Participatory Budgeting: Could It Diminish Health Disparities in the United States?

Three theoretical pathways by which participatory budgeting could affect health disparities in local communities

by Carolin Hagelskamp, David Schleifer,Ph.D., Chloe Rinehart, Rebecca Silliman

Published in the Journal of Urban Health


Participatory Budgeting (PB) – a democratic process where residents decide directly how to spend a portion of a public budget – is increasingly being implemented in U.S. municipalities. This commentary discusses three theoretical pathways by which PB could affect health disparities in local communities: by strengthening people’s psychological empowerment, by strengthening civic sector alliances and by (re)distributing resources to areas of greatest need. The commentary reviews research on PB’s implementation and outputs so far and outlines priorities for future research and practice.

Download the Full Article Here

Read about some of our other work on participatory budgeting:

A Process of Growth

The Expansion of Participatory Budgeting in the United States and Canada in 2015 - 16

This report is an analysis of participatory budgeting (PB) which synthesizes data from 61 communities that decided how to spend $60.8 million in public money in 2015-16 in the U.S. and Canada.

Public Spending, by the People

Participatory Budgeting in the United States and Canada in 2014 - 15

This report provides the first-ever comprehensive analysis of participatory budgeting in the U.S. and Canada.

Power to the People! (And Settings for Using It Wisely?)

Balancing direct and deliberative democracy in participatory budgeting processes

This white paper provides recommendations for public officials and practitioners looking to improve their PB processes.

Why Let The People Decide?

Elected Officials on Participatory Budgeting

This report documents findings from interviews with U.S. elected officials regarding their experience with participatory budgeting (PB). It also includes recommendations for policymakers, PB advocates and funders looking to improve and expand PB. (2016)

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