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.
Participatory health councils allow Brazilian citizens to oversee the country's public health system (the Sistema Único de Saúde - Unified Health System or SUS). These councils exist at the municipal, state, and national level, and are supplemented by a national conference on the Brazilian health system held every four years. Though these coucils vary in diversity and in their success in impacting government decisions, citizens generally remain actively involved with the councils.
In Recife, Brazil, members of the public have been getting involved since 2001 to help determine how their city develops. Out of a population of 1.6 million people, more than 100,000 adults and young people join local forums or make themselves heard via Internet each year to determine policy making goals, suggest new programs and monitor implementation of municipal activities. The city also organizes forums on specific issues that allow residents to set priorities in 15 different policy making areas such as culture, education, and senior and youth services.