Participatory Municipal BudgetThe preparation of the annual municipal budget can become an instrument to open decision making processes and to facilitate public institutions to be nearer to their citizens, as well as to address sustainable development issues. A municipal budget allocates the available financial resources to the wide range of actions that form the local policy strategy. Therefore, the budget is more a key planning document than and administrative task. The involvement of local stakeholders is a precious factor to anticipate and manage changes looking at development perspectives. Studio Ricerche Sociali carried out an intensive project on participatory municipal budget in Italy on behalf of the local authority of Vicchio (Tuscany) between 2004 and 2008.
The approach for a Participatory Municipal Budget is based on the principles of European Governance, as well as on those concerning social and environmental audit. The approach moves towards the combination of: policies, actions and services al a local level, while “thinking globally and acting locally”, developing self-organisation, co-ordination and empowerment processes where all relevant actors (policy makers, civil servants, civil society organisations, interested citizens, key persons and experts) are involved. The approach fosters two converging processes on annual basis: stakeholders participation in the assessment of the current situations and in the identification of innovative actions to solve problems; preparation of the budget looking at key orientation towards sustainable development and taking into account the innovative actions suggested by the stakeholders.
Studio Ricerche Sociali experimented with specific methods, as summarised in the following slides of the Vicchio mayor.
|Bilancio Partecipato per lo Sviluppo Sostenibile del Comune di Vicchio|
The methods concern:
- involvement of local stakeholders
- identification of hypotheses of innovative actions taking into analysis the main features of the concerned local context
- preparation of the annual municipal budget
|Business plan oriented towards sustainable development - software|
|Define specific descriptors, concentrating them in a maximum of 10 aspects that orient towards sustainable development|
|Define main typologies of beneficiaries, concentrating them in the available rows|
|Define local actions, concentrating them in a maximum of 11 policy fields|
|Feel in each file concerning local action (numbered from 1 to 11)||1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11|
|Open the file “budget totale” to verify results and complete the exercise with other information (e.g. general expenses and expected impacts)|