Skip Navigation
Paris, France

A More Inclusive Participatory Budget (PAR0001)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Paris, France Action Plan

Action Plan Cycle: 2017

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: DDCT

Support Institution(s): Secrétariat général Direction des systèmes d’information Direction de la Politique de la Ville Service de la participation citoyenne Mairies d’arrondissement Associations : 4D, CO-CITY, CAUE, SYNLAB Université : Paris Sorbonne Atelier parisien d’urbanisme

Policy Areas

Marginalized Communities, Participation in Budget Processes, Public Participation, Subnational

IRM Review

IRM Report: Paris Final IRM Report 2017

Starred: No

Early Results: Marginal

Design i

Verifiable: Yes

Relevant to OGP Values: Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

PROBLEM COVERED BY THE COMMITMENT: The participation of all categories of Parisian inhabitants in the participatory budget can be strengthened, in order to reinforce the representativeness of this system and to consolidate the chances of electoral success of projects submitted by the inhabitants furthest from citizen participation; PRIMARY OBJECTIVE: 1. To better understand the role of inhabitants, collectives and working class districts in the participatory budget (submission of proposals, participation in voting, etc.) 2. Strengthen the involvement of working-class districts and priority groups, particularly the most precarious, in the participatory budget; DESCRIPTION OF THE COMMITMENT: To meet Objective 1: The Atelier Parisien d'Urbanisme (APUR) carried out a study on the Paris 2015 participative budget in 2016. Their work focused on the nature of the proposals submitted, their location, the predominant themes ... A complementary study could be carried out in 2017, focusing on the sociology of the participatory budget: who participates (age, location ...), which sets of actors it reveals (role of neighborhood councils, place of associations, etc.), who plebiscite what (crossing between the digital voters and the projects for which they voted ...). To meet Objective 2, the City that wants : • to mobilize associations and students specializing in consulting engineering to reach the inhabitants of working-class neighborhoods and involve them in the emergence of proposals neighborhoods and involve them in the emergence of proposals for the 2017 participatory budget • to give visibility to proposals from working-class neighborhoods in the Parisian participatory budget and enhance their chances of success; RELEVANCE: This commitment is likely to strengthen the participation of all citizens in the development of public policies of the City of Paris, by reinforcing the diversity of perspectives and by consolidating the capacity of all to participate in its participatory budget ("empowerment" "); AMBITION: Through an approach combining the study of existing sociological dynamics and the implementation of actions to accompany the inhabitants to get involved in the participatory budget, the ambition is to strengthen the place of all categories of inhabitants in this system, to propose to the inhabitants furthest away from citizen participation the means to get involved and to reinforce the solidarities between all the districts of Paris. STEPS IN IMPLEMENTATION: 1. CALL FOR PROPOSALS TO ASSOCIATIONS 2. DEVELOPMENT OF THE PARTNERSHIP WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF SORBONNE 3. CO-CONSTRUCTION WORKSHOPS WITH INHABITANTS 4. REALIZATION OF THE STUDY ON THE SOCIOLOGY OF THE PARTICIPATORY BUDGET 5. VOTING OF THE PARTICIPATORY BUDGET 6. RESTITUTION OF THE STUDY ON THE SOCIOLOGY OF THE PARTICIPATORY BUDGET 1. JUNE 2016 2. NOVEMBER 2016 3. DECEMBER 2016 4. JANUARY 2017 5. SEPTEMBER 2017 6. NOVEMBER 2017 1. SEPTEMBER 2016 2. NOVEMBER 2016 3. MAY 2017 4. OCTOBER 2017 5. OCTOBER 2017 6. NOVEMBER 2017

IRM End of Term Status Summary

1. A more inclusive participatory budget

Commitment text:

Objectives:

  1. To better understand the role of inhabitants, collectives and working class districts in the participatory budget (submission of proposals, participation in voting, etc.)
  2. Strengthen the involvement of working-class districts and priority groups, particularly the most precarious, in the participatory budget

To meet Objective 1:

The Atelier Parisien d'Urbanisme (APUR) carried out a study on the Paris 2015 participative budget in 2016. Their work focused on the nature of the proposals submitted, their location, the predominant themes …

A complementary study could be carried out in 2017, focusing on the sociology of the participatory budget: who participates (age, location ...), which sets of actors it reveals (role of neighborhood councils, place of associations, etc.), who plebiscite what (crossing between the digital voters and the projects for which they voted ...).

To meet Objective 2, the City wants:

 to mobilize associations and students specializing in consulting engineering to reach the inhabitants of working-class neighborhoods and involve them in the emergence of proposals for the 2017 participatory budget

 to give visibility to proposals from working-class neighborhoods in the Parisian participatory budget and enhance their chances of success

Milestones

1. Call for Proposals to Associations

2. Development of the Partnership with the University Sorbonne

3. Co-construction Workshops with Inhabitants

4. Realization of the Study on the Sociology of the Participatory Budget

5. Voting of the Participatory Budget

6. Restitution [debriefing] of the Study on the Sociology of the Participatory Budget

Commitment Overview

 

 

 

Commitment Aim

Overall Objective & Relevance

The City of Paris has learned from research conducted by the Atelier Parisien d'Urbanisme (APUR) that, although there is a participatory budgeting practice in place, there is a “social bias” among the participants in the budgeting process. http://www.apur.org/sites/default/files/documents/budget_participatif_paris_analyse_projets_2015.pdf (P 22) Consequently, budgeting projects have been found to ignore the specific needs of working class neighborhoods of Paris, such as poverty and safety issues. The objective of this commitment is to increase awareness-raising and participation in the budgeting process among working-class Parisians. In doing so, the commitment seeks to ensure that future budgetary proposals better address the interests and needs of these communities.

In 2017, the budget allocated to fund projects proposed by citizens through the Paris Participatory Budget amounts to over EUR 100 million (approximately 5% of the City’s budget), from which 30% are earmarked to fund projects in working-class neighborhoods. https://budgetparticipatif.paris.fr/bp/le-budget-participatif-.html Although Paris saw an increase in participation of working class communities in 2016 compared to 2015 (from 5% to 7%), the Parisian administration continues to prioritize the promotion of participation of underrepresented communities and general citizen involvement in the implementation of the budget. http://www.lemonde.fr/politique/article/2016/10/05/budget-participatif-la-capitale-fait-le-pari-des-projets-citoyens_5008490_823448.html

The Paris government aims to do it by implementing dedicated public initiatives, such as municipal workshops organized in underprivileged areas to help inhabitants design proposals that match their priorities and improve the chances of their proposals being adopted. This commitment pertains to broader civic participation to ensure meaningful input of interested members of the public into government decisions. It also increases the opportunities of working-class Parisians to have their voice heard. This commitment, therefore, is relevant to civic participation.

Specificity and Potential Impact

The level of specificity of this commitment is considered medium. Indeed, foreseen activities, such as the call for proposals to associations and workshops, and conducting the sociological study on the participatory budget are objectively verifiable. However, as written, each activity does not clearly explain how they will contribute to achieving the overall commitment’s objective nor how they will unfold. The commitment, as written, requires some interpretation from the reader to understand how activities will impact the policy issue identified, because of the lack of measurable indicators or procedures to guide the assessment.

If this commitment were fully implemented as written, it could have a minor impact on improving working-class citizens’ ability to influence planning of the city budget and thus changing the living conditions of their district. The City of Paris has already led efforts to promote the involvement of working-class communities in the participatory budget in the past few years. This commitment constitutes a positive step towards the continuation of such efforts involving other segments of society like the student population. However, given the lack of specificity about the extent to which this commitment could reach the working-class communities, and the lack of details on how it differs from existing measures, the IRM researcher considers it could represent a positive, yet incremental step towards achieving the objective identified. Furthermore, this commitment is limited in scale. The allocation of funds for financing voted-upon proposals is only one feature of participatory budgeting, which Paris has been developing in the past years. However, the Government could aim to run a wider exercise of consultation and participatory budgeting over the different stages of the budgeting process to strengthen the involvement of different stakeholders (including working-class Parisians and other communities) in budget strategies, priorities and decision-making processes.

Completion
Substantial

The first milestone—the call for proposals to associations—was completed. It was launched on March 2017 and ended in May 2017. The government gave 100,000€ to six associations (Co-City, ICI, CAUE, 4D/Petits Debrouillards, La Fabrik coopérative/Traverses, La Maison des Fougères/Khiasma) to help them host workshops in which citizens, particularly in working-class neighborhoods, received assistance in designing successful proposals, as detailed further below https://budgetparticipatif.paris.fr/bp/jsp/site/Portal.jsp?document_id=3212&portlet_id=165 .

On the second milestone, a partnership has been established with the master 2 program specialised in public consultation (“sous-parcours Ingénierie de la concertation) at Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne University. Concretely, students helped a middle school (Collège Guillaume Budé) in a working-class area in the development of their project https://budgetparticipatif.paris.fr/bp//jsp/site/Portal.jsp?page=idee&campagne=D&idee=1755 for the participatory budget, though it was eventually rejected by citizens in the open vote to determine the winning proposals https://budgetparticipatif.paris.fr/bp/jsp/site/Portal.jsp?document_id=3749&portlet_id=158 .

The third milestone—the workshops with inhabitants—led to a series of actions conducted by the associations financed in the call for proposals (first milestone). For instance, CAUE organised walks with the inhabitants of working-class neighborhoods to identify priority projects that were later designed during participatory workshops. 4D/les Petits Débrouillards hosted workshops to help children from the 19th district in the development of their projects https://budgetparticipatif.paris.fr/bp/jsp/site/Portal.jsp?document_id=3222&portlet_id=159 . The agents in charge of the participatory budget listed 76 projects supported by the six associations financed in the call for proposals: 37 were selected, 24 were not selected as they did not follow the eligibility criteria (as an investment project for the general interest, within the competence of the city of Paris) and 15 were combined with other projects The agents in charge of the participatory budget provided the IRM researcher a spreadsheet file listing all the projects tutored by the 6 associations. The spreadsheet can be found in the online repository: https://goo.gl/hWCTQ7. .

The fourth milestone—the complementary study on the sociology of the Participatory Budget—was expected to be released in January 2018 according to Ari Brodach, head of the participatory budget at the city of Paris in an email conversation with the IRM researcher on 22 November 2018.

On the fifth milestone, the results of the participatory budget were announced on 5 October 2017 https://www.paris.fr/resultatsbudgetparticipatif . According to Pauline Véron, Deputy Mayor for citizen participation, 66 of the 196 projects are dedicated to working-class neighborhoods with more than 33 million euros of funding https://budgetparticipatif.paris.fr/bp/plugins/download/BP2017-DossierDePresse.pdf .

The sixth milestone remained pending as the Atelier Parisien d'Urbanisme (APUR) study had not been released by the close of the action plan.

Given the completion of most of the milestones, the IRM researcher considers the overall completion of this commitment to be substantial.

Early results: did it open government?
Civic Participation: Marginal

According to research by the Atelier Parisien d'Urbanisme (APUR), there is a “social bias” in participatory budgeting efforts, which tend to neglect the needs of working-class neighborhoods in Paris. To address this issue, the government aimed to mobilize associations and students to reach working-class neighborhoods and better involve them in the participatory budgeting process.

Regarding the OGP value of civic participation, the IRM researcher could only find marginal evidence of changes in government practices. On the one hand, as explained in the Status section above, the government funded several organizations that worked directly with the residents of working-class neighborhoods to raise awareness of participatory budgeting and support the design of proposals. The organizations used methods such as workshops, games, and walks to engage local communities and develop ideas. https://budgetparticipatif.paris.fr/bp/jsp/site/Portal.jsp?document_id=3222&portlet_id=159 This support resulted in 76 proposals (out of a total of 484), of which 37 were eventually selected.

On the other hand, concrete outreach to working-class communities as part of the participatory budget is not entirely new. The municipal government first began allocating a dedicated portion of the participatory budget to working-class districts in 2016, when €30 million were dedicated to these districts. https://budgetparticipatif.paris.fr/bp/plugins/download/BP2016-DossierDePresse.pdf During this year, 6,370 people from working-class districts—or 14.1 percent of the total population of the city—voted for projects. https://www.apur.org/fr/nos-travaux/budget-participatif-paris-participe This is significant considering that overall, residents in working-class districts make up 16% of the population of Paris. Ibid. In this sense, the government had already made great strides at the outset of the action plan.

Moreover, the 2017 results do not differ greatly from those in 2016. While a third of the awarded projects (66 out of 196) and more than a third of the participatory budget (€33,4 million out of €92 million totally) was dedicated to working-class districts in 2017 In this edition of the participatory budget, the city of Paris used a special label on the website to distinguish projects dedicated to working-class neighborhoods. These figures are taken from the , this is only a slight increase compared to 2016, when 58 projects and €30 million were allocated to working-class districts https://budgetparticipatif.paris.fr/bp/plugins/download/BP2016-DossierDePresse.pdf . As a result, while the City of Paris is making a strong effort to ensure diversity in its participatory budget, it is not possible to conclude that there has been a major change as a result of this commitment.

Nonetheless, assessing the early results of this commitment is difficult without the release of the APUR study which could give a scientific assessment of the participation of working-class districts in the participatory budget. For example, it is not clear how many residents of working-class neighborhoods participated in the 2017 process, or how many voted as compared to the 2016 process. The IRM researcher asked for the first draft of the study, but this request was declined by the service in charge of the participatory budget, which sent maps instead. Ari Brodach, head of the participatory budget, used a choropleth map of the number of voters for each IRIS, the smallest statistical entity for urban areas in France, to demonstrate the mobilisation of voters in working-class districts. However, this map is not directly interpretable as IRIS vary in population from 1600 to 3300 inhabitants in Paris http://opendata.apur.org/datasets/iris-demographie?geometry=1.985%2C48.828%2C2.504%2C48.907&selectedAttribute=P12_POP .

Ultimately, the outreach to working-class districts is notable, but there is little evidence available confirming that this commitment significantly improved the opportunities of working-class district inhabitants in the participatory budget.

Recommendations

The updated sociological study conducted by APUR will provide interesting insights to understand how a participatory budget can become a tool to empower working-class districts inhabitants in reshaping their urban environment. The IRM researcher suggests sharing these results with CSO networks once they are available, as participatory budgeting is one of the key actions conducted in sub-national action plans.

Besides, to allow researchers beyond APUR to conduct studies on the sociology of the participatory budget, the city of Paris can improve the transparency of the process by publishing anonymised open data on voters and projects. During a workshop of l’Ecole des Données, https://ecoledesdonnees.org/le-projet/ a civil society project that offers courses and workshops, participants listed a series of suggestions in order to help citizens have a better understanding of the participatory budget with open data. For instance, they suggested publishing datasets on the advancement of selected projects, statistics of the participatory budget website, anonymised votes and the complete list of projects including those that were not selected https://fr.okfn.org/2017/11/13/atelier-citoyen-budget-participatif-quelles-donnees-pour-quelles-analyses/ .