Participatory budgeting

Origins and background to participatory budgeting (PB)

PB was introduced in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 1988 with the aim of decentralising administrative power by widening participation at a local level.

In Edinburgh, PB has been used as an approach to distribute funding since 2010, starting with small grants funding and expanding to other areas such as the Neighbourhood Environment Programme and the Health and Social Care Change Fund.

The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 aims to help to empower community bodies through the ownership or control of land and buildings and by strengthening their voices in decisions about public services.

The Community Choices Fund was introduced by the Scottish Government in 2014 as a way to expand opportunities for local people to be involved in decisions on local spending priorities and has so far (2021) allocated approximately £8m in funding for the development of PB in Scotland.

City of Edinburgh Council Participatory Budgeting Framework

Downloadable version of the Framework