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Publications / Public Policy Papers

Civil participation by means of participatory budgeting: checking of possibilities for decentralised cooperation in Belarus

Author(s): Yuri Krivorotko

Date: 2019

Publisher: NISPAcee Press

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Order contact: nispa@nispa.sk

Yuri Krivorotko , Economics and Accounting department at the Belarusian Institute of Jurisprudence, Minsk, Belarus


Abstract

The process of civil participation and the participative approach used by them are the most challenging issues of the last few years in the post-soviet countries and in Belarus. Thanks to a participatory approach, the mutual cooperation between Civil Society and Local Governments has occurred and it is possible to develop projects and activities that support local democracy and economic and social development. They are also creating strong links between communities and citizens, creating dialogue and trust.

One of the civil participation forms is public participation in the local budget process where citizens and active groups of the population set up the local budget and include it in their projects. Thanks to participatory budgeting, citizens have the right to say how part of public resources should be spent. By doing so, they "embed their voice” in local government, ensuring the process of civic participation in public administration.

This paper pursues the following purposes: a) to show the importance of civil participation by means of participatory budgeting (PB) for attaining decentralised cooperation between a local authority and its citizens; b) to check the hypothesis that participatory budgeting is is a form of citizen participation in local development in Belarus, and to show key success factors of PB. The scope of policy issues discussed is extremely broad and covers not only civic participation, in the form of its public budgeting, but also decentralised cooperation development between the authorities and citizens, fiscal decentralisation development, and the integration of participatory budgeting into the local budget process. The paper covers targeted groups who are citizen of localities, local authority offices, local associations, and NGO's.

The research methodology is based on approaches made by Manor, Nemec, Selee, Tulchin, Souza, Sedmihradska, Raulda, Rodgers, Wampler, Wilmore and other researches. Empirical studies will be linked with participatory budgeting pilot projects in Slovakia, Poland, and Ukraine where they were developed. Statistical data from official sources, such as the Ministry of Finance, regional financial departments, NGOs and databases in this area, etc. will also be used.

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