The 8th Status Report on Participatory Budgeting (PB) in Germany has been finalized and can be downloaded on buergerhaushalt.org. The report provides an overview of PB in Germany. It describes PB processes, and sketches general trends of PB in Germany.
A total of 435 municipalities have been researched for the status report this year, 3 municipalities more than last year. All German municipalities with a population of more than 40,000 are included, plus a few smaller municipalities. The complete 8th Status Report (PDF) can be downloaded here on buergerhaushalt.org. The German version of the 8th Status Report can be downloaded (PDF) here.
More municipalities consider introducing Participatory Budgeting
All 435 researched municipalities have been categorized along status categories. By assigning one of the following categories, we aimed to assess the role of participatory budgeting in the municipalities: Discussion, Decision, Provisional, Introduced, Established, Discontinued, and No status.
The most significant development as compared to last year’s status report has taken place within the status category Discussion. In 2014/2015, discussion about introducing participatory budgeting has been observed in 128 municipalities, 53 municipalities more compared to our last status report. PB is thus on the agenda for a growing number of local governmental and non-governmental organizations. While the number of Established PB processes (PB being carried out for the 3rd time or more) has remained almost unchanged compared to last year’s status report, the number of newly Introduced PB processes has dropped by 14 municipalities.
Mainly online and covering the entire budget: characteristics of Participatory Budgeting processes in Germany
In addition to mapping the status development of PB in Germany, the 8th status report also provides information on the characteristics of PB processes. We aim to uncover, whether a typical PB process structure is emerging in Germany, and what it looks like. Specific data on PB process characteristics have been collected for the first time in 2013 for the 6th status report. In the following, we list the main findings of the 2015 report. (These findings have not been translated for the English version of the Status Report. Detailed data can be found in the German version of the Status Report on buergerhaushalt.org):
- Object: 69 % of the researched PB processes provide space for discussion on the entire budget.
- Input: 79 % PB processes allow both cost-saving and expenditure-based proposals.
- Type of participation: 75 % currently active PB processes are proposal-based. Only a small number of processes are feedback-based or decision-based.
- Channel of participation: Currently, PB processes focus on online participation. 40 % processes are conducted largely online, supported by traditional channels (e.g. letter, telephone, face-to-face). The second largest group of PB processes are online only.
- Accountability: PB processes are quite evenly distributed among different types of accountability. A small emphasis has been detected on processes engaging in aggregated accountability, as well as in detailed accountability with monitoring.
In addition to providing information on Participatory Budgeting status distribution and process characteristics, the 2015 status report also gives an overview of status distribution development since 2008 (year of the first status report). Long-term development trends are made visible in this section.