A large number of posts on this blog have revolved around citizen engagement in the policymaking process. Some have centered on public participation in public sector budgeting. We have featured, among others, a deliberative poll in Zeguo Township, China, participatory budgeting in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and a book on participatory budgeting with examples from six countries, including India, Mexico, South Africa, and Croatia. We have also talked about the much touted success of newspaper publication of education sector budgets in Uganda. Public Expenditure Tracking Surveys found that public access to budget information led to a strong and significant reduction in corruption.
In my mind, these examples break down the wall which 18th century political philosopher Edmund Burke erected between the “trustee” vs. “delegate” models of democratic representation (he favored the former).