Investing Locally: Lessons Learned from Brazil’s Zero Hunger Strategy

Reprinted from actlocalfirst.org Written by Daniel Balaban on July 3, 2014 The number of projects, NGO’s and international organizations involved with aid is constantly increasing, but effectiveness is still a challenge. Receiving large amounts of foreign aid does not guarantee that the countries will improve their national institutions. Many of them rely almost completely on…

Analyzing the Evolution and Effectiveness of Participatory Institutions in Brazil

Since Brazil adopted a new constitution in 1988, a significant development of participatory institutions – such as participatory budgeting and a variety of policy councils – has been taking place to create opportunities for citizens to participate in policy making, implementation, and evolution. Are these participatory institutions actually making a difference? In the event “Social…

Good Governance Begins with the Individual

Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), a German political foundation, thinks decentralization alone does not lead to more democracy, but it can promote the democratization process. In the report “Good Governance Begins with the Individual” (2012), KAS impressively demonstrates examples of individual projects which have been very successful in different countries. KAS mentioned that, in spite of…

Review: Fiscal decentralization and macroeconomic management

The paper (Fiscal decentralization and macroeconomic management) by Anwar Shah published  in 2006 aims to discuss a central question ¨whether or not fiscal decentralization implies serious risks for fiscal discipline and macroeconomic management for the nation as a whole.” The author claims that fiscal decentralization is more essential to improve macroeconomic regulation than a centralized fiscal…

Review: the effects of participatory budgeting on municipal expenditures and infant mortality in Brazil

The city of San Francisco intends to be the first major US city to allow citizens to directly vote on portions of budget via the web (News: San Francisco To Test Online Participatory Budgeting) . Participatory budgeting, however, has long been rooted in Brazil. Dr. Sónia Gonçalves, from King’s College London, studied the effects of…

The Political Component of Participatory Democracy

We’re holding consultations around the world to create a scorecard to evaluate the State of Participatory Democracy. Over the next month we’ll outline each of the components of the scorecard— why it is important in a participatory democracy, why we are including it in the scorecard, and some of the feedback we’ve heard around the…

People Power: A Documentary Exploring Participatory Democracy Around the World

How can ordinary people hold elected government officials accountable? In the short documentary People Power, TV Education Asia Pacific approaches accountability through participatory democracy. The film examines cases around the world where citizen participation has led to increased accountability, enhanced citizen involvement, and an amplified public voice. The cases explored serve as prime examples of a participatory…