Connective Cities Peer Learning Session at the International Conference of the Network Participatory Budgeting

For 15 years, the network "Bürgerhaushalt" has brought together numerous German municipalities seeking to exchange knowledge and experience on the subject of participatory budgeting. This year's network meeting, which took place from 25 to 27 November 2018 in the Kalkscheune Berlin, provided this opportunity for around 150 German and international actors from municipalities, civil society and research.

The event was organised by the cooperation partners Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb), the Service Agency Communities in One World of Engagement Global and the Federal Network for Civic Engagement (BBE).

As part of the international conference, Connective Cities organised a peer learning session in which four good practices were presented and three concrete challenges discussed within the framework of peer-to-peer consultation.

  • The mayor of the Ukrainian city of Sosnitsya, Mr Andriy Portny, reported on how the citizen's budget contributes to sustainably improving the relationship between state and citizens.
  • This was confirmed by Mr. Serhiy Loboyko of the Center for Innovations Development in Kiev: More and more Ukrainian cities are using this instrument of citizen participation. One challenge is to convince the bureaucracy of the feasibility of the citizens' proposals.
  • Kirsi Verkka from the city of Helsinki (Finland) highlighted another challenge: citizens often find it difficult to find and articulate ideas for the municipality. The "OmaStadi participatory budgeting game" pursues a gaming approach to enable citizens of all age groups to participate in the formulation of participatory budgeting.
  • The district of Berlin-Lichtenberg is regarded as a trailblazer in the implementation of participatory budgeting. Silvia Gröber and Lilia Lengert illustrated that these budgets must also react to social and political developments using the example of systemic adaptation in participatory budgeting Lichtenberg. Here, the process was adapted to the needs of the dialogue partners, for example, by processing proposals during the year.

In the subsequent peer-to-peer consultation, the participants sought the opinions and advice of other experts on concrete challenges. The subject of the consultations was how women can be specifically and more strongly involved in Baku (Azerbaijan); how citizens can be motivated and activated; and how those proposals can be prioritised in Lahr (Black Forest, Germany) that serve the common good and not particular interests.

Further information on the participatory budgeting network [in German only]



Introduction to the peer learning session on participatory budgeting

Mr. Benjamin Jeromin, Connective Cities


Participatory budget – a means for building up constructive state-society relations

Mr. Andriy Portny, Sosnitsya Hromada (Ukraine)


Systemic adaptations in the participatory budget

Ms. Silvia Gröber & Ms. Lilia Lengert, Berlin-Lichtenberg (Germany)


OmaStadi participatory budgeting game

Ms. Kirsi Verkka, City of Helsinki (Finnland)


Participatory Budgeting in UA: Kyiv case

Mr. Serhiy Loboyko, Kiev (Ukraine)