The Participatory Budgeting Project is excited to share a new policy brief on city-wide participatory budgeting processes. In North America, PB has spread most quickly at the city district level. The vast majority of international experiences, however, take place at the city level, using a portion of the municipal budget.
This brief outlines why PB has been most successful at the city level, how city-wide PB has worked elsewhere, and what institutional, legislative, and fiscal frameworks are necessary for success. Drawing on lessons from successful cases, the brief identifies four key conditions for effective citywide participatory budgeting: (1) institutional infrastructure that includes a central office, community-level staff, an inclusive Steering Committee, and grassroots community partners; (2) legislation and rules that establish a community-driven process; (3) equitable allocation of funds across the city and within neighborhoods; and (4) sufficient funding for the process and its implementation.