Citizen engagement on local budgeting

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Group 15

Video & Presentation

Project Title:

  • Citizen engagement on local budgeting

NGO Project Lead:

All Project Participants:

  • Eva Stokluska
  • Dario Jovanovic
  • Marija Novkovic
  • Tereza Mickovic
  • Nenad Galic
  • Arianit Dobroshi
  • Jeff Keplan

Summary of the Problem

  • There is not enough citizen participation and easy way to get involved in local government budgeting
  • Actual needs of the community are not reflected
  • There is no understanding of the process of budget construction and ability to provide input

Proposed Solution

The solution will provide a real voice to the community in the construction of the local government budget without being an expert in budgeting. It is intended to the lower the bar of community participation in local budgeting. The solution is a combination of online and offline participation.

Online solution

A visualization of the budget process displaying where citizen input can be provided A visualiziition of the proposed budget through openspending type visualization

A way to look at fixed items and variable items that are open to input and addition of new line items

  • Project proposed
  • Cost
  • Voting (ensuring the system can't be gamed)
  • Commenting

A visual comparison of what was passed vs. what was proposed

Offline solution Offline meetup consultations would be linked to the platform where input is channeled through a tech savy person present in the meeting. When proposal submission and voting process is finished a public meeting is held with authorities to get their input.

Technology to Solve the Problem

Voting systems:

  • thumbs up/down
  • thumbs up only

Existing solutions or relevant links

  • OpenSpending
  • Reddit
  • Authentication via an existing identity from social networks or require new registration

Action Plan

  • Find a local organization to pilot the project and then offer it to others.
    • It will input the budget (based on the information gethered from the local government authorities on the initial meetings where they will present the project)
    • It will promote the platform to public and try to influence greater citizens participation connected to adding, commenting and voting on the suggested projects.
    • Provide the online/offline link
    • Find the activists that are willing to provide the online-offline link in the long-term
  • Find a programming resource to extend OpenSpending to include commenting in line items and voting mechanism