Participatory budgeting

2.4.1 What is it for?
The participatory budget module allows citizens to propose and decide directly how to spend part of the institution's budget. Each person can make proposals and vote on the initiatives of others. The most voted proposals will be carried out.
The budget can be divided into different items and groups of items, and choose how to participate in the different items. For example, in a city, two budget groups can be created: one for projects that affect the entire city and another for projects that only affect a specific district. In this case, it could be configured whether users can vote for projects from all districts or only from one or a limited number of them.
2.4.2 Permissions and Tips
Module of proposals of "Participatory Budgets"
create proposals
Registered users
Support proposals
verified users
vote proposals
verified users


  • Participatory Budgets are probably the most complex participatory processes at CONSUL DEMOCRACY. The platform is prepared for a large process that can have up to 9 phases. Reflect on the needs of your process and remember that it is not necessary to activate all of them.
  • Keep in mind that this process has automated the sending of certain emails to users, for example when their proposal is qualified as unfeasible. Check if the messages adapt to your process. More information in "Messages to users" in the section "3.1 Administration Interfaces"
  • This process allows you to combine face-to-face and online participation. Take advantage of its functionalities to overcome the digital divide. More information in "signature sheets" and "Ballot boxes" in the section "3.1 Administration Interfaces"
2.4.3 How do I configure it?
The processes of "Participatory Budgets" are created and configured from their own space within the administrator interface:
Administration> Participatory budgets
Overview of "Participatory Budgets" from the administration interface
We can create a Participatory Budget process from this section by clicking on the “create budget” button at the top right.
Window when clicking "Create budget"
The first thing we have to configure is if our budget is going to be divided into different items (A budget for each neighbourhood or area) or if it will have a single item for the entire city.
After this, we will find a form to put the basic information of our budget (Name, currency, type of vote...) and add the different groups and items of the budget.
Example of groups and games”
In the image above, "Districts project" would be a "Group" and each of the districts would be a "Part" of the budgets.
Later we will configure the different Phases of our budget. The process can include the following phases (all optional):
Phases Participatory Budgets
  • Information. To publish the basic information about the process before the participation phase begins.
  • Accepting projects. Citizens can submit budget spending projects.
  • Reviewing projects. During this phase, it is no longer possible to present projects, but they cannot be supported or voted for yet. It is a useful phase so that all users can see their published projects, and any errors that exist are detected and corrected.
  • Selecting projects. This phase allows users to support projects. It is common to receive more projects than the ones that can be evaluated in the next phase, so this phase allows prioritizing which ones should be evaluated because they have more support.
  • Project evaluation. During the evaluation period, the projects can be evaluated by the institution. This evaluation makes it possible to mark the projects as viable or unfeasible, and in the first case also assign a cost to them. The evaluated viable projects can proceed to the voting phase. This phase is carried out from the evaluation interface (Ver 3.3)
  • Publication of prices. During this phase, the selection of projects that pass to the final vote is public, as well as their cost. In such a way that users can detect errors in the selection or in the cost.
  • Final vote. Users can vote on the projects to decide which ones are the winners.
  • Voting finished. Phase to verify the results.
  • Results. Phase to present the final results once the process has finished.


“Digital Participatory Budget” - Porto Alegre (Brazil)
The City of Porto Alegre was the first in the world to implement a Participatory Budget, in 1989. Its 30th edition was carried out through this CONSUL DEMOCRACY module. 10 priorities were defined within the 6 specific themes:
  • Circulation, Transport and Urban Mobility
  • Health and Social Assistance
  • Education, Sport and Leisure
  • Culture and Youth
  • Economic Development, Taxation, Tourism and Labor
  • Housing, City Planning, Urban and Environmental Development

"Let's make a city with your ideas" San Pedro (Mexico) San Pedro carries out, through CONSUL DEMOCRACY, what is probably one of the most closely related participatory budgets in the world, since it puts the budget item of the 177 Neighborhood Councils into which the 6 districts into which the city is divided are divided.