Jakarta, Delhi involve citizens in budget decisions, city planning
Two major Asian cities are encouraging everyday citizens to shape decisions on municipal expenditures. Medha Basu reports for FutureGov Asia (registration required) that Delhi is testing participatory budgeting while Jakarta has launched a website that encourages feedback about city spending.
In Delhi, the budgetary experiment is being piloted in 400 neighborhoods throughout India’s capital. Rather than have all funding decisions made in private, Delhi residents can choose how a total of $31.5 million is spent this year. After meeting with city officials, residents cast votes about their priorities.
Jakarta is taking a similar approach. In April, Indonesia’s capital and largest city debuted a website that compiles citizen suggestions about the municipal budget. Residents can upload comments and check to see which proposals are ultimately funded. About 100 Brazilian cities rely on participatory budgeting to help shape local decisions. Last fall, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo set aside five percent of the city’s budget to be controlled by Parisians.