Data

General Issues
Planning & Development
Education
Economics
Specific Topics
Budget - Local
Youth Issues
Location
Dunblane
Scotland
FK15
United Kingdom
Scope of Influence
City/Town
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
Develop the civic capacities of individuals, communities, and/or civil society organizations
Approach
Citizenship building
Co-governance
Consultation
Total Number of Participants
12
Open to All or Limited to Some?
Limited to Only Some Groups or Individuals
Recruitment Method for Limited Subset of Population
Appointment
Targeted Demographics
Youth
General Types of Methods
Public budgeting
Participant-led meetings
Public meetings
General Types of Tools/Techniques
Facilitate dialogue, discussion, and/or deliberation
Facilitate decision-making
Propose and/or develop policies, ideas, and recommendations
Specific Methods, Tools & Techniques
Participatory Budgeting
Survey
Workshop
Legality
Yes
Facilitators
No
Face-to-Face, Online, or Both
Face-to-Face
Types of Interaction Among Participants
Discussion, Dialogue, or Deliberation
Information & Learning Resources
Teach-ins
Written Briefing Materials
Site Visits
Expert Presentations
Participant Presentations
Decision Methods
Voting
Idea Generation
Opinion Survey
If Voting
Majoritarian Voting
Communication of Insights & Outcomes
Public Report
Public Hearings/Meetings
Type of Organizer/Manager
Local Government
Community Based Organization
Funder
Community Choices Fund; Stirling Community Safety Partnership
Type of Funder
National Government
Community Based Organization
Evidence of Impact
Yes
Types of Change
Changes in people’s knowledge, attitudes, and behavior
Changes in public policy
Implementers of Change
Lay Public
Formal Evaluation
Yes
Evaluation Report Links
Community Wellbeing Champions Initiative: Programme Level Evaluation Report

CASE

Dunblane Young People's Project (Stirling, UK)

17 de abril de 2021 garrettwalker
20 de marzo de 2021 Jaskiran Gakhal, Participedia Team
18 de marzo de 2021 garrettwalker
General Issues
Planning & Development
Education
Economics
Specific Topics
Budget - Local
Youth Issues
Location
Dunblane
Scotland
FK15
United Kingdom
Scope of Influence
City/Town
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
Develop the civic capacities of individuals, communities, and/or civil society organizations
Approach
Citizenship building
Co-governance
Consultation
Total Number of Participants
12
Open to All or Limited to Some?
Limited to Only Some Groups or Individuals
Recruitment Method for Limited Subset of Population
Appointment
Targeted Demographics
Youth
General Types of Methods
Public budgeting
Participant-led meetings
Public meetings
General Types of Tools/Techniques
Facilitate dialogue, discussion, and/or deliberation
Facilitate decision-making
Propose and/or develop policies, ideas, and recommendations
Specific Methods, Tools & Techniques
Participatory Budgeting
Survey
Workshop
Legality
Yes
Facilitators
No
Face-to-Face, Online, or Both
Face-to-Face
Types of Interaction Among Participants
Discussion, Dialogue, or Deliberation
Information & Learning Resources
Teach-ins
Written Briefing Materials
Site Visits
Expert Presentations
Participant Presentations
Decision Methods
Voting
Idea Generation
Opinion Survey
If Voting
Majoritarian Voting
Communication of Insights & Outcomes
Public Report
Public Hearings/Meetings
Type of Organizer/Manager
Local Government
Community Based Organization
Funder
Community Choices Fund; Stirling Community Safety Partnership
Type of Funder
National Government
Community Based Organization
Evidence of Impact
Yes
Types of Change
Changes in people’s knowledge, attitudes, and behavior
Changes in public policy
Implementers of Change
Lay Public
Formal Evaluation
Yes
Evaluation Report Links
Community Wellbeing Champions Initiative: Programme Level Evaluation Report

The Stirling Community Safety Partnership received £65,000 from the Scottish government to run a pilot program, the Dunblane Young People’s Project, which encouraged young people in the Dunblane area to take accountability for their actions.

Problems and Purpose

Scotland has occasionally struggled to address antisocial behavior among its younger populations.[1] To address the disconnect between younger and older members of local communities, in 2011 the Scottish government allocated £1.5 million to a set of participatory budgeting projects as part of its “Community Wellbeing Champions Initiative.”[2] One group, the Stirling Community Safety Partnership, received £65,000 to run a pilot program, the Dunblane Young People’s Project, which encouraged young people in the Dunblane area to take accountability for their actions. By giving young people access to community planning leaders and incorporating their interests and perspectives into the budgeting process, the Dunblane Young People’s Project aimed to improve and diversify civic engagement, reduce disorderly conduct, and foster community spirit.[3]

Background History and Context

For decades, the Scottish government has attempted to improve public engagement and reform youth misbehavior. The Antisocial Behaviour Act of 2004 included provisions on group dispersal, noise ordinances, environmental preservation, parental responsibility, and criminal prosecution.[4] Not satisfied, in 2009, the government published “Antisocial Behaviour Framework: Promoting Positive Outcomes” as part of its National Performance Framework.[5] By developing knowledge about civic strategies, supporting local leaders, and addressing the causes of anomie, the government hoped to protect and strengthen local communities.

But none of that really addressed the need for public engagement in the legislative process. In 2010, the Scottish government drew from the lessons of Porto Alegre in Brazil, its own past experiments with participatory budgeting (PB), and other trial truns around the world to support a more public-facing appropriation model.[6] Together with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), the government’s Community Choices Fund announced the Community Wellbeing Champions Initiative (CWCI), an attempt to further the Antisocial Behaviour Framework and empower local communities. The government eventually selected five pilot PB programs across the country that furthered the CWCI’s six goals:

  1. Bring diverse groups together and support community cohesion. 
  2. Enhance the ways in which local people, elected members and council officials work together.
  3. Promote empowerment of individuals and communities.
  4. Promote active citizenship to create better public services.
  5. Promote community development and capacity-building within communities.
  6. Support the Scottish Community Empowerment Action Plan that has been developed by the Scottish Government and COSLA.[7]

In 2010, Stirling, Scotland featured very active community organizations, and had seen substantial improvement in test scores in recent years, suggesting a strong civic foundation.[8] However, community cohesion had been a problem in Dunblane (a small town in the council area of Stirling) ever since the school shooting there in 1996.[9] While polling data are limited, individual young people reported feeling detached from decision-makers.[10] And although actual incidents of antisocial behavior were relatively low, older Dunblane residents were of the opinion that younger populations spent too much time partying and drinking alcohol.[11] Sensing an opportunity to strengthen community bonds and captivate young people, the Stirling Community Safety Partnership (SCSP) submitted an application for CWCI funding and received £30,000 for the Dunblane Young People’s Project, in addition to the £35,000 the group had committed.[12]

Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities

The SCSP was the main organizing entity, comprising Stirling Youth Services, Communities Team, Safer Communities Team, Central Scotland Police, and Community Planning Partnership. Dunblane Community Council, Dunblane Development Trust, Dunblane Centre, and the Dunblane Christian Fellowship all helped with local oversight. COSLA facilitated the financial transfer and subsequent communication between community leaders and national leaders. And the national government’s Community Choices Fund partnered with the SCSP to supply the £65,000.13 (Stirling’s total budget can run to £30 million, meaning the Dunblane Young People’s Project constituted well under 1 percent of the city’s total spending.) [14]

Participant Recruitment and Selection

The SCSP recruited 12 young people between the ages of 12 and 16 from the local schools to participate in the steering group. That steering group produced a survey involving a random sample of community members, irrespective of age or demographic traits. The final vote on the recommendations of the steering committee was made open to the public.[15]

Methods and Tools Used

Participatory budgeting was the primary innovation studied in the Dunblane Young People’s Project pilot. PB is an increasingly common tool used in participatory democracy, broadly defined by Brian Wampler as “a decision-making process through which citizens deliberate and negotiate over the distribution of public resources.”[16] PB allows citizens to determine their own budgeting priorities, giving them a stake in the game and the capacity to change public policy. For PB’s ability to expand civic education, make government more transparent, and incorporate populations who had not previously been political actors, the World Bank has recognized PB as a viable democratic strategy.[17]

To prepare the participants for their civic engagement, the Dunblane Young People’s Project involved a series of workshops and training sessions, allowing the young members of the steering group to assemble their own survey and develop their own recommendations down the line.[18]

What Went On: Process, Interaction, and Participation

The SCSP spent a number of meetings developing the skills and confidence of the participants in the Young People’s Project. The 12 members of the steering group learned about how the community planning process functioned, what the Community Council did, which research tools would be best suited for determining community interests, and how they could get involved in local decision-making. Additionally, they met three more times to see how the Council worked in practice, watching the different officeholders operate.[19]

Next, the group of teenagers designed, produced, and distributed a survey for community members of all ages to ascertain the community’s priorities. They specifically looked to determine priorities in relation to intergenerational community cohesion and perceptions of antisocial behaviour. Using the results of their survey, the Community Council staged another round of workshops to give the young people the chance to interpret their findings of their consultation and make recommendations.[20]

Finally, after the steering group presented their recommendations to the community, the SCSP invited project ideas related to addressing antisocial behavior, and staged a public vote in May 2011.[21]

Influence, Outcomes, and Effects

In the end, two youth projects divided the £65,000 funding.[22] It is not known which two specific projects were selected; only that they addressed antisocial activities in Dunblane. Nevertheless, despite some adults feeling that they’d been excluded from the process early on, they came to respect what the teenagers had done. By the end, almost all of the participants expressed satisfaction in the process and its results.[23]

The project had a positive effect on participants’ behavior, causing them to rethink potentially antisocial activities like drinking and destruction of property going forward. However, the effect on the broader community was more muted; the lessons learned by participants could not be taught to participants’ peers so easily. As one volunteer remembered, “There was an incident when they were mucking around in the car park after a [planning] meeting and putting car wipers up. And they didn’t make the connection between what was happening in the meeting and what they were doing outside. But once you brought it to their attention they saw how it would be perceived.”[24]

No group has conducted a major study of the project’s effects; however, recent stories suggest that reports of antisocial behavior continue to plague the small town of Dunblane.[25] On the other hand, after the “First Generation of PB” in Scotland (including the Dunblane Young People’s Project and the other CWCI pilots), hundreds more democratic experiments proliferated throughout the country. At last count, 211 PB experiments — some with government funding, some without — have been attempted throughout the country.[26]

Analysis and Lessons Learned

The Dunblane Young People’s Project holds a number of important lessons for those hoping to implement PB designs. The defining feature of the project was its incorporation of young voices to solve problems endemic in their generation. Youth participation in the democratic process is often a challenge, but the empowerment of young voices in the steering group generated civic discussions in schools and inspired a small group to spend nights and weekends learning about the democratic process.

Additionally, the project allowed for diverse voices to have a seat at the table. By using a community organization to recruit members, the Dunblane Young People’s Project limited the influence of the loudest citizens in the community. The high satisfaction ratings also suggest that youth engagement confers an additional degree of public legitimacy.

On the other hand, the long-term effects of such a program are in question. Because the project lasted less than a year, it’s unclear whether the participants continued to engage once their demands were met. Additionally, the slow progress of recruiting young citizens, teaching them civics, designing a new survey, and going through several rounds of presentations and votes understandably frustrated older citizens.[27] As a result, relative successes like the Dunblane Young People’s Project have to come with a caveat: for better or worse, democratic innovations can sometimes lead to inefficiency in the system.

See Also

Civic Education

References 

[1] Flint, John; Nixon, Judy. "Governing neighbours: Anti-social behaviour orders and new forms of regulating conduct in the UK". Urban Studies 43 (2006): 939-955.

[2] press reader. (2016, Oct 5). MSP hails investment in Dunblane youth project. https://www.pressreader.com/uk/stirling-observer/20161005/281767038724277

[3] Participatory Budgeting Unit. “Community Wellbeing Champions Initiative Programme Level Evaluation Report.” COSLA. March 2011. http://www.i-develop-cld.org.uk...

[4] Antisocial Behaviour etc. (Scotland) Act. 2004. https://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2004/8/contents

[5] UKWA. “Promoting Positive Outcomes: Working Together to Prevent Antisocial Behaviour in Scotland.” 2009. https://www.webarchive.org.uk/wayback/archive/20150221040714/http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2009/10/21140117/5

[6] Baiocchi, Gianpaolo. "Participation, Activism, and Politics: The Porto Alegre Experiment and Deliberative Democratic Theory." Politics & Society 29, no. 1 (2001): 43-72. https://www.ssc.wisc.edu/~wright/Baiocchi.PDF

[7] Scottish Community Safety Network. “Briefing Paper No. 4 — Participatory Budgeting.” February 2012. 2. http://www.safercommunitiesscotland.org/wp-content/uploads/ps04-participatory-budgeting.pdf

[8] Inspectorate of Education. “Inspection of the learning community surrounding Dunblane High School Stirling Council.” May 24, 2011. 2-4. https://studylib.net/doc/13250960/learning-community-inspection-a-report-by-hm-inspectorate…

[9] Participatory Budgeting Unit [note 3], 44.

[10] Participatory Budgeting Unit, 18.

[11] Participatory Budgeting Unit, 38-39.

[12] Participatory Budgeting Unit, 18.

[13] Stirling Magazine. “A Community to Be Proud Of.” Fall 2011. 6. https://issuu.com/stirling/docs/stirling_autumn_2010

[14] Stirling Council. “Stirling Council approves budget for 2020/21.” March 12, 2020. https://www.stirling.gov.uk/news/2020/march-2020/stirling-council-approves-budget-for-202021/

[15] Participatory Budgeting Unit, 18.

[16] Wampler, Brian. Participatory Budgeting in Brazil: Contestation, Cooperation, and Accountability. University Park, Pa.: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2007. 68.

[17] Shah, Anwar. Participatory Budgeting. Public Sector Governance and Accountability. Washington, DC: World Bank. 2007. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/6640

[18] Participatory Budgeting Unit, 18.

[19] Participatory Budgeting Unit, 18.

[20] Stirling Council. “Stirling Council Annual Report 2010/11.” October 6, 2011. 15. http://minutes.stirling.gov.uk/pdfs/scouncil/Reports/SC20111006Item13AnnualReport.pdf

[21] Stirling Magazine, 6.

[22] Stirling Magazine, 6.

[23] Participatory Budgeting Unit, 44.

[24] Participatory Budgeting Unit, 39.

[25] Fairnie, Robert. “‘Zero tolerance’ warning after anti-social behaviour complaints in Dunblane.” Daily Record. May 3, 2018. https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/local-news/zero-tolerance-warning-after-anti-12474741

[26] PB Scotland. “Crowdsourced map of PB in Scotland.” https://pbscotland.scot/map/

[27] Participatory Budgeting Unit, 44.

External Links

Stirling Council Annual Report 2010/11

SCDC - Participatory Budgeting (PB)

Crowdsourced map of PB in Scotland

Community Wellbeing Champions Initiative: Programme Level Evaluation Report

Notes