We have uploaded a copy of the PB Unit’s Values, principles and standards for PB. This was produced with the aim to clarify and embed the values, principles and standards for PB into local initiatives. The full document – called Unpacking the Values – contains tables for PB programme organizers to identify how their initiative fits within the values, principles and standards along with case studies for each value to illustrate good practice.
Originally produced in 2009, it retains much of value for the current policy landscape. Below is a brief list of the 9 values, and some of the accompanying explanation behind them.
Values, Principles and Standards of PB
1. Local Ownership
- Involve people affected by PB in decisions about PB processes and projects
- Ensure local representation is supported by the wider community
- Encourage individuals and communities– particularly those traditionally marginalised or excluded – to participate
Principle: Residents should be involved in setting budget priorities and identifying projects for public spend in their area wherever possible.
2. Direct Involvement
- Promote direct involvement of communities in PB processes particularly in budget decisions
- Provide and promote training, development or capacity-building that support direct community involvement
Principle: PB should involve direct as well as representative engagement wherever possible.
3. Support for representative democracy
- Promoting and supporting representative democracy
- Developing both representative and participatory models to work alongside each other
Principle: Participation mechanisms such as PB should be seen as supporting representative democracy rather than undermining it. Councillors hold a unique position as community advocates and champions. PB can increase citizens’ trust of councillors and boost the role of ward councillors.
4. Mainstream Involvement
- Promote PB models where mainstream funding is used and repeated annually
- Promote the community capacity building needed for good decision making on mainstream budgets
Principle: Over time PB processes should move towards residents being involved in decisions over mainstream budgets (as opposed to only small grants processes).
- Make processes accessible for all involved
- Recognise and remove barriers to full and effective participation
- Promote PB events widely and appropriately
Principle: Participants must have good and clear access to PB processes.
- Have open and clear processes
- Involve communities in scrutiny of PB-funded projects or programmes
- Provide full and open information on all public budgets
Principle: PB processes are designed to give citizens full and clear knowledge of public budgets in their area, even those over which they do not have a direct say.
- Take part in a wide-ranging debate as an integral part of PB
- Support practices that promote thoughtful consideration
- Support participative democracy
Principle: PB processes should take citizens beyond personal choice and involve real deliberation around budget decisions
- Promote empowerment of individuals and communities
- Promote active citizenship to create better public services
- Support a stronger civil society
- Promote community development and capacity-building within PB
Principle: PB events are centrally concerned with empowering local citizens in decisions over local services and shaping their local area through allocating part of a public budget Standards: Although there may be several reasons for starting a PB project, all publicity, events and processes should make it clear that empowering local people is a priority.
Citizens, officers, councillors and partners should plan and lead PB events together, demonstrating local people’s empowerment. Evaluation should explore how well PB has empowered people. Good capacity-building is essential for good community empowerment and should always be used in PB processes.
9. Shared responsibility
- Have clarity and transparency in the aims of PB projects
- Involve all stakeholders in setting the aims of PB projects
- Have clear roles and responsibilities in PB projects
- Develop communities’ sense of ownership and responsibility for their local areas
Principle: PB should build common purpose and a commitment from all stakeholders.
For each principle there are a set of standards that help explain how the principle can be adopted and engagement improved on over time.
- The full 2009 version of PB Values, Principles and Standards