Democracy and participation, Urban development

WeBudget shortlist


Who is behind this?

Francesco Saija

Parliament Watch Italy


Who is joining forces?



Ministry of Space




This project was born as a prototype within the Citizens Lab network, in which all organizations are members.

Idea Sketch | Proposal


Idea pitch

The main objective of this project is to broaden the ways citizens can interact with their local authorities, thus influencing the decision-making processes. Accordingly, we aim to build a tool that will enable governments to publish understandable and citizen-oriented budgets. In addition, we will create budget schools and participation labs in our communities committed to advocate for budget transparency and for participatory space in the budgeting process.

Where will your idea take place?

The project will be a collaboration between communities in Budapest, Messina, Belgrade and Zagreb.

Why does Europe need your idea?

The lack of democratic legitimacy of EU can be filled strengthening citizenship through participation in monitoring local budgets in order to:
understand common transnational issues;
share narratives of local initiatives that tackles those issues;
reach point of no-return in good practices.

What is your impact?

In a year from now, there will be two basic outcomes:
1) Well trained local communities of practice that can monitor the budgets and foster further participation empowered with
2) a tool created by themselves that allow them to run effective participatory processes and advocacy campaigns.

How do you get there?

We will organize a multistakeholder school of citizenship, during an entire budget cycle time span, which will be implemented in different local contexts. The school steps will allow peers to co-create a modular tool, while building the knowledge they need to:
understand the municipal budget;
introduce storytelling on monitored budget processes and advocate for even more detailed budget information disclosure;
be part of the participatory process;
get other people on board.

What is your story?

We want to: 1) bring transparency of public spending together with participatory budget processes; 2) Fill the existing gap between online and face-to-face engagement. Coming with different professional backgrounds, we have already prototyped this idea, making us feel enthusiastic to continue.

Who are you doing it for?

- Local decision makers who would like to open the government.
- Citizens who don’t have insights into the operation of their municipalities, but would be eager to participate.
- Activists who need a strong tool to advocate for a change.
- Local press facing the data driven journalism transition.
- Professionals that want to engage in urban development.
- Public servants that are interested in open government practices.

What makes your idea stand apart?

For dysfunctional contexts participatory budgeting is a difficult point of arrival, nonetheless there is the potential to build a community of practice that monitor the budget trying to create transparency, social responsibility and the pre-conditions for meaningful participatory budgeting. To do this we are thinking a modular, easy-to-adapt software that can be assembled during this process, as if it was projected directly by the participants of a WeBudget school.
The modules will tackle different problems allowing to visualize the budget, to build story telling on it, to ask for timeliness and budget-related data/documents, to bargain for more participatory space, to manage that participatory space. Every context can start from a different point.

€ 50000,-

Funding requested from Advocate Europe

€ 80350,-

Total budget

Major expenses

Travel and accomodation 5680 Communication strategy in 4 contexts and overall 20000 personnel costs 30000 technology 18000 events 3600 experts fees 1760

What do you need from the Advocate Europe community?

What similar projects are you aware of? What kind of participatory features do you think can be included in a platform dealing with budget participatory processes at the local level? x


Iva Cukic

Francesco Saija


Ale González

Idea created on Jan. 19, 2018
Last edit on May 21, 2018

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