2023 Award "Best Practice in Citizen Participation"
Rosario: Participatory Budget 2023-2024: Citizen Laboratories as innovation devices in the management of public policies
Rosario, Argentina, is a pioneer and international benchmark in Participation, Transparency and Collaboration policies.
For almost three decades, with the impetus of former Mayor Hermes Binner, the Municipality has been working hard to make residents feel committed to the destinations of the city, encouraging citizen participation in its government tasks.
In 2002, Rosario had her first experience of Participatory Budgeting, an innovative instance in which citizens, through the development of citizen assemblies, debated about budgetary priorities by thematic areas.
Over the years, the experience has changed, incorporating instances, diversifying the proposals, and innovating in voting methodologies.
With the irruption of the pandemic, with the territorial teams of each District and with the different Secretariats of the Municipality, as well as with other localities that carry out the Participatory Budget, dialogue was held to define guidelines that allow adding value to the experiences developed. It sought to enhance them with greater availability of data to decide and complement them with virtual instances that deepen the interaction between citizens and public administration.
This process made it possible to design the new modality adopted by the 2023 and 2024 Participatory Budget.
The objective is to strengthen collective intelligence and design opportunities for the co-creation of projects that consider the complex social and urban problems of these times, incorporating new forms of participation based on multi-stakeholder and network work, taking advantage of communication technologies and the information to achieve greater impact in each territory with a comprehensive and strategic perspective.
The Municipal Close Teams, throughout the year, through face-to-face and digital instances, are linked with neighbors and community organizations, gathering demands and initiatives, which are configuring the map of priorities to develop a Bank of Ideas and a Public Proposal Bank. Thus, from the Municipal Management the priorities considered by the residents in each District are consulted, aligning the initiatives to the axes of Government.
Subsequently, the initiatives, in an iterative process, are strengthened in the Citizen Laboratories in face-to-face sessions with neighbors, which take place in each of the six District Municipal Centers. These initiatives are available in parallel on the Rosario Participa portal, to add remote opinions. Referents from civil society organizations; City leaders, territorial coordinators, and neighbors add concrete actions so that these projects take neighborhood coexistence into account, are accessible, sustainable, inclusive, and with a gender perspective.
Once the projects are closed, following a feasibility analysis, they are put to online voting for four weeks to be prioritized by the residents. The 7 selected projects will be executed in the first semester of the following fiscal year (one for each District, and one that will be emblematic for the entire city). Likewise, analogue polling stations are established, to guarantee the electoral participation of the greatest number of residents. In addition, residents have access to a communication tool with which they can view the progress status of the selected projects.
Participatory budget presentation: https://www.oidp.net/docs/repo/doc1401.pdf
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