Over the past five years, 44 out of 60 municipalities in Lithuania have implemented participatory budgeting at least once. Two-thirds of them do it annually, according to a review conducted by the Transparency International Lithuania.
In total, the residents of the municipalities have already decided on the use of 8 million euros through this method. Municipalities usually allocate from 7 to 350 thousand euros to the participatory budgeting.
Over the past year, almost 106 thousand residents in 37 municipalities voted for 158 projects related to the improvement of municipal infrastructure and living environment. In this way, they allocated 3.6 million euros. In total, municipalities received almost 1200 ideas from residents through participatory budgeting.
9 municipalities indicated that they organized participatory budgeting in schools over the past year (in the Druskininkai, Kaunas, Klaipėda, Lazdijai, Molėtai, Pakruojis, Tauragė, Vilkaviškis district and Klaipėda city municipalities).
“I am glad that municipalities are increasingly seeking ways to involve residents in decision-making. I would very much like for them to more clearly define their goals and find ways to do it even more effectively. It could start with collecting feedback from residents – for example, during participatory budgeting, only seven municipalities currently do so” – said Ingrida Kalinauskienė, CEO of Transparency International Lithuania.
Today, TI Lithuania organizes the sixth “Participatory Budgeting Forum”, where representatives of the municipalities, schools and active citizens will share good examples and lessons learned from participatory budgeting. More information on the forum in Lithuanian: transparency.lt/dalyvaujamojo-biudzeto-forumas-2023
Participatory budgeting – is a process of deciding together with the members of one‘s community on how to spend public funds, with everyone invited to propose ideas to a municipality, school or organization and vote for the best ones.
For more information on participatory budgeting initiatives in Lithuanian: www.dalyvaujamasisbiudzetas.lt.
The insights and recommendations presented in this study were obtained via information provided by all municipalities to the August 2023 Transparency International Lithuania‘s request about participatory budgeting activities carried out by municipalities in August 2022 – August 2023.
Ingrida Kalinauskienė, email@example.com, +370 5 212 69 51