Deliberating Service Delivery is the Finnish Institute’s new report on participatory budgeting processes in the UK, written by Laura Sillanpää. With the report the Institute wishes to contribute to the increasingly important discussion on local democracy and public participation. Their primary goal is to be a catalyst for further, more concise discussion within Finnish society.
Six projects of participatory budgeting were studied and seven interviews conducted. The key findings are as follows:
- Participatory budgeting produces many positive outcomes, including enhanced service delivery and information on communities, but the benefits are often intangible and difficult to measure.
- Deeper and more perseverant evaluation is needed to ensure the sustainability and wider buy-in of participatory budgeting.
- Information about processes is not always accessible and open data and information about general budgeting processes are often not utilised at local government level.
- Public budget cuts have affected the extent and depth of participatory budgeting and those processes that have already proven efficient are favoured.
- Implemented processes in the UK generally allocate grants from discretionary budgets; the context of Finnish local government, however, requires the addressing of statutory services.
News item re-posted from the Finnish Institute in London.