The aim of this section is to portray PB experiences in each of the piloted municipalities of the EmPaci project. In seven municipalities or regions, PB has been piloted twice in two consecutive years (2020 and 2021), namely Bützow (Germany), Vidzeme Planning Region (Latvia), Rietavas and Telšiai (Lithuania), Bielsko-Biała (Poland), Moskovskaya Zastava, Moscow region of St. Petersburg and Suoyarvskoye Urban Settlement in the Republic of Karelia (Russia). In four municipalities, PB has been tested within one year without repetitions: Lahti and Riihimäki (Finland) as well as Gatchina Municipal District and Sverdlov Urban Settlement in the Leningrad Region (Russia).
To inform about the different approaches used by the pilot municipalities or regions, first of all a Status Quo Report aims to provide insights into the current state of citizen participation in general and PB in particular in each of the pilot places. This is followed by an overview of the local adaptations of the PB concepts: A table of municipal preconditions and the individual implementation of PB and the results of each PB cycle is shown. This aims to support other municipalities in selecting the specific PB design needed for their local circumstances. In order to inform about the specific implementation of the PB cycles, in each of piloted municipalities detailed descriptions of PB pilots in the first and second rounds are available for download. These documentations provide extensive information about how the PB processes were implemented, which barriers were tackled and what are tips and creative ideas for running PB with different ways of stakeholder involvement.
Reports of PB in the EmPaci pilot municipalities
Synopsis of the EmPaci PB pilots
Reports from each EmPaci pilot municipalities about PB implementation
To give an idea of how Participatory budgeting (PB) can be implemented, a Status Quo Report has been set up by the EmPaci team with the aim to provide insights into the current state of citizen participation (CP) in general and PB in particular. It focuses on each of the EmPaci project partner countries - Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Russia – as well as Denmark, Estonia and Sweden.
First, on a national level, a short general description of the countries and definitions of CP and PB, a description of successful PB projects and potential hindrances and ways to foster PB in these countries, are provided. Secondly, the Status Quo Report proceeds with specific information about those municipalities, districts or planning regions, in which the EmPaci project is planning to either implement new or redesign already existing PB processes.
The following ten locations have been selected for the EmPaci PB pilots: Lahti and Riihimäki (Finland), Bützow (Germany), Vidzeme Planning Region (Latvia), Rietavas and Telšiai (Lithuania), Bielsko-Biała (Poland) as well as Moskovskaya Zastava/Moscow region of St.Petersburg, Suoyarvskoye Urban Settlement in the Republic of Karelia and Gatchina Municipal District in the Leningrad Region (Russia). These places are very different in terms of their surroundings, financial possibilities, characteristics of their citizens and legal frameworks. They have different stages for PB implementation, from no experience to several successful cycles of PB. Consequently, all locations deal with different challenges, from getting something new started to improving something existent. By making such information, knowledge, and practices available, stakeholders may find relevant inspiration applicable to their own region or municipality. Respectively, one can consider building a vision of “What could PB look like in our municipality?” “What could we change to improve our PB process?” This document, therefore, seeks to build capacities to implement PB in the BSR.
Two documents are available: The full report about PB in the BSR containing a Status Quo Analysis with a comparative study and, in addition, a specific long report about PB on the comparatively long tradition of PB in the Polish partner municipality Bielsko-Biała.
In the pilot municipalities, different approaches to PB were used since the citizens’ needs, the local circumstances and necessities of the administrations differed. As such, local adaptations of the PB processes were developed in order to design the most suitable participatory budgets for each pilot. For seven pilot municipalities, the PB process was implemented twice in two consecutive years. This way, based on an evaluation of the first PB pilot, improvements of the PB process were possible.
How the PB processes have been designed can be seen from the tables presented here, in which we clustered the municipal preconditions and the implementation of the PB design. These documents serve as a guide and description of the PB approaches (i.e. the local adaptations) to select a suitable PB approach for their implementation. The overview also provides insights into some important PB evaluation criteria of each pilot municipality. Some key data about the pilot municipalities is shown in the map below.
For the local adaptations, you can download a short overview as a first orientation with very basic information on key data and characteristics of the PB process. The quite large tables are available as pdf-files and Excel-files to make it easier to read and handle. Common characteristics are highlighted in the overview.
Once PB processes of interest have been identified, more detailed information can be found in the extended version, which is also available in two file formats. Detailed reports about each of the PB pilots can be found in the section below.
1st PB pilots
Piloting PB in different municipalities in the BSR represents the core of the EmPaci project. Out of an analysis of existing experiences and a determination of the preconditions in the pilot municipalities, the PB pilots focussed on the preparation, implementation and enhancement of PB in these the municipalities. A strong focus was laid upon the work with the municipalities and involvement of citizens here. With increasing project term, more responsibilities were given to the local authorities in order to build their capacities step by step and qualify them for an autonomous further operation of the established methods, tools and principles. The PB pilot descriptions aim to build up a knowledge base for municipalities to inform how to set up PB for their conditions and how they best involve a broad citizen base.
The documentations available for download presents the 1st PB concepts in the pilot municipalities: As a tangible output, descriptions on the implementation and success of the pilot have been developed in order to firstly inform the pilot municipalities on best practices and ways on how to improve and secondly for external municipalities to inform themselves about the application of PB concepts. The documentations aim to provide an insight into the experiences of the EmPaci pilot municipalities and to build upon lessons learnt.
2nd PB pilots
The documentation of the 2nd PB concepts in the pilot municipalities contain descriptions on the implementation and success of the pilot PB processes in the year 2021. The 1st PB pilots (i.e. the PB implementation in the year 2020) have been described in a separate document in the subsection above.
The documentation is structured according to the different pilot municipalities and it delivers comparable information on the implementation steps of the PB process: For every pilot municipality, first the situation before the PB pilot is described, second the development of the PB process is explained followed by thirdly giving insights on the implementation of the 2nd PB pilots. This is following as a fourth point, by the results of the PB process and as fifth and last point, the assessment of the 2nd PB pilot and potential for enhancement. To allow comparability, the reporting is structured according to questions answered by the pilot municipalities.