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Evaluation of GCC ‘Wee Green Grants’ Participatory Budgeting processes

Jun 2022

In recent years, the Scottish Government has shown an unprecedented level of political, legislative, and investment support for community empowerment, participation, and the strengthening of local democratic processes. Participatory Budgeting (PB) has emerged as a principal approach to achieving these goals and has gained significant traction and support across Scotland. Effective PB has the potential to energise and empower communities, transforming and enriching relationships between citizens, community groups, community anchor organisations, and all levels of government and public service.

This report details key learning points from an evaluation of the 'Wee Green Grants' PB processes led by Glasgow City Council’s Parks and Greenspace department. The evaluation finds the Wee Green Grants initiative to be another example of a strong, authentic, and democratic PB process.

A pivotal strength of the Wee Green Grants was the values underpinning the PB community panel’s inception, development, and working throughout. These values are described as dignity, respect, patience, and compromise. Amid the technocratic and mechanistic language that can surround PB, it is this ‘human touch’ that often distinguishes a high-quality process like the Wee Green Grants from a lesser one. Significant PB capacity was developed among panel members, with training workshops and extensive 'dialogue and deliberation', supported by the described values, central to this.

The ability of PB to support action and embed community capacity on priority issues, such as climate adaptation, for example, has perhaps been underplayed in national narratives to date. The Wee Green Grants initiative demonstrates that PB can offer a ‘natural community cascade’ of information, awareness raising, and capacity. The report concludes with recommendations to inform the overall direction and continued development of PB across Glasgow City.

GCC PB wee green grants FINAL2

pdf | 317KB


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