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UNICEF Social Inclusion, Policy and Budgeting

The People's Budget? Politics, Participation and Pro-poor Policy

Cover Image
AUTHOR Deborah Brautigam
ORGANIZATION Development Policy Review
TYPE Journal Article
DATE 2004
TOPIC Budgeting for children

Recent moves towards participatory budgeting have raised hopes and expectations that spending and revenue generation can be made more pro-poor if informed citizens and their non-traditional political organisations participate directly in budgeting decisions. This article reviews experiences of participatory budgeting and pro-poor policy-making in Brazil, Ireland, Chile, Mauritius and Costa Rica. It draws attention to several important issues, including: Who participates? What kind of institutional framework is necessary? What happened to the revenue-generation side of pro-poor budgeting? It points out that making spending and taxation more pro-poor has historically depended on pro-poor political parties gaining power.

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