A new blog by Oliver Escobar, Lecturer in Public Policy at the University of Edinburgh, explores the development of participatory budgeting in Scotland. Oliver is part of a small working group convened by the Scottish Governemnt that is looking to support the role out of new PB experiences over the coming year and beyond. As well as a leading light in the What Works Scotland academic led research project. In his blog Oliver states:
"Participatory Budgeting is a process that enables citizens to deliberate on priorities and decide on the allocation of public money. It started in 1989 in Porto Alegre (Brazil) and has now spread to over 1,500 localities around the globe. One of the reasons it has become one of the most popular democratic innovations of the last decade is due to the substantial impact of the process in tackling inequalities, solving local problems and increasing civic engagement in some Brazilian cities. Its impact in other countries, however, has been often less impressive. There are clear signs that PB is gaining momentum in Scotland"
Linked to this development is a newly published set of resources available on the Communities Channel Scotland website, hosted by the Scottish Community Development Centre and supported by the Scottish Government, such as a report on the recent learning event.