The community decides. This is the Regional Participatory Budget Assembly in Partenon, Porto Alegre, Brazil. Local community members are voting on the priorities for 2010 and on the representatives for 2009-2010. Later, those representatives and the delegates vote on the budget during the meetings that take place after the end of the cycle of Assemblies, generally in September or October. Image courtesy of Ivo Gonçalves.
Participatory Budgeting enables citizens to define local priorities and allocate public money accordingly. Examples include the experiences of Ontario, Canada, Medellin, Colombia, Porto Alegre, Brazil and several hundred others in Latin America and Europe. Through this style of budgeting, communities are actively engaged on policy issues and governments and other organisations are allowed direct access to front line community needs.