Community empowerment and public service reform are central to the Scottish experience of participatory budgeting (PB). But does this focus also open a window of opportunity for democratic innovation for Scotland?

For PB to make a substantial difference in the lives of citizens and communities, democratic innovators (such as politicians, activists, public servants) across Scotland will have to overcome challenges related to culture, capacity, politics, legitimacy and sustainability.

In this webinar, Dr Oliver Escobar looked at what needs to happen to ensure that the mainstreaming of PB simultaneously carves out space for more complex participatory and deliberative processes in local government decision-making.

He considered the issues for achieving this, including the need to:

  • increase the deliberative quality of PB processes
  • strengthen the focus on tackling inequalities
  • properly resource teams of participation practitioners and community organisers to support deliberative quality.

He also look at some of the challenges in the relationship between PB and the institutions and practices of local democracy.

This webinar draws on the work of the PB Scotland working group, published this year in the free e-book Hope for democracy: 30 years of participatory budgeting worldwide.

See the presentation

Unfortunately the slides are not very clear in the video so we recommend that you listen to the audio whilst looking at the presentation in the PDF.

Presentation slides: Participatory budgeting and its potential for community empowerment and social justice (PDF)

The video is also available on YouTube

Transcript: Participatory Budgeting webinar (PDF)

Please note:

  • There is a very small amount of content missing just before the main presentation begins. This introduced the book mentioned above.
  • Unfortunately the slides are not very clear, and are a reduced size at the start. They do become full screen about six minutes into the presentation but are still not very clear. All the slides are available to read online or download.

The webinar was held on 24 October 2018

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