Every third municipality (22 out of 60) in Lithuania implements participatory budgeting. That is three times more municipalities (8 out of 60) than a year ago. In total, last year almost 40 thousand citizens decided on how to allocate a part of their municipal budget, according to a study conducted by Transparency International Lithuania.
Since 2018, when the first participatory budget in Lithuania took place, municipalities have collectively decided on 2,3 million euros. The municipalities invite residents to propose and vote on ideas ranging from 7 thousand to 150 thousand euros.
Over the past year, citizens submitted more than 300 projects, of which 44 were selected as winning projects that will be implemented by their respective municipalities in the next 2 years. All of them related to improving municipal infrastructure and the living environment. On average, a municipality receives 17 ideas from its citizens.
Next year, more than a half (35 out of 60) of all municipalities plan to implement participatory budgeting – 13 municipalities doing so for the first time. Two municipalities (Klaipėda City and Klaipėda District) are already implementing participatory budgets in schools.
TI Lithuania’s assessment showed that only a few municipalities measure success of participatory budgeting. The majority of municipalities should also more actively involve citizens in the implementation of participatory budgeting and publish information on the progress of the winning project.
“I am happy that participatory budgeting is becoming more and more popular. I would like to see every municipality implement it before the municipal elections are held in 2023. I would also invite all municipalities to define their objectives even more clearly, measure the change and seek for more active citizens’ involvement in decision-making,” – said Sergejus Muravjovas, CEO of Transparency International Lithuania.
TI Lithuania today organizes the fourth “Participatory Budgeting Forum”, where representatives of municipalities, schools and active citizens will share good examples and lessons learned from participatory budgeting.
Participatory budgeting – is a process of making decisions together with the members of one’s community with everyone invited to propose ideas and vote on how to spend public money.
For more information on participatory budgeting initiatives: www.dalyvaujamasisbiudzetas.lt.
The insights and recommendations presented in this study were obtained via (1) Freedom of Information Requests submitted in July 2021 to all 60 municipalities in Lithuania, (2) in-depth, semi-structured interviews with the representatives of 12 municipalities that implement PB, and (3) previous participatory budgeting studies.
More information: Sergejus Muravjovas, firstname.lastname@example.org, +370 5 212 69 51