Data

General Issues
Economics
Planning & Development
Specific Topics
Budget - Local
Location
Melbourne
Victoria
Australia
Scope of Influence
City/Town
Files
Policy Booth Report
Links
Melbourne's 10 Year Plan
Videos
10 Year Financial Plan: The People’s Panel Story
Start Date
End Date
Ongoing
No
Time Limited or Repeated?
A single, defined period of time
Purpose/Goal
Make, influence, or challenge decisions of government and public bodies
Deliver goods & services
Develop the civic capacities of individuals, communities, and/or civil society organizations
Approach
Consultation
Spectrum of Public Participation
Involve
Total Number of Participants
43
Open to All or Limited to Some?
mixed
Recruitment Method for Limited Subset of Population
stratified
Targeted Demographics
Students
Stakeholder Organizations
General Types of Methods
Deliberative and dialogic process
Public budgeting
General Types of Tools/Techniques
Facilitate dialogue, discussion, and/or deliberation
Facilitate decision-making
Manage and/or allocate money or resources
Specific Methods, Tools & Techniques
Citizens' Jury
Participatory Budgeting
Pop-up
Q&A with Experts and Officials
Speed Dialogue
Online Consultations
Legality
Yes
Facilitators
Yes
Face-to-Face, Online, or Both
Both
Types of Interaction Among Participants
Discussion, Dialogue, or Deliberation
Ask & Answer Questions
Express Opinions/Preferences Only
Information & Learning Resources
Written Briefing Materials
Expert Presentations
Decision Methods
Voting
If Voting
Super-Majoritarian
Communication of Insights & Outcomes
Public Report
Public Hearings/Meetings
New Media
Type of Organizer/Manager
Local Government
Non-Governmental Organization
Funder
Melbourne City Council
Type of Funder
Local Government
Staff
No
Volunteers
No
Evidence of Impact
Yes
Types of Change
Changes in public policy
Implementers of Change
Elected Public Officials
Appointed Public Servants
Formal Evaluation
Yes
Evaluation Report Documents
Evaluation of community engagement for the 10 Year Financial Plan

CASE

City of Melbourne People's Panel

First Submitted By Lucy J Parry, Participedia Team

Most Recent Changes By Lucy J Parry, Participedia Team

General Issues
Economics
Planning & Development
Specific Topics
Budget - Local
Location
Melbourne
Victoria
Australia
Scope of Influence
City/Town
Files
Policy Booth Report
Links
Melbourne's 10 Year Plan
Videos
10 Year Financial Plan: The People’s Panel Story
Start Date
End Date
Ongoing
No
Time Limited or Repeated?
A single, defined period of time
Purpose/Goal
Make, influence, or challenge decisions of government and public bodies
Deliver goods & services
Develop the civic capacities of individuals, communities, and/or civil society organizations
Approach
Consultation
Spectrum of Public Participation
Involve
Total Number of Participants
43
Open to All or Limited to Some?
mixed
Recruitment Method for Limited Subset of Population
stratified
Targeted Demographics
Students
Stakeholder Organizations
General Types of Methods
Deliberative and dialogic process
Public budgeting
General Types of Tools/Techniques
Facilitate dialogue, discussion, and/or deliberation
Facilitate decision-making
Manage and/or allocate money or resources
Specific Methods, Tools & Techniques
Citizens' Jury
Participatory Budgeting
Pop-up
Q&A with Experts and Officials
Speed Dialogue
Online Consultations
Legality
Yes
Facilitators
Yes
Face-to-Face, Online, or Both
Both
Types of Interaction Among Participants
Discussion, Dialogue, or Deliberation
Ask & Answer Questions
Express Opinions/Preferences Only
Information & Learning Resources
Written Briefing Materials
Expert Presentations
Decision Methods
Voting
If Voting
Super-Majoritarian
Communication of Insights & Outcomes
Public Report
Public Hearings/Meetings
New Media
Type of Organizer/Manager
Local Government
Non-Governmental Organization
Funder
Melbourne City Council
Type of Funder
Local Government
Staff
No
Volunteers
No
Evidence of Impact
Yes
Types of Change
Changes in public policy
Implementers of Change
Elected Public Officials
Appointed Public Servants
Formal Evaluation
Yes
Evaluation Report Documents
Evaluation of community engagement for the 10 Year Financial Plan

In 2014 the city of Melbourne held its first experience in participatory budgeting, the Melbourne's People's Panel. The panel comprised a Citizens' Jury of 43 Melburnians who were asked by Melbourne City Council to comment on the Council's 10-year, $5 billion financial plan.

Problems and Purpose

The Melbourne People's Panel was convened by Melbourne City Council to comment on the council's first-ever 10-year financial plan. The panel of 43 Melburnians - made up of businesses, residents and students - provided recommendations on the $5 billion plan for Melbourne's spending strategy in the coming decade. 

Notably, the panel were deliberating upon the entire budget, worth $400 million a year. The jurors were also given all financial information and data that they requested. permajoritarian (80%+1) but the panel also reached unanimous consensus on a number of recommendations.

The jury was guided by the following principles provided by the Council: to be specific, realistic and forward thinking and for their ideas to be sustainable, achieveable, relevant to the challenges and to add value to the city. They were also supported to ask questions and expand their thinking.

Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities 

The Melbourne People's Panel was organised by the City of Melbourne Council and was facilitated by the New Democracy Foundation, an independent research organisation. 

Participant Recruitment and Selection

A random stratified sample of 43 residents, business owners and students was selected to take part in the panel. There was a 50/50 split of business owners and residents: this was in order to recognise that businesses (large and small) make up 70% of commercial ratepayers, whilst ensuring that the panel also included a cross-section of Melburnian residents. To maximise the response rate of the 18-24 age group, an additional sample was drawn from University of Melbourne students. 90% of the panel had no prior involvement with the Council.

In addition to the panel, there was a broader community engagement process which was open to all. People could engage with the topic through a variety of engagement techniques including a pop-up policy booth, workshop and an online budget simulator. Over 600 people contributed to the broader community engagement, the results of which were presented to the panel.

Methods and Tools Used

Citizens' Jury

Participatory Budgeting

Pop up

Q&A with experts and officials

Speed Dialogue

Online consultations

What Went On: Process, Interaction, and Participation

Prior to the jury of 43 citizens meeting face-to-face, a broader community engagement strategy was rolled out in July - August 2014. Ultimately the aim of this was to try and include as many voices as possible to increase the possibility of consensus. A variety of methods were used to elicit broader community feedback on the draft 10-year-plan, including:

  • eight pop up events with Policy Booth
  • workshops and discussion events with community organisation, stakeholder groups and individuals
  • small discussion groups for indigenous peoples and elderly citizens
  • online engagement tool, Participate Melbourne

Following the community consultation, all feedback went into a community report that was then presented to the panel during the deliberative process. 

The panel itself, selected and facilitated by New Democracy Foundation, followed a citizens jury format. The entire process, encompassing the broader community engagement and the panel, is described as a participatory budgeting approach. The panel also embraced aspects of co-design, with jurors inputting into the design of the process.

The panel received relevant information during the learning phase in a number of ways including:

  • an introductory reading kit explaining the structure and workings of the Council
  • panel sessions with experts 
  • stakeholder panel discussions
  • speed dialogue sessions with councillors
  • ongoing online forum discussions

Decisions during the process were made by supermajoritarian (80%+1) voting, with the jury also reaching a unanimous consensus on a number of the final recommendations. 

Influence, Outcomes, and Effects

On November 8th 2014 the jury's report comprising their 11 recommendations was released. Representatives from the People's Panel presented their recommendations directly to the Council at a special committee meeting on November 14th. Following analysis and consideration, it was agreed that the panel's recommendations would be embedded into the final 10-year plan.

In June 2015, the Council unanimously endorsed the 10-year financial plan to guide how Melbourne spends and develops financially over the next decade. The final 10-year plan is 'heavily influenced by the recommendations proposed by Council's People's Panel'. The City of Melbourne financial plan supports, either in principle or in practice, the vast majority of the panel's recommendations.

A further outcome of the panel's recommendations was the creation of a draft Asset Management Strategy. This goes in hand with the financial plan and was developed in response to the panel's consideration of the assets required to ensure Melbourne's continued flourishing in the next decade.

Analysis and Lessons Learned

Evaluation of the People's Panel was carried out by Clear Horizon Consulting, an independent organisation. Evaluators sought to establish how well the process had adhered to the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) standards for public participation. The evaluation found that all seven IAP2 standards were either 'well expressed' or 'expressed at the highest level of achievement' and that the process was high effective and appropriate in delivering effective community engagement. In addition:

"...the process was highly effective and/or appropriate on a range of other good practice community engagement criteria, including: the adequacy of engagement scoping and planning; the usefulness of community input received through the engagement process; the influence of engagement on the decision making process; and the impact of the engagement on the reputation of the City of Melbourne. Finally, the participatory budgeting process for the 10 Year Financial Plan was found to be good value for money."

Evaluator's report, Clear Horizon Consulting

See Also

Online Consultations 

Participatory Budgeting 

Citizens Jury 

References

External Links

Participate Melbourne 10-year plan (majority of reports, publications and updates can be found here):

http://participate.melbourne.vic.gov.au/10yearplan

New Democracy Foundation (including links to media coverage):

http://www.newdemocracy.com.au/ndf-work/183-city-of-melbourne-people-s-p...

Notes