With the Help of Participatory Budget to Better Understanding of the City
Spending of public money is an issue that has always been of interest to the citizens. And they are also the ones who feel the results of decisions most clearly. Participatory budgeting has been implemented in order to involve the citizens in the drafting of local budget.
Applying of participatory budgeting varies by countries, but its basic principle is clear and understandable: the local government council allocates a part of the local government budget to the local community who decides how the money should be used.
In planning the participatory budgeting process, Tartu has taken into account the experience of other countries of the world, the guidance material of e-Governance Academy and the opinions of several stakeholders. The pilot project was implemented for the first time in Estonia in 2013. The lessons learned from that were used for planning a new model for 2014, with greater involvement and more discussions. It will probably take years before the model that is right for Tartu will be found. And most probably this, too, would have to change with the changes taking place in the society.
Tartu has learned a lot from its first experience, several discussions about involvement have been initiated in the city environment, communities have been brought together to speak about the management and budget of the city. The participatory budgeting process of Tartu has attracted attention both in Estonia and abroad.