The first experience of Participatory Budgeting (PB) in Portugal dates back to 2002. In the 17 years that followed, the country has witnessed almost two hundred initiatives, triggered by local authorities, three national practices promoted by the National Government, and two at regional level, carried out by the Governments of the Autonomous Regions of Azores and Madeira.
Throughout this period much has been said about this subject and countless numbers have been released to the public square regarding the investments made and the participants that joined, as well as about the potentialities and the limits of these processes.
In Cascais, PB process will complete 10 years in 2020 and the City Council considered that the time had come to understand this initiative beyond most immediate data of each edition, that are certainly limited in order to understand the scope that this process can have in the county territory.
An unprecedented methodology was designed to evaluate the impacts of Cascais PB over a decade. This is the largest study on a Participatory Budgeting ever held in Portugal and the only one in the world with such a comprehensive approach. The work to be carried out foresees the measurement of impacts in three levels of incidence: autarchy, society and territory. In addition, the effects of PB in Youth PB, currently in the third edition, will be evaluated. This option arises from the fact that the two processes have a direct relationship, in that the younger ones can, through their initiative, present proposals for the so-called "adult PB". Oficina is in charge of designing the methodology and coordinating this work.
The first evaluation session took place last week, with the participation of about 30 teachers from 15 public schools in the municipality, partners of the Cascais Town Hall in the development of the Youth PB.
The study is expected to be completed in approximately 18 months.