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Experiences

Participatory Budgeting, Rural Public Services

  • Switzerland
  • Municipality of Chengdu
This experience won the 8th IOPD Distinction "Best Practice in Citizen Participation" (2014)

Description

The rural village public services participatory budgeting in Chengdu has covered nearly 40,000 projects decided by local people and implemented over the 2009 -2012 period in over 2300 villages and rural communities in Chengdu, with an annual budget around 170 million USD, and still increasing.

Within the framework of Chengdu municipal government pilot reform policy on integrated and balanced rural-urban development, one of the fundamental approaches is to invest heavily in rural infrastructure and rural public services. The most majority of rural investment is planned and implemented through local authorities. However, out of the 59 rural public services, 8 would be delivered by local villages and local villages are required and encouraged to participate directly in their local public decisions and services. To guarantee villagers participation in the rural public service funding, numerous policies and regulations has been announced and enacted to support the participatory budgeting, to entitle local villagers the rights of decision making, monitoring, and evaluation.

Since 2008, the Chengdu municipality has issued a series of policies and regulations to establish and formalize a new pattern of village-level governance mechanism.

some policies include:

- Establishing a village council as a permanent decision-making body to deal with self-governing affairs, to exercise right to making decisions and supervising village affairs within scope of authority entrusted by villagers (representatives) meeting. Members of village sub-council are directly elected by and among local villagers.

- Adjusting and standardizing functions of village committee. In the new pattern of village governance mechanism, duties of village committee has been standardized and limited. Its first duty is to be responsible for villagers assembly, report the work, execute the decisions of villager council; second, to undertake the social management and public services commissioned and financed by the government; third, to carry out public welfare, mediate disputes, help maintain the social security and other autonomous affairs of the village.

- Optimize supply of village-level public products. Each village community receives at least ?300,000 annually from the government to cover expenditures for village public services, and specific uses will be discussed and decided by village council.