4. Participatory budgets

The participatory budgeting module allows citizens to directly propose and decide 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 categories and groups of categories, and you can choose how you participate in the different categories. For example, in a city you can create two budget groups: one for projects that affect the whole city and another for projects that only affect a specific district. In this case you could configure whether users can vote for projects from all districts or only from one or a limited number of districts.
Another possibility would be to make thematic groups, distributing a part of the budget for a specific theme of budgets: education, health, transparency, etc.
In order to develop participatory budgets, various phases of participation can be activated. It is not necessary to activate all of them, and the parameters of each phase and its duration can be configured as appropriate.
The available phases are as follows:
  • Presentation of projects. Citizens can submit budget expenditure projects.
  • Initial review of projects. During this phase it is no longer possible to submit projects, but they still cannot be supported or voted on. It is a useful phase for all users to see their projects published, and to detect and correct any errors that exist.
  • Support phase. This phase allows users to support projects. It is common to receive more projects than what can be evaluated in the next phase, so this phase allows to prioritize which ones should be evaluated because having more support.
  • Evaluation of projects. During the evaluation period, projects can be evaluated by the institution. This evaluation makes it possible to mark projects as viable or unfeasible, and in the first case also to assign them a cost. Evaluated viable projects can move on to the voting phase.
  • Review of projects. During this phase it is published the selection of projects that pass to the final vote, as well as their cost. That way the users can detect errors in the selection or in the cost.
  • Final vote. Users can vote on projects to decide which are the winners.
The projects have all the functionalities that are available in the proposals section (see more information in that section): Projects can include tags, images, documentation, videos, location on a map or other relevant information. It also has a comment space, with the possibility for the author to send notifications, with a space for detecting similar projects, and with a community space for users to work together.
The evaluation of projects is done in a decentralized manner. As many evaluators can be registered as needed, and each one will only see in their evaluation interface the projects assigned to them. The administrators of the platform will be able to follow in real time the work of all the evaluators.
During the final voting phase a "shopping cart" type voting can be used. Each person will have the full budget to spend, and will be able to vote on projects based on their cost until the budget is spent.
Once the participation process is finished, all the winning projects can be made visible, according to their state of realisation.
In addition, in each project a timeline is published where any progress made in the realisation of the project can be reported.