General Issues
Specific Topics
Budget - Local
Montevideo Department
Scope of Influence
Face-to-Face, Online, or Both
Decision Methods
Communication of Insights & Outcomes
Public Hearings/Meetings


Montevideo Uruguay Participatory Budget

June 21, 2021 Patrick L Scully, Participedia Team
May 27, 2016 Nathy1982
January 24, 2012 Nathy1982
General Issues
Specific Topics
Budget - Local
Montevideo Department
Scope of Influence
Face-to-Face, Online, or Both
Decision Methods
Communication of Insights & Outcomes
Public Hearings/Meetings

Proposals and Problem:

The Government of Montevideo carries out, within the framework of a policy of modernization and reform of the state with popular participation, a broad process of municipal decentralization and citizen participation in local decision-making, created by 18 zonal governments in accordance with the different districts into which the department of Montevideo was divided. It was a fundamental contribution to the democratization of communal management and the construction of citizenship, creating channels for popular participation.


Since 1990 residents decide on the budget and priorities in works, services and social policies. This has been accompanied by a deconcentration of municipal services, in charge of the respective community centers, dependent municipal services and the respective local council. This was one of the most important reforms in Uruguayan political history.

The PB process assures the inhabitants of Montevideo the right of universal participation, to deliberate on the use of public resources administered by the Municipal Administration of Montevideo and to decide the destination of a part of the Municipal Budget, determining to carry out works of their interest.

The PP also creates procedures and opportunities for citizens and their organizations to carry out greater monitoring and social control of the management of the IMM. In this process, the actions of the central and local organs of the Departmental Government observe the principle of the autonomy of civil society and its organizations.

The PB process is based on its dynamics in the operation, convocation, capacity to promote participation, articulation, mediation, consultation and neighborhood representation exercised by the bodies of the decentralized system of Montevideo.

The PP will be held annually, giving rise to a work cycle that will begin in April and that ends in December of each year.

Creation and Selection of Participants:

- Neighborhood Board: Its competence covers the direction of communal management within the area. The Board receives studies and makes decisions DIRECTly for complaints from neighbors, or on matters advised by the Neighborhood Council or by the Thematic Commissions and executes them or refers them to the different Departments of the IMM.

Examples of topics to be discussed:

Zone 8: Danger inauguration of the Charrúa Stadium / Local Board 8 does not yield to AUF; demands counterparts from Charrúa / Local Board N ° 8 summons neighbors and organizations to work for social inclusion / Zone 8: Dental care in schools / Zone 8: Local Government met with Chamber of Industry)

- The neighborhood council: Represents the neighbors and social organizations, advises the Local Board and the Departmental Government, has the capacity of PROPOSAL and INITIATIVE, as well as control and supervision. They are made up of 25 to 40 councilors who are inhabitants of the Area, proposed by social organizations or with at least 10 signatures of residents of their neighborhood, elected by secret ballot by the residents themselves. It channels the demands of the residents in the different neighborhoods and proposes possible solutions, advises the Local Board on plans and projects for the Area, as well as on procedures and complaints; participates decisively in the preparation of the five-year budget and the PLAEDEZ (strategic plan for social development); informs the opinion of the neighbors on undertakings requested for the neighborhood (kiosks, stalls, use of public spaces, works and services, etc.), carries out evaluations of the zonal management, organizes and promotes cultural and social activities, establishes communication with organizations of national character (eg ministry of the interior, public health, environment, etc.).

Management Commitments:

The decisions adopted through both mechanisms, after a technical, regulatory and cost feasibility study, which is carried out together with the IMM, are assumed by the Mayor as its Management Commitments and executed by the IMM itself during the following year.

Rules for submitting proposals:

  • Those people, groups, institutions or organizations with personal, social, institutional or work residence in the Area may submit proposals.
  • The estimated cost of the proposals may not exceed the annual amount of Source 1 of the PP assigned to the Zone.
  • Proposals must be capable of being executed or fully developed in the year.
  • There must be a written presentation format that is unique to all of Montevideo.
  • They will be presented to each CCZ (Neighborhood Council and Administrative Office) who, after registering them, will send them to the Zonal Planning Team.
  • Those under 18 years of age may submit proposals as long as they have the endorsement of a person of legal age or any organization.

Resources :

The Montevideo PP is organized to channel citizen participation in the decision on Municipal Budget resources that come from TWO differentiated SOURCES:

  1. SOURCE 1, which contributes resources expressed in money, the amount of which the Mayor defines and makes public year after year with the submission to the Departmental Board of the Budget Adjustment corresponding to the year following his administration. The creation of Source 1 does not mean that there are necessarily extra resources for the Zones, but rather it is a new and different way of deciding the destination of part of the budgetary resources.
  2. SOURCE 2, which provides resources from the budgets that were previously assigned by the Mayor to finance the activities of various Divisions, Services and Units of the IMM (Municipality) in their specialized tasks (Roads, Lighting, Green Areas, etc.). These resources, which may be expressed in money or in other modalities, are defined and made public year after year when they are sent to the Departmental Board of the Budgetary Adjustment corresponding to the year following the administration of the Mayor.

Criteria for resource allocation:

  • Proposals that are in accordance with the norms of the PP will be submitted to a neighborhood election, and the procedure must be clear and unique for the entire department.
  • Voters may vote for only one proposal.
  • The conditions to be a voter will be the same as those for the election of Neighborhood Councils.
  • The electoral act will be organized in a similar way to that of the Neighborhood Council elections.
  • The proposals, after being put to a vote, will be ordered according to the number of votes obtained by each one, starting from the one with the most votes and so on until the one with the fewest votes.

The resources will be assigned to the works following that order, as far as the zonal resources reach, which cannot be modified under any circumstances. If after allocating resources for the first proposal (the one with the most votes) there is money available for others, resources will be allocated to the second and so on to as many as the fund reaches to finance entire proposals. If it is the case that the resources of the zonal item are not enough to fully finance the proposal that follows in the pre-established order, an additional financing may be appealed from a Special Fund that will be created by the Municipality. This Fund will cover up to 15% of the estimated value of the chosen work.

In other words, the money left over from the zonal resources must cover at least 85% of the cost of the last work to be financed to be included in the list of executions.

If the rest of the zonal fund is not enough to cover that 85% of the estimated cost of the last work to be financed, that money will go to the Special Fund that will finance the proposals that in other Zones did cover 85% of their value with resources of the Area. In such a way that the money assigned to the PP will be invested in its entirety in it.


Stage 1


  • A Zonal Planning Team (EPZ) is installed in each Zone with members of the Local Board, Neighborhood Council and Zonal Community Center.
  • Training sessions for councilors, councilors and other local actors.
  • Intendant defines and reports on the resources available for the PB, SOURCE 1.
  • Communication campaign begins in the media.
  • Zonal dissemination, information and animation activities for neighborhood participation. Special diffusion of the PLAEDEZ.

April 9th:

  • Installation of the “Participatory Budget Commission”, made up of 36 representatives of the Neighborhood Councils and the IMM.

APRIL 16 - MAY 17

  • The dissemination and training activities of the first stage continue.
  • The period for Submission of proposals opens from April 16 to May 17.
  • The EPZs begin study of the proposals. They advise technicians from the CCZ and eventually from the central area. They send the informed proposals to the Planning and Decentralized Participation Unit for their second analysis, in the central area of the IMM.
  • The central area begins the study of the proposals; delivers its reports on technical and regulatory feasibility and cost estimates for each proposal to the Planning and Decentralized Participation Unit for return to the EPZs.

Stage 2

MAY 18 - JUNE 30

  • As of June 30, the Mayor defines and reports on the resources available to SOURCE 2.
  • The EPZs continue until the end of the study of the proposals and their sending to the central area of the IMM.


  • The central area continues to study the proposals, prepare reports and deliver them to the Planning and Decentralized Participation Unit for return to the EPZs. By August 15 all reports should be in the hands of the EPZs.
  • Information period for proposers: as of the reception of the reports from the central area and until August 24, the EPZs will inform the proposers about the viability of the proposals presented.
  • Claims: until September 1, proponents may submit claims regarding the feasibility study to the EPZ. These will be sent with the 2nd EPZ report to the Planning and Participation Unit so that the management of the central reporting area can make the final decision before September 10.
  • Neighborhood Council approves the final list to be submitted for election and delivers it to the respective Local Board.
  • The final drafting of viable proposals is carried out for their subsequent dissemination to the population.
  • September 10, the proposals will be ready for publication and dissemination .

Stage 3


  • Preparation of the election. Information, dissemination, public campaign.

October 21:

  • Elections in the 18 zones with the universal and secret vote.
  • Scrutiny and definitive list with actions chosen and financed.


  • The PP Commission that was installed on April 9, made up of social representatives and the municipal Executive, evaluates the process and proposes the rules for the 2008 cycle.
  • The Mayor signs a commitment to manage the actions chosen by the population on October 21, which will be carried out during 2008 and delivers them to the Neighborhood Council.


  • The Neighborhood Councils approve the rules for the 2008 Cycle.

Results and Effects:

In 2006, significant progress was made in the process of decentralization and popular participation, incorporating a fixed item in the communal budget, giving participatory neighborhood management the possibility of carrying out special community development projects, which adds to what is coming and continues doing with the so-called annual Management Commitments. For these purposes, the municipal government has designated $ 2,400,000 for each Zone in 2006, with 800 billion being the current total annual budget.

Neighbors decide the priorities of each project presented and the amounts of money proposed for the development of each one directly by secret ballot.

They participate in various ways (controlling, denouncing, sharing, proposing, giving opinions, choosing, voting, integrating):

  • Through social, neighborhood, neighborhood development organizations, cooperatives, educational, sports, business and religious institutions, etc.
  • Directly individually.
  • Joining Commissions of the Local Government bodies.
  • Discussing, proposing and giving opinions on the Five-Year Plan, the PB, the priorities in works and services for the annual management commitments, the strategic zonal development plan, etc.
  • Voting directly for the community development project of your choice, within the framework of the PP.
  • Through their representatives in the Neighborhood Council.
  • In different areas and open meetings of the Neighborhood Council, in zonal and / or neighborhood assemblies, in plenary sessions of organizations with the organs of the Local Government, through specific Programs (Senior Citizens, Women, Health, etc.), in events of character Zonal and / or Departmental, with the participation of the mayor of Montevideo and his government team
  • In the so-called Montevideo in forums or in assemblies of neighbors of Montevideo.

Analysis and Criticism:

The Participatory Budgeting process in Montevideo is a form of democratic dialogue that was established between the municipal Executive and the neighbors and social organizations of Montevideo. It is a tool for democratic participation in the decentralization process.

It assures the inhabitants of Montevideo the right of universal participation to deliberate on the use of public resources administered by the IMM and to decide the destination of a part of the Municipal Budget, determining to carry out works of their direct interest. As each neighbor knows his neighborhood better, the allocation of resources is more fair and efficient in this way. This is also a way of creating citizenship.

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