This week, the New York State Technology Leadership Academy will take place in Albany, New York. As I posted two weeks ago, I’ll be speaking about deep citizen engagement – the ways that government leaders can get the benefit of citizen co-creation and co-delivery of public services.
Note: the new website for you to contribute to and assess ideas is at https://claritypresales-13df0e80fac.secure.force.com/ca_idea__ideahome .
A timely article by Governing magazine appeared Monday – Tax Day, appropriately enough – about a “Study: Citizen Budgeting Related To Better Outcomes”. (http://www.governing.com/blogs/view/gov-study-citizen-budgeting-related-to-better-performance.html)
The study was published in The American Review of Public Administration and focused on the relationship between the degree of citizen participation in highway budgeting and outcomes, such as road fatalities and road surface quality. The researchers found that the greater the citizen participation, the more positive the outcomes. This effect was strengthened the earlier the citizens had a chance to participate.
While there have been increasing reports about participatory budgeting, this is the first study that shows that citizen participation is not merely a democratic ideal, but is also a way to get better government.
Go to http://arp.sagepub.com/content/43/3/331 , if you want to read the original article, “Citizen Input in the Budget Process: When Does It Matter Most?” by Hai (David) Guo and Milena I. Neshkova, The American Review of Public Administration, May 2013; vol. 43, 3: pp. 331-346.
Some other reports about citizen participation in budgeting can be found here:
- “Making Citizens Part of Government: Local governments are leading the way in engaging the public in decision-making. More and more, technology is the key.” http://www.governing.com/columns/mgmt-insights/col-cities-making-citizens-part-of-government.html
- “Chicago Brings Participatory Budgeting to the U.S.: Participatory budgeting, which started in Latin America, lets citizens determine spending priorities.” http://www.governing.com/columns/urban-notebook/col-chicago-brings-participatory-budgeting-to-us.html
- “Putting In Their 2 Cents” http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/01/nyregion/for-some-new-yorkers-a-grand-experiment-in-participatory-budgeting.html
- The Budgeting for Outcomes video and documents by the Government Financial Officers Association (GFOA) at http://www.gfoa.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=506&Itemid=270] , http://www.gfoa.org/downloads/BFOSectionConcepts.pdf and http://www.gfoa.org/downloads/BFOCC08.pdf
- And on citizen funding of public services, see “GovFresh Q&A: Neighbor.ly” , a civic crowdfunding platform for U.S. cities and civic-minded organizations. http://govfresh.com/2012/09/govfresh-qa-neighbor-ly/
© 2013 Norman Jacknis