Economic Issues (Development, Budgeting, Etc.)
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U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 2003.
Document from the Office of the Secretary, Housing and Urban Development, detailing the requirements for citizen participation in the use of funds from the government towards Housing and Urban Development directives.
Participatory Budgeting (PB) programs are innovative policymaking processes. Citizens are directly involved in making policy decisions. Forums are held throughout the year so that citizens have the opportunity to allocate resources, prioritize broad social policies, and monitor public spending. These programs are designed incorporate citizens into the policymaking process, spur administrative reform, and distribute public resources to low-income neighborhoods. Download the 32-page guide directly from the NCDD website.
Milton B. Hoffman Productions.
Each year, many public television stations around the nation air an hour-long program that features U.S. citizens deliberating in National Issues Forums around the nation. The programs also feature distinguished panels of nationally known political leaders, commentators and journalists meeting at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. to reflect on what this 'public voice' may mean in setting direction for America. The topics are different each year.
The aftermath of Katrina raises questions about poverty, race, energy policy, the federal budget, in fact just about every corner of American society and the purpose of government itself. Public Agenda Issue Guides or ?Citizen Choicework Guides? contain background information on the topic and present three different approaches to the issue for people to deliberate.
Allegheny County Department of Economic Development, 2003.
The Citizen Participation Plan is a handbook for the public to understand the procedures followed by the Allegheny County Department of Economic Development as it allocates CDBG, HOME, HOPWA, ESG and Section 108 Loan Guarantee funds. Because citizen participation is an important part of investment in the communities, opportunity for participation is available at every stage of the planning process. The process includes meetings, comment, and review of documents by the public. Numerous steps, outlined in this paper, will be taken to ensure citizen participation in planning.
Thomas Friedman's bestseller The World is Flat argues that advances in technology are leveling the global competitive playing field and reshaping the challenges and opportunities faced by the next generation of entrepreneurs. U.S. entrepreneurs now compete more directly with businesses around the world, while working more cooperatively with foreign businesses and labor to manufacture and deliver their products. What does the changing global landscape mean for socially responsible global entrepreneurship? What are the challenges? What are the opportunities? Americans for Informed Democracy is bringing town hall style discussion of these questions to universities across the U.S. through its Entrepreneurship in a Globalized World initiative.
Now more than ever, Americans are asking serious questions about how the changing global environment is impacting all of our lives. Research shows us that climate instability and oil dependence are not just environmental concerns, but problems that will affect the national security, economy and health of our country. Americans for Informed Democracy is thus focusing its Securing the Future initiative about the changing global environment on specifically climate and energy issues.
An evaluation of AmericaSpeaks' first national project, Americans Discuss Social Security.
Mary Lean. Kumarian Press, 1995.
Mary Lean shows how a foundation built on ethics and spirituality has made a significant impact on community development in post-industrial cities and Third World villages. Readers enter poor cities and villages to meet Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh leaders who, with their driving spirit, seed the community with their energy and vision. Readers see how these efforts take root, steadily changing the cultural and economic life of these once despondent and declining communities.
Bringing Local Knowledge into Environmental Decision Making: Improving Urban Planning for Communities at Risk
Jason Coburn. Journal of Planning Education and Research, Vol.22 (2003): 420-433, 2003.
This article reveals how local knowledge can improve planning for communities facing the most serious environmental and health risks. Community participation in environmental decisions is putting pressure on planners to find new ways of fusing the expertise of scientists with insights from the local knowledge of communities. This article defines local knowledge, reveals how it differes from professional knowledge, and argues that local knowledge can improve planning in at least four ways: 1) adding to the knowledge base of environmental policy; 2) including new and previously silenced voices; 3) providing low-cost policy solutions; and 4) highlighting inquitable distributions of environmental burdens.
Aaron Schneider and Ben Goldfrank. Institute of Development Studies, Brighton, Sussex, England, 2002.
Budgeting institutions in the state of Rio Grande do Sul bring participatory democracy to public finance. A chief impact of participatory institutions is to change the relative power of groups within society. In this case, with the Workers' Party in state office, participatory decision-making strengthened lower-class groups interested in redistribution to the poor. Putting participatory budgeting in place was no easy task, however, as it required overcoming the difficulties of incorporating face-to-face decision-making at a scale unprecedented in terms of the number of people and the amount of money at stake.
Building Strong Neighborhoods: A Study Circle Guide for Public Dialogue and Community Problem Solving
Study Circles Resource Center (SCRC), 1998.
A four-session discussion guide on many important neighborhood issues including: race and other kinds of differences; young people and families; safety and community-police relations; homes, housing and beautification; jobs and neighborhood economy; and schools.
When money changes hands in politics, a cloud of suspicion rises. Now so much money is changing hands -- upwards of $3 billion in a presidential election year -- the cloud never lifts. Running for office is an expensive proposition, particularly for president or for statewide offices like governor or senator, but the amounts that have changed hands in recent years are staggering. Public Agenda Issue Guides or ?Citizen Choicework Guides? contain background information on the topic and present three different approaches to the issue for people to deliberate.
Case Study 2 - Porto Alegre, Brazil: Participatory Approaches in Budgeting and Public Expenditure Management
World Bank / World Bank and Participation / Participation Sourcebook, 2003.
This 5-page case study presents a broad review of an experience in Participatory Budgeting introduced by the Workers Party (PT) in the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre, as part of their agenda of deepening democracy through ?popular administration? of government. Having won several municipal elections in 1989, including Sao Paulo with over 10 million people, the PT began a creative experiment of engaging a wide spectrum of people to formulate city budgets. The Porto Alegre case in particular, having been nominated by the 1996 UN Summit on Human Settlements in Istanbul as an exemplary ?urban innovation?, has stood out for demonstrating an efficient practice of democratic resource management.
CNT is engaged in a range of projects to assist economic and community building efforts in neighborhoods. CNT's mission is to invent and implement new tools and methods that create livable urban communities for everyone.
Melissa Maracle, Staff writer. Franklin Press (Macon County, Georgia), 2007.
This article provides a nice overview of New Urbanism, and of how charrettes were used in a Georgia town.
Charrettes are typically a potent combination of modern design studio and town meeting, with a dash of the teamwork from an old-fashioned barnraising mixed in. Most start with a hands-on session for citizens and continue in an around-the-clock, energetic push until a plan is finished about a week later. A charrette can be a breakthrough event that helps overcome inertia and creates a meaningful master plan. Properly executed, this technique can produce a master plan that is more useful, better understood, and more quickly produced than one formed by other methods.
Dino C. La Fiandra. Maryland Bar Journal. September/October, 2006.
There is a relatively new planning and zoning tool gaining popularity in Maryland known as "charrettes." A charrette is a series of meetings involving the stakeholders and the charrette team. Contrary to traditional zoning and development principles which apply a rigid set of regulations to proposed development within a defined geographic area, charrettes use a different methodology to design a project uniquely from scratch, or almost from scratch. In Maryland and elsewhere, charrettes have been used as a catalyst to permit a departure from restrictive zoning regulations which obstruct creative development. This article examines the use of charrettes in Maryland and elsewhere as they have emerged over the past few years.
Citizen Participation and Social Inclusion Procedures in Santo Andre, Brazil: Participatory Budgeting and City of the Future Project
Cid Blanco Jr. Presentation delivered at the World Bank Urban Research Symposium in Washington, D.C., December, 2002.
This presentation provides an overview of the research done on participatory budgeting in Santo Andre, Brazil. The author proposes to analyze different aspects of the budgeting, as well as look for opportunities for both positive and negative lessons-learned. The author deals with many challenges that face participatory budgeting and suggests some steps to take in further research and development of new practice.
Founded in the UK in 1993, CODEP (the Conflict, Development and Peace Network) is a multi-disciplinary forum for academics, organizations and practitioners involved in exploring the causes of conflict and its impact on people's lives. Some of CODEP's activities include an email newsletter, an online database, and an annual international conference on conflict and development.
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