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									Empowerment research
   seminar series
   Participatory Budgeting
  Friday 29th January 2010

         Charles Woodd
  Community Development Team
Communities and Local Government
Evaluation findings

   Scott Dickinson
   SQW Consulting
National Evaluation of Participating Budgeting

Communities and Local Government, Eland House
SQW Consulting: Scott Dickinson, Associate Director
29 January 2009


   Context
   What is the evaluation all about?
   What is the evaluation framework?
   What is PB?
   What does a „typical‟ process look like?
   Who are the case studies?
   Why do PB?
   What do we have to do?
   How much does PB cost?
   What will we get for our money?

                     Cambridge Economic Associates

Current economic and public policy context

 Recession

     Poorer
     Greater inequality

 Public Policy drivers

     Fiscal austerity
     Devolution

 Lack of public trust in politicians and bankers

 Prioritisation

     Evidence of need and effectiveness – cost-benefit analysis and evaluations of
      „what works‟
     Public and staff consultations and deliberations because people deliver – not

                            Cambridge Economic Associates

What is the evaluation all about? – Aims

   The aims of the evaluation are

     to develop and provide evidence on different types of PB
     track the processes and experiences of PB, exploring how and why
      different types of PB have an impact in different environments
     conduct a pre-PB baseline exercise and post-implementation cost and
      impact analysis of PB in the study group

   The primary purposes of this evaluation are to

     improve implementation of PB in local government and encourage
     spread good practice
     build understanding of how to maximise the beneficial impacts and cost
      effectiveness of PB

                        Cambridge Economic Associates

What is the evaluation all about? – Stages

 Phase 1a

    a literature review
    a survey of PB areas
    the proposed evaluation framework

 Phase 1b process evaluation

 Phase 2 is an impact evaluation running through 2010
  and reporting in 2011

                     Cambridge Economic Associates

What is the evaluation all about? – Terminology

Description                                             National Evaluation

  The overarching method by which PB is                   PB approach(es)
  operating in a place/study area – including
  the source of the budget which is to be
  allocated by PB and the spatial area(s)
  within which it is to be allocated

  The way(s) in which a PB approach is                    PB process
  delivered in a place/study area

  Activities that occur as a result of PB                 Local projects or
                                                          changes to service

                        Cambridge Economic Associates

    What is the Evaluation Framework?
Key elements of research on Participatory                Key elements of research on impact of local
   Budgeting processes                                      projects promoted as part of a Participatory
                                                            Budgeting process
   Context i.e. the baseline situation, including the      Context i.e. evidence on the existence (or not)
    characteristics of the area, such as previous            of „local projects‟ and/or services in the area of
    decision-making arrangements                             operation

   Objectives i.e. the purpose of Participatory            Objectives i.e. the different aims and objectives
    Budgeting                                                of the different types of „local project‟/service
                                                             covered by the Participatory Budgeting process
   Inputs i.e. the financial and non-financial inputs      Inputs i.e. the financial and non-financial
    in to the process of Participatory Budgeting,            resources required by the local projects
    including any set-up costs
   Process/activities i.e. what happens and how;           Process/activities, e.g. services
    as well as what did and did not work
   Results/outputs outputs from the Participatory          Results/outputs the changes achieved by the
    Budgeting process in terms of objectives                 „local projects‟ and services

   Outcomes what the process has delivered in              Outcomes the effect the outputs have had, e.g.
    terms of the quality of the process and                  greater satisfaction
    empowerment etc.
   Impacts, e.g. significant changes in local              Impacts changes in the contextual conditions
    decision-making processes
                                      Cambridge Economic Associates

What is PB?

 Participatory budgeting directly involves local people in
 making decisions on the spending priorities for a defined
 public budget. This means engaging residents and
 community groups representative of all parts of the
 community to discuss spending priorities, making
 spending proposals and vote on them, as well as giving
 local people a role in the scrutiny and monitoring of the

 CLG in conjunction with the PB Unit

                  Cambridge Economic Associates

    What‟s a typical small grant allocation process look like?
                                                             Decision to proceed and funding secured

                                                                   Delivery team sets up process

                                                           Marketing of Participatory Budgeting process

Prioritisation exercise to determine themes for Participatory Budgeting                                  Request for project bids/applications
                                 process                                                           Support provided by delivery team where necessary

                                                                Screening process – in some cases

                                                                    Feasible bids taken forward
                                                Additional information can be sought by delivery team if necessary

                                               Shortlisted bids presented/displayed at local meeting/event/via mail to

                                                         Voting/scoring/project prioritisation takes places

  Projects allocated Participatory Budgeting funds or refused – and                    In some cases a post-vote meeting reviews decisions – this may be of
                 contracts offer letters are signed-off                                           councillors or a broader panel with veto power

                                                             Projects delivered by the relevant parties

                                                    Monitoring and evaluation undertaken by the delivery team

                                                     Cambridge Economic Associates
                                                Learning and feedback feeds into subsequent cycle of Participatory
                                                                       Budgeting process

  Case studyPB activity
  Area  Origin of                         Set up
                                                   First decision
                                                                              Mechanism through
                                                                             which PB is facilitated
             Introduced in response
                                                                       Facilitated through the seven Area
                 to both a Council
 Haringey                                 2003        2004/05          Assemblies by the Neighbourhood
                  and resident-led
                                                                                Management team
             Introduced to support
                                                                            Facilitated through the
                   the general
 Manton                                   2006         2007              Neighbourhood Management
                objectives of the
                                                                    Facilitated by the Social Policy Team
Newcastle     Council led initiative      2004         2006
                                                                                at the Council
                                                                             Facilitated through the
  Salford     Council led initiative      2007        2007/08          Neighbourhood Management team
                                                                        in two Community Committees
                                                                    Facilitated through the NDC and the
Southampto   Council, PCT and NDC                                       Community Health Group, in
                                          2006         2008
      n          led initiative                                     conjunction with the Council and the
                                                                           Facilitated through Ward
 St Helens    Council led initiative      2006         2007
                                                                            Facilitated through the
 Salisbury    Council led initiative      2008         2009
                                                                                  Area Board
                                                                          Facilitated through Ward
   York       Council led initiative     1994/95      1994/95          Committees by the Neighbourhood
                                                                              Management Unit

                                       Cambridge Economic Associates

Why should we do Participatory Budgeting? 1/2

 Participatory Budgeting helps to improve

   Within communities and between communities
   Between communities and service providers

 It draws on local knowledge and opinions to
  ensure resources are spent on what matters to
  local people

                Cambridge Economic Associates

Why should we do Participatory Budgeting? 2/2

 Case study areas provided a range of reasons for
  introducing Participatory Budgeting

    to facilitate meaningful participation by residents in local decision
     making with a view to improving local accountability, the quality of local
     services and the quality of life
    to increase community pride and sense ownership
    to increase community cohesion and bring different people together
    to enhance the development of social capital
    to enhance the relationship between residents and councillors
    to increase awareness of how the council works and constructs its
    getting people to understand better how public money is spent
    to develop effective support and project planning mechanisms
    establishing clear processes and lines of accountability

                         Cambridge Economic Associates

What does Participatory Budgeting involve? – Set up

   Participatory Budgeting

     often complements existing community engagement/empowerment
     is one of a number of community empowerment tools

   It generally takes 6-12 months to set up the process and hold the
    first decision-making event

   Set-up activities include

     Early and subsequent advice on the development of the process
     Facilitation of introductory workshops
     Training for key members of staff etc
                        Cambridge Economic Associates

What does Participatory Budgeting involve? – Process

 Participation is generally open to all residents with the
  exception of some targeted events

    Universal approach did not always lead to participation that
     reflected the demographics of the local community

 Councillors participated

    In the decision-making process as a resident
    Providing advice to participants as part of the process
    Used the process to inform their own decisions

                      Cambridge Economic Associates

What does Participatory Budgeting involve? – Marketing

 Haringey widely publicises its events through advertisements in a
  local magazine (sent out to all households), leafleting, invitations to
  residents, adverts on the Council website and informal marketing
  through the Neighbourhood Management team

 In Manton, the Participatory Budgeting process was promoted
  widely to residents, including marketing in local employers‟
  canteens, pubs and bookmakers

 Tower Hamlets used a number of communication techniques
  including posters, banners, press adverts, articles in the council
  newspaper (which is circulated to all homes across the authority),
  radio adverts, TV adverts (on Bengali TV stations) and leaflets, as
  well as through word of mouth, councillor contacts in their wards,
  local social networks and community groups, Mosques, Churches

                        Cambridge Economic Associates
What does Participatory Budgeting involve? - Establishing
eligibility criteria

 The Neighbourhood Management team in Haringey developed a set of
  decision making criteria, to sift initial applications

     Projects should be completed within the financial year
     Projects need to be sustainable
     Projects should not be approved if the costs can be met from other sources of
     Bids that cover the core costs of an existing voluntary sector project are not
     Bids must come from people resident in the borough, if an organisation‟s remit
      goes beyond the borough, then a local resident must submit the form etc

 In York, the Neighbourhood Management team filters the initial list of
  project ideas to check the following

     Suggestions aren‟t already covered by statutory duty of a service provider – in
      which case the issue is brought to that provider‟s attention
     Suggestions are broadly feasible and affordable
     Suggestions are legal

                            Cambridge Economic Associates

What does Participatory Budgeting involve? – Delivery

 Local delivery teams are generally responsible for

     Monitoring and implementing the process
     Ensuring the activities funded are delivered as planned

        > Resident involvement in this element varies from area to area

 Monitoring and contracting processes were relatively informal in the
  most cases

 Funding is released in a variety of ways

     In arrears on receipt of evidence of spending
     Bills or invoices sent directly to the Council which processes payment
      on behalf of the project
     Payments made directly by the Council services who took the project

                           Cambridge Economic Associates

What does Participatory Budgeting involve? – Projects

 The bulk of activity focused on the allocation of small grants

 2005/6 to 2009/10 the eight case study areas influenced the allocation of
  over £5 million of discretionary resources and supported 2,366 projects

     43% of projects are small (£1 to £1,000)
       > 55% were in the £1001 to £10,000 size band
     Average project size across all case study areas and the whole period is

 One-third of projects focused on the maintenance of public spaces

 28% of projects were on highways improvements, including road safety

 12% of projects were grants for voluntary and community based activity

 Youth work accounted for projects 7%, street cleaning and refuse collection
  accounted for 9% of projects and 5% of projects were in public health
                          Cambridge Economic Associates

Points to note about the process

                                                               There was no
                                                            discernible trend in
    Process of engagement                                        levels of
     is continuous you are                                     participation
         never finished

  Limited links between
    local Participatory                             Methods of engagement
 Budgeting activities and                            and decision-making
 wider Council decision                             change over time – trial
     making activities                                and error required

                            Cambridge Economic Associates

Critical success factors

 Senior level buy-in and drive within the Council or governing body
 Commitment to the provision of funding
 Sufficient planning and development time
 Development of a vision
 Access to sufficient levels of external support to set up and plan
 Embedding the process within easily recognisable geographies
 Appropriate staff team to facilitate the process
 Technical expertise required to test feasibility and costs
 Communication and transparency
    Funding criteria
    Decision making processes
    „Pitching‟ at a level and in a form that the community can respond to
 Effective monitoring and evaluation processes to ensure the benefits of the
  process and its subsequent activities are recorded and are fed back to local
 Ensure decision making is attended by a balanced representation from the
  relevant groups of interest in a local areas

                         Cambridge Economic Associates

Barriers to delivery

   Lack of understanding
   Lack of interest
   Councillors worried about what it means for their role
   Limited political support for the process – a „come and go‟ initiative
   Limited level of funding available means that the process is „isolated‟
    in pilot activities or particular areas
   Resource intensive during set-up phase
   Funding uncertainties affect plans for the future
   Lack of an overarching strategic plan to help prioritise projects
   Lack of mechanisms to ensure consistency of delivery of
    Participatory Budgeting between areas within a local authority
   Insufficient levels of feedback and monitoring
   Lack of sufficient staff resources constrains the speed at which
    Participatory Budgeting can be rolled out

                         Cambridge Economic Associates
How much will Participatory Budgeting cost?

   The total public sector cost per head of setting up and running
    Participatory Budgeting for a year in part of a local authority district
    was £1.18 ( 26 pence per head was additional financial costs, i.e.
    excluding staff time)

   Where Participatory Budgeting operated throughout a district the
    public sector cost per head was 65 pence (14 pence per head was
    additional financial costs)

   Where Participatory Budgeting ran in part of a district, the total
    public sector cost per participant in Participatory Budgeting
    processes was £45 (£10 was additional financial costs)

   The total public sector cost per participant where Participatory
    Budgeting operated across a whole district was £104 (£25 was
    additional financial costs)
                         Cambridge Economic Associates
What will we get for our money?

 Increased self-esteem and confidence of those who participated in
  the process
 Improved sense of their ability to influence local decision-making
 Better understanding of budget setting and the local democratic
 Enhanced relations between councillors and their constituents
 Greater community capacity in an area – especially when linked to
  wider community development work or neighbourhood management
 Resource allocation better reflects local people‟s views on how best
  to allocate resources
 Increased ability to lever in additional resources

                       Cambridge Economic Associates

Early findings on the impacts of the process

 In Menton, which covers a small area that is part of a
  Neighbourhood Management Pathfinder project, local
  residents surveys show a majority of people thought the
  area had improved over the last two years

    plus 35% of those voting in the Participatory Budgeting process
     had never participated in a vote before

 In Salisbury, which targeted children dealing with
  disability, parents indicate increased satisfaction with
  services and improvements in their children‟s quality of
  life and young people have been able to influence
  decisions in a way that they have not been able to before

                      Cambridge Economic Associates

Still more to do

   Local practitioners report limited progress in the following areas

     understanding of issues surrounding resource allocation
     improvements in the political efficacy, social capital and social
      cohesiveness of the community
     increased engagement from hard-to-reach groups
     increased levels of community and voluntary sector involvement
     increased empowerment of councillors
     increased satisfaction with local services
     increased community cohesion
     speed of decision making
     distributive efficiency
     costs of community engagement
     changes in the culture/attitude of the local authority (and other public
      sector bodies) to public engagement in decision-making
     changes in roles of councillors and officers

                          Cambridge Economic Associates


          Scott Dickinson
          Associate Director
          SQW Consulting
          t. 0113 389 9736

          Cambridge Economic Associates
   Practice lessons

        Ruth Jackson
Participatory Budgeting Unit
Evaluating participatory budgeting
Empowerment Research Seminar
    29th January 2010
      Ruth Jackson
          PB Unit
           Role of PB Unit

• To promote PB
• To support the implementation of PB
• National
• Research
• Support development & delivery of
• Technical support
• Evaluation & monitoring
    What we’ve been doing recently

•   Unpacking the values
•   Evaluation approach & tools
•   Health sector
•   Engaged communities hallmark
•   Mainstreaming
•   Town and parish councils
 Values, principles and standards

• First produced in 2008
• 9 values: transparency, accessibility,
  deliberation, empowerment, local
  ownership, mainstream involvement,
  representative democracy and
  shared responsibility
• Aim to ensure good quality PB that
  is more than lip service
          Values continued

• Recently produced “unpacking the
  values”. It
  – Expands on the values through tables for
    practitioners to gauge how embedded the
    values are
  – Case studies to illustrate each value to
    provide tangible examples
      Using the interim report

• PB Unit can use the report to
  demonstrate evidence of things known
  anecdotally. For example,
  “residents were much more likely to engage
    if they were able to influence budget spend
    in their local area and see results
    quickly” p.29

“case study evidence…highlighted that
residents were more likely to engage in
democratic processes at this lower level, as
the resultant decisions would be
tangible/visible to them.” p.39

“for those that had been facilitating
participatory budgeting over 2 to 3 years,
the process had tended to grow
over time.” ibid.
   What does this mean for PB?

• A bit early to know
• Initial findings seem positive but there
  are areas where PB can be improved –
  but PB is an ever improving process.
  The report can help focus on where
  improvements are needed.
• Demonstrates that there is potential
  in PB
             Why evaluate?

• To find out whether or not PB is
  achieving it‟s aims – if it‟s the right tool
  for the job
• To identify where improvements can be
  made & what is good practice
• To make comparisons nationally
• Demonstrate the value of PB to
     Importance of evaluation
• Needs to be robust
• Needs to consider audiences
• How will you know whether or not you
  achieved your aims if you don‟t
• Demonstrate early outcomes
• Help get sceptics on board
• Demonstrate quality & good
     Further information

         0161 236 9321

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