Centre for Policy Alternatives on 17 July, 2015

Rooting Participatory Budget Practices for Transparent and Accountable Local Governance

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Local governance is widely recognized as the best training ground in which the citizen can learn the art of governance through their own experiences and the reality that exists around them. Local government which is the third layer of country’s administration is also always, in all circumstances, considered as the important vehicle and the only the means to provide state benefits and services to the local citizens In fact, “no political system is considered complete and democratic if it does not have the system of local governance” (B Havenga -2002, University of Pretoria).

In this paper the author argues that the development programs should be initiated from the local government levels which are the pivotal arms  of Local Governance than provincial and national governments due to its closeness to citizens, geographical coverage and the legal base. Pradeshiya Sabhas based on PS Act of 17/ 1987 as the closest community layer with pools of unsullied voices of local community citizens is the ideal entry point with more citizen participation. However, participatory governance shall not become the reality that it should be if there is no distribution of resources to the local communities in parallel. Among the processes that enable this is the local government budgeting. The effective distribution of resources to local communities –and the specific decision making framework thereto -is achieved by none other than the budgeting process and therefore nowhere is the citizen’s voice is as important as this stage- in that, ‘participatory budgeting.’

CPA works closely with local government to promote this inclusivity and transparency. A full report on the process of the creating citizen budgets can be found below.

Local Governments and Participatory Budgeting