Participatory budgeting, community engagement and impact on public services in Scotland

Angela O'Hagan, Claire MacRae, Clementine Hill O'Connor, Paul Teedon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Since the early 1980s the concept of Participatory Budgeting (PB) has developed in various forms internationally and subsequently has been adopted and adapted into local policy and political contexts. Yet, the underlying objective of PB remains the same, to empower local communities to have a direct say in how and where public funds can be used to shape public services and their delivery (Gomez et al., 2016). In seeking to integrate community participation into local resource allocation deci-sion-making, via this policy, requires a transformation of the relationship between citizen and state. In the implementation and delivery of PB, local government must engage in equality analysis so to meet the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 and the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED). Thereby, this paper aims to combine the framing of mainstreaming equalities through the PSED in the development of PB activities.
This article contends that the institutional engagement and analysis required, to ef-fectively integrate the requirements of equality legislation into PB processes, re-quires a transformational approach. Equality processes appear to exist in parallel with PB activity rather than being operationalized as integral to the objectives and character of PB activity at local level. This article proposes that PB and the PSED share a transformative intent and potential but that this is undermined by siloed thinking on equalities reflective of compliance and enduring discriminatory behav-ior and practices. The paper concludes with propositions for extending the concep-tual links between equality and community empowerment, and thereby participation in local financial decision making in practice.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages26
JournalPublic Money and Management
Early online date28 Oct 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Oct 2019

Fingerprint

public service
equality
community
public sector
Participatory budgeting
Equality
Public services
Scotland
Community engagement
participation
empowerment
legislation
act
citizen
decision making
resources

Keywords

  • participatory budgeting
  • public finance management
  • community empowerment
  • equality
  • public service reform
  • Scotland

Cite this

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abstract = "Since the early 1980s the concept of Participatory Budgeting (PB) has developed in various forms internationally and subsequently has been adopted and adapted into local policy and political contexts. Yet, the underlying objective of PB remains the same, to empower local communities to have a direct say in how and where public funds can be used to shape public services and their delivery (Gomez et al., 2016). In seeking to integrate community participation into local resource allocation deci-sion-making, via this policy, requires a transformation of the relationship between citizen and state. In the implementation and delivery of PB, local government must engage in equality analysis so to meet the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 and the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED). Thereby, this paper aims to combine the framing of mainstreaming equalities through the PSED in the development of PB activities. This article contends that the institutional engagement and analysis required, to ef-fectively integrate the requirements of equality legislation into PB processes, re-quires a transformational approach. Equality processes appear to exist in parallel with PB activity rather than being operationalized as integral to the objectives and character of PB activity at local level. This article proposes that PB and the PSED share a transformative intent and potential but that this is undermined by siloed thinking on equalities reflective of compliance and enduring discriminatory behav-ior and practices. The paper concludes with propositions for extending the concep-tual links between equality and community empowerment, and thereby participation in local financial decision making in practice.",
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author = "Angela O'Hagan and Claire MacRae and {Hill O'Connor}, Clementine and Paul Teedon",
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