Yayasan Kota Kita (Our City Foundation) is an organisation of governance practitioners who focus on urban planning and citizen participation in the design and development of cities. Following several years of experience with participatory budgeting in Solo city, their research set out to examine participatory budgeting processes in six Indonesian cities, to inform their work – and the work of others – strengthening citizen participation in urban governance. Their research looked at:
- the current status of participatory budgeting in six Indonesian cities
- the barriers and enablers to implementing participatory budgeting
- how government and CSOs can help make participatory budgeting more transparent, inclusive and impactful.
This practice paper describes Kota Kita and its work in more detail, and reflects on the history and evolution of participatory budgeting in Indonesia. In doing so, it contextualises some of the findings of the research, and discusses their implications.
The key themes of the paper are:
- What are the risks and opportunities of institutionalising participation?
- How do access to information and use of new technologies have an impact on participation in budget planning processes?
- What does it take for participatory budgeting to be an empowering process for citizens?
- How can participatory budgeting include hard-to-reach citizens and accommodate different citizens’ needs?