Exploring the Role of Participatory Budgeting in Accelerating the SDGs:A Multidimensional Approach in Escobedo, Mexico

Published in Nairobi in August 2020 by UN-Habitat 


Participatory budgeting (PB) is considered one of the most successful democratic innovations of the last 25 years. Estimates suggest that the PB experiment has reached more than 3,000 local institutions and some supra-municipalities in high-income countries and developing regions.

PB initiatives worldwide have evidenced that this tool has a positive and powerful force for addressing development issues, especially those related to improving citizen awareness, inclusiveness, environment, urban planning, and basic services, as emerged recently from World Urban Forum held in Abu Dhabi. This multidimensional feature is particularly relevant to focus a new integrated approach to accelerate a transformation towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

Exploring a theoretical framework and global case studies, we disseminate cutting-edge knowledge and international practices on PB as a smart connector of goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Looking at global practices, we may depict how PB would be deeply connected with 7 out of 17 SDGs, and consequently, it would be linked directly with specific targets: 4.7; 5.b; 6.2; 7.1; 10.2; 11.3; 11.7; 16.6; and 16.7.

The main originality of this publication stands in introducing new network patterns and cross cutting approaches that may shape a new governance model. From the analysis emerged that PB is a promising multidimensional instrument to accelerate many of SDGs and support governments to reach targets of 2030 Agenda. Two main lessons are raised: (i) PB is directly linked with 7 SDGs; (ii) PB can face more targets and SDGs simultaneously.

To validate this, a case study from General Escobedo PB initiative of UN-Habitat in Mexico is analysed. The initiative gives evidence on the actions, outcomes, and strength of this approach.

According to international case studies, and the General Escobedo Participatory Habitat Initiative, PB makes it possible to find solutions to local problems, addressing a greater complexity of changing cities around the world.

Finally, this opens up an innovative pathway to accelerate the transformation towards achieving the SDGs.

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