Mon 6th July 2020

PB's role in Post Covid-19 recovery and renewal?

PB's role in Post Covid-19 recovery and renewal?

On Thursday 25 June 2020, forty-two participants joined an online zoom-shop to explore how Participatory Budgeting (PB) can help to transform and empower people’s lives in the context of post Covid-19 recovery. The workshop provided an opportunity to review the recommendations emerging from a PB Strategic Insight Lab held in November 2019 and to lay the groundwork in developing and agreeing prioritised actions to advance Participatory Budgeting.

Ruth McNeill, Armoy Community Association shared the recent experience of the Armoy PB Open Pot noting:

“We were blown away by the engagement and connectivity of people in their own communities. We were never able to tap into that before. It created a buzz that had never been seen in the community before.”

Jennie Dunlop, Armagh City Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council described three strengths of PB commenting:

“it addresses some of the challenges to doing engagement well; it is about empowerment in a way that builds collaboration; and it is about the power of relationships. From a Community Planning perspective, it enables equal partnership working and sharing of resources (support, money, ideas, networks, local knowledge) in the design and delivery of the PB process.”

This was followed by break out rooms which facilitated a series of PB conversations on the issues of: how might Covid Recovery Funds be used to deliver PB at scale; what role can PB play in genuinely sustaining the community energy and partnership working which has flourished in response to Covid-19; how can we strategically align PB with community planning and strategic policy agendas?; what would it take to ensure communities and citizens are aware of PB?; engagement with the most vulnerable or marginalised groups of individuals?; Digital PB and overcoming challenges; and opportunities to be ambitious and connect to the new normal?

The full report is available here and in the 'Resources' section of this website.