Participatory Budgeting (PB) is a process implemented in the 1990s where residents of certain regions can influence how their governments' annual budgets are allocated. After the collapse of its authoritarian regime in the mid 1980s, Brazilians implemented reforms to bolster their economic and political futures through participatory methods. These new democratic practices drastically improved the lives and social infrastructure of its participants.
‘Leefbaarheidsbudget’ is the name of a participatory process, launched by the municipality of Utrecht in 1987. Literally translated, it would mean ‘budget of livability’, being ‘livability’ defined by the municipality of Utrecht, as ‘the quality of the residential and living environment’. By ‘residential and living environment’ the municipality understands the following:
New York City has a historically corrupt and non-transparent budgetting process. The New York City Council is also known for its extremely non-transparent funding structure whereby the Speaker of the Majority can determine a City Council Member's discertionary budget within a range of $3-$11 Million Dollars. The New York City Council has also had a slew of corruption scandels linking council members to patronage and clientialism.
Originating in Puerto Alegre in 1989, Participatory Budgeting (PB) has been implemented throughout the world. Jarabacoa is not a place known for its strength of civil society or citizen engagement. This pilot program of PB using SMS aims to increase civil society and involve citizens for greater government transparency and accountability. PB is part of a broader better governance intitative of the World Bank Initative and United Nations Development Program. PB has been regarded as a "best practice" for open and more effective governance.