledge and peer exchange around the world.

Activities

The Hub is working with the global PB community to map existing knowledge and identify priorities for new PB research and resources. Its initial priorities are to:

  • Establish new communications and governance systems for the global PB community.
  • Create an online library of PB resources and research, to consolidate, organize, and disseminate the most useful PB research, data, tools, and resources in an accessible format.
  • Identify PB research priorities and support 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.

Leadership

The Hub has created a Global PB Support Board and a Global PB Research Board to drive its work and ensure that it is accountable to PB leaders around the world.

The PB Support Board guides the Hub's work to improve PB practice and impacts. It is responsible for advising on the needs of PB implementers and advocates, deciding on priorities for new PB resources and tools, and supporting the Hub in developing and disseminating resources and tools.

The PB 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.

To support diverse leadership and equity, half of the board members are women and half are leaders from the Global South. A small staff team carry out and support work prioritized by the global boards. See staff and board lists and bios here.

Priority Projects

The PB Support Board used an internal PB process (“PB4PB”) to identify and prioritize new resources for the Hub to develop in 2020. Through this global participatory democracy process, PB leaders from around the world came together to decide how to address the common needs and challenges of PB implementers. See the full list of ballot projects below. The Board decided to allocate funds to the following projects for 2020:

1. Smart PB Hub Online Resource Center
Build an accessible and user-friendly online resource center that uses tags and wizards to help PB implementers find the resources and experts that they most need for their local context.

2. Rising Stars and Guiding Stars Mentorship Program
Provide new PB implementers with coaching and mentorship from PB experts, by recruiting and supporting at least 10 mentors and matching them with PB implementers.

3. PB for Equality and Inclusion Education Series
Compile and share guidance on how to make PB processes more inclusive, via short video, info sheet, and webinar. 

4. Greening PB: Promoting PB for Climate Change
Work with partners to compile and share guidance on how citizens can use PB to address the climate change crisis.

The PB Support Board also prioritized two larger projects for fundraising: a youth PB peer to peer exchange and network, and a PB outreach force to push for more governments to do PB and for more governments doing PB already to do it better. In 2020 we will work to raise funds for these projects and the others identified by the PB Support Board. 

Global PB Hub 2020 Priority Projects

More Information

For questions or suggestions (including suggestions for resources that the Hub should share), please contact pbhubinfo@participatorybudgeting.org

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