Role of Technology
Tools and Resources
Role of technology
Open Development Technology Alliance
Supporting Open Budgets, the Open Development Technology Alliance (also known as the ICT Knowledge Platform) aims to enhance accountability and improve the delivery and quality of public services through technology-enabled citizen engagement—for example, using mobile phones, interactive-mapping, and social media. The platform is a joint initiative anchored by WBI, SDV and the ICT Sector Unit, and supported by World Bank Network Anchors and Regions, ISG, OPCS and DEC. The platform aims to give voice to citizens, and improve accountability feedback loops around public services by synthesizing knowledge products, brokering expert connections and facilitating the co-creation and spread of ICT tools. The platform is organized around three core areas: knowledge, people and tools.
Participatory Budgeting (PB)
Participatory Budgeting (PB) is an innovative mechanism which aims to involve citizens in the decision-making process of public budgeting. By creating a channel for citizens to give voice to their priorities, PB can be instrumental in making the allocation of public resources more inclusive and equitable. By promoting public access to revenue and expenditure information, PB effectively increases transparency in fiscal policy and public expenditure management, reducing scope for clientelistic practices, elite capture, and corruption, thereby enhancing the government's credibility and the citizens' trust. PB can also improve service delivery by linking needs identification, investment planning, tax systems and project management.
Some examples of participatory budgeting through the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
Case Study on ICT4Gov: Strengthening Inclusive Stakeholder Ownership Through Capacity Development
This case study provides an analysis of the objectives, change process and preliminary results of the Information and Communication Technology for Governance (ICT4Gov) program in the conflict-affected province of South Kivu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Supported by the World Bank Institute (WBI), this program aims to facilitate decentralization by empowering local stakeholders to participate in the process of participatory budgeting through the use of ICT. This initiative built upon a governance diagnostic assessment conducted in South Kivu, which also provided an entry point to forge relationships and bring together stakeholders within the country to promote and engage in governance reforms. The Capacity Development and Results team at WBI conducted this case study based on the Capacity Development and Results Framework (CDRF).
In South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the ICT-mediated participatory budgeting (PB) approach that Open Development Technology Alliance (ODTA)-ICT4Gov program is helping facilitate is already leading to results: Tax collection increased up to sixteen fold as citizens saw that projects started to be implemented. And the provincial government had increased transfers of funds to local governments up to fourfold as it saw a more legitimate process to elaborate the budget. In late 2012, a law was passed to institutionalize PB, and other provinces are following suit and starting to replicate the process. It has allowed repairing 54 classrooms, building a bridge in Luhindja, creating a health center, repairing the sewage system in Bagira, and building a water fountain, as well as toilets in local markets in Ibanda.
Visit a World Bank presentation on The Role of Technology in Participatory Budgeting that presents 4 case studies (Ipatinga, Brazil; Belo Horizonte, Brazil; South Kivu, DRC; Jarabacao, Dominican Republic).
Brazil - Toward a more inclusive and effective participatory budget in Porto Alegre (Vol. 1 of 2): Main report, 2008
Brazil - Toward a more inclusive and effective participatory budget in Porto Alegre (Vol. 2 of 2): Main report, 2008
This report is about effective participatory budgeting in Porto Alegre. The process was initiated during the early years of re-democratization and decentralization in Brazil, following the end of the military dictatorship in 1985. The 1988 constitution initiated a process of decentralization and tax reforms that created the fiscal space for municipalities to make more significant public investment decisions. The Participatory Budget (OP) has a complex methodology for organizing participation in a city of over 1.4 million inhabitants, as well as for prioritizing public investments based on three main criteria: unmet basic needs, population, and citizen preferences. However, the OP constitutes one element in a broader complex system of participatory governance in Porto Alegre. Findings on the poverty and fiscal impacts of OP in Brazil suggest that OP is a participatory mechanism that has significant potential for pro-poor distributive impacts that lead to poverty reduction outcomes in the long run. Its ability to have a positive impact on fiscal performance is less evident.
Public Sector Governance and Accountability Series: Participatory Budgeting, 2007
This book provides an overview of the principles underlying participatory budgeting. It analyzes the merits and demerits of participatory budgeting practices around the world with a view to guiding policy makers and practitioners on improving such practices in the interest of inclusive governance.
Mapping for Results
Mapping for Results visualizes the locations of World Bank-financed projects to better monitor development impact, improve aid effectiveness and coordination, and enhance transparency and social accountability.
Other World Bank-ICT documents
Technologies for Transparency and Accountability, Implications for ICT Policy and Implementation, 2011
This report focuses on analyzing the conditions under which new technologies can enhance delivery of public services to the poor through improved accountability and transparency. It examines the linkages between the use of innovations in technology, increased accountability and the effects on the delivery of public services to poor communities. Specifically, the paper investigates the role that the combination of social media, geo-mapping and various technology platforms can play in this process
The report ICT for Open contracting in Fragile and Conflict-Affected States identifies efforts to use ICT from the use of mobile technology to open data portals – for fairer and more inclusive, transparent and accountable public resource management. Drawing on available literature and interviews with practitioners and users in fragile and conflict-affected countries, the research identifies approaches to ICT that can lead to real impact in fragile and conflict-affected countries. This report provides a mapping of ICT tools to inform open contracting in fragile and conflict-affected countries, a topic that has only recently emerged in analytical literature. The research highlights the need for further case studies, documented experiences and analysis to exemplify the use of ICT enhanced accountability for open contracting in practice.
The Technology for Transparency Network is a research and mapping project that aims to improve understanding of the current state of online technology projects that increase transparency and accountability in Central & Eastern Europe, East Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and the former Soviet Union. The project is supported by the Transparency and Accountability Initiative, a donor collaborative that includes the Ford Foundation, Hivos, the International Budget Partnership, the Omidyar Network, the Open Society Institute, the Revenue Watch Institute, the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
Visit Participatory Budgeting World Mapping to see which countries use participatory budgeting.
Participedia is an open global knowledge community for researchers and practitioners in the field of democratic innovation and public engagement.
Other relevant documents
La Plata; Argentina: Multi-Channel Participatory Budgeting, 2011
The multi-channel PB of La Plata, Argentina, uses an innovative combination of offline, online and mobile channels to promote the engagement of citizens in the direct allocation of the city’s investment budget. The municipality’s unique participatory design, which combines face-to-face deliberation with remote voting (e.g., mobile voting), has produced outstanding results: Over 49,000 out of 400,000 eligible voters have participated in the process.
e-Participatory Budgeting: e-Democracy from Theory to Success?, 2008
This paper concerns the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) as a strategy for reinforcing democratic processes - broadly defined as "electronic democracy" practices - and focuses on the use of ICTs in participatory democracy initiatives. By considering the experience of the e-Participatory Budgeting in the city of Belo Horizonte (Brazil), the aim is to understand some of the possible prospects and limitations offered by ICTs in participatory processes at the local level.
Children and Young People Build Participatory Democracy in Latin American Cities, 2006
This paper presents case studies from four cities in Latin America – Cotacachi in Ecuador, Barra Mansa and Icapuí in Brazil, and Ciudad Guyana in Venezuela – all of which involved initiatives to foster the active participation of children and young people in the governance of their cities. The paper describes the larger context in each case, the range of methods used to involve young people in each city, the process as it evolved over time, the challenges experienced and the impact of the initiatives. To some extent, all four projects involved the adaptation of participatory budgeting as an approach to participation for young people. The paper concludes with a discussion of the lessons drawn from these cases.
Urban Governance Toolkit Series: 72 Frequently Asked Questions about Participatory Budgeting, 2004
The present Manual of Frequently Asked Questions intends to respond in a direct and practical way to the general question of how best to implement a Participatory Budget. The Manual is a key entry point to a broader Participatory Budgeting Toolkit, which is based on a collection of four types of useful resources for all those interested in adopting and adapting Participatory Budgeting in a particular context
A Guide to Participatory Budgeting, 2000
It is important to keep in mind that there is no precise or exact model for PB programs. While there are similar tenets and institutional mechanisms, PB programs are structured in response to the particular political, social, and economic environment of each city or state. While alluding to the differences, this report will present a synthesis of the most representative cases. The presumption of this guide is that the tools and institutional means developed in Brazil are, in small or large part, applicable elsewhe
Other relevant materials