Participatory Budgeting Prototype released!

Johanna zum Felde of Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland

Nov 4, 2016

Announce! Vote! Monitor! New Tools for Participatory Budgeting

Our partner Civio - a non-for-profit organization, specialized in data journalism, investigative journalism, and visualizations - has developed an interface that combines the different user needs for voting, monitoring and announcing budget processes. As the front-runner in the field of visualisation public procurement, budgets and expenditure, governmental pardons, public-private power networks and conflicts of interests in Spain, it is part of their advocacy agenda to close the feedback loop in the decision-making cycle. These new tools for participatory budgeting strengthen the feedback and contribute to meaningful change. Participatory budgeting has three phases: generating project ideas, debating and voting, and implementing and monitoring. So far, there was not one integrated tool that all the different stakeholders could use to support all three participatory budgeting phases.

Data Art

Process Announcement and Voting

The interface allows citizens to influence the budget allocation. In the process announcement, the organisers will announce the start of a new participatory budgeting cycle. As soon as a voting process is opened by a city or municipality, citizens can vote on the proposals they’d like to see implemented. Every participant is assigned a certain amount, representing their share of the public budget which they can allocate to different proposals. Multiple proposals can be selected, as long as the assigned amount is not yet fully allocated. Proposals can be filtered according to specific districts such as Downtown or the Riverside (virtual districts right now) or according to keywords relevant such as Environmental Protection, Bicycles or Parks and Recreation. It is also possible to choose the amount of proposals shown. Finally a tree diagram visualisation allows an overview of each proposals share of the allocated budget.

Results and Monitoring

Another function of the interface enables progress monitoring. You can check whether the process is still open and how many votes have been casted per proposal. The monitoring function also includes an overview of the proposals voted upon in the shape of a tree diagram. Finally, you can also comment and debate proposals on the platform or on social media by sharing your proposals, votes and comments on facebook, twitter or google+.