2021 Award "Best Practice in Citizen Participation"
15th Edition 2021
Supports are subject to the following rules:
- You can support up to 5 proposals.
Youth Participatory Budgeting of Valongo
As part of the "More enlightened community, more participatory community" project, the Valongo Youth Participatory Budgeting (OPJV in Portuguese) is a participation tool that allows children and young people to think about their community and defend their proposals for its improvement.
It has an inclusive format, including citizens between the ages of 6 and 35, and the whole community which indirectly participates in it. The senior population is especially privileged by this practice as the projects in the generations category are compulsorily dedicated to them. There are two other categories, one school and one out-of-school, so young people can give their opinion on any area they consider important to develop.
This project seeks to stimulate the involvement of young people in a more constructive and participatory way in the community through the creation of a dynamic and critical thought about the territory of Valongo, promoting active participation and democratic values.
The project also seeks to bring generations together, in a constant dialogue, in a daily learning process, constituting a very powerful tool for directly listening to the population, for teaching democratic processes and healthy coexistence between communities.
In Valongo, the OPJV has already 8 editions practically concluded, a 100% rate of achievement of winning projects and a very high degree of satisfaction on the part of the public.
So far we have already invested 570,000 euros directly and more than two million euros indirectly, carrying out ideas that were worthy and important but were not winners and/or expanding winning projects. Regarding indirect results, Valongo City Council recorded 1.5 M€ of investment. Projects were replicated at the level of school infrastructures, placement of interactive panels and computer equipment, rooms of the future and playgrounds. In the community, graffiti projects and outdoor gyms adapted to all ages were replicated. It has also been a tool to promote the reduction of economic and social differences in the municipality.
The OPJV is equal to the other PBs in genesis, but, in Valongo, it played a structuring role and allowed other participative processes to emerge here, making this municipality an example at national and international level. In the network of participative municipalities, we have been presidents for two consecutive mandates.
The OPJV concretely promotes behaviours and habits of participation from an early age and also invests in training the public to participate, by offering actions that promote reflection and contribute to the knowledge of the functioning of the sovereign bodies and democracy. We intend to trigger a feeling of empowerment in citizens for continuous action, so that each individual can find their way and purpose in their community. Investing in these processes of public participation is synonymous with investing in the community, perpetuating action not only locally, but nationally, and internationally. Above all, throughout the process, we want young people to be participative, promote civic participation and stimulate feelings of belonging, ensuring responsiveness, inclusive, participative and representative decision making at all levels.
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