Portugal opens national budget to participation: a world first

Signal of change / Portugal opens national budget to participation: a world first

By Anna Simpson / 09 Nov 2016

Proposals are already being submitted to the world's first national-scale participatory budget, due to launch in January 2017.

Citizens are invited to share ideas for government expenditure, and vote on which proposals should be adopted. One early suggestion is to equip nurseries with technology to teach children about robotics. 

To make it easy for people to get involved, they will be able to cast their votes at ATM machines.

So what?

Participatory budgeting is a practical way to encourage civic engagement with national decision-making, as the credibility of some democratic processes seems on the verge of collapse. It's not just a way to get people involved: it's a way to generate a spectacular range of ideas, making it more likely that impactful innovations will emerge to address needs on the ground, now and in the future.



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What might the implications of this be? What related signals of change have you seen?

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