You're ready to set-up a Participatory Budgeting project? Great! We'll get you going in 5 easy steps.

  1. Create a PB phase inside a project.
  2. Decide on the total budget
  3. Give each withheld idea a budget
  4. Move these ideas to the PB phase
  5. Collect the results

1. Create a PB phase

Once you've created a project, you can start adding phases. In most cases, a participatory budgeting project will have:

  • an ideation phase: in which users can post ideas and vote for them
  • an information phase: in which you can take the time to discuss, consider and select the ideas before bringing them to the PB phase
  • a PB phase: in which the users can select a number of ideas until the sum of their estimated cost exceeds a predefined amount (cf. Step 2)

You can add additional information phases where needed (e.g. at the end, to inform users about the results).

To create a PB phase, you simply select 'Participatory Budgeting' as 'Participation method'.

2. Decide on the total budget

Doing so, will make two fields visible below.
The first field lets you decide on the total budget that will be allocated to this PB project. This is the budget users will be able to 'fill' with ideas. The currency used is your local currency and is fixed for your platform.
The second field is a checkbox to choose whether or not users can still comment on the ideas in this phase.

3. Give each withheld idea a budget

Once the ideation phase is over, those ideas that you want to withhold now need a budget assigned to them, reflecting the expected implementation costs.

This can be done by editing the idea, and adding this number in the 'Budget' field.
You have to be logged in as administrator or project manager to be able to do this.

4. Move these ideas to the PB phase

Once the withheld ideas have a budget assigned, you can start moving them to the PB phase. And once that phase starts, users can add them to their 'basket'.
Moving ideas to another phase is done in the idea manager within the project. 

5. Collect the results

Once users are allocating ideas to their budget in the PB phase, every time they validate their choice, a 'pick' gets added to each allocated idea.
At the end of the PB phase, you can simply order all ideas by number of picks to discover which ones were selected the most.

Good luck with your participatory budgeting plans. And don't hesitate to reach out to support@citizenlab.co when facing questions!

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