Janaagraha’s Participatory Budgeting campaign in Bengaluru, called MyCityMyBudget, was launched on November 23, 2015. Over more than two months of hectic online and on-ground activity, the campaign reached out to various sections of the city’s citizenry to facilitate their identification of inputs to the forthcoming BBMP Budget. Citizens were asked to give inputs pertaining to their respective wards and neighborhoods. The campaign is now poised to move to the next phase of submitting the inputs received to the elected representatives and the relevant agencies.
Sapna Karim, Co-ordinator, Civic Participation, Janaagraha, says: “Our team has complied the inputs and shared a copy of the ward-wise reports of inputs with the Resident Welfare Associations where workshops were conducted. These associations can start discussions with their respective Corporators with a structured data-set of issues pertaining to their wards. It is heartening to note that many Associations have already begun the process. Our next step will be to invite Association representatives to submit these inputs to the Mayor and the BBMP heads. We plan to conduct an event for that in the next ten days.”
Here are some highlights of the first phase of the campaign:
Ø 6,037 inputs were received from across Bengaluru. These came in through on-ground workshops and Janaagraha’s online platform ichangemycity.com.
Ø Over 60% of these inputs pertain to the BBMP. The next big chunk pertains to BWSSB.
Ø On-ground workshops were held in 75 wards through Resident Welfare Associations and other citizen groups (e.g. shop owners associations, trade unions and communities like Whitefield Rising). Also, there was a conscious attempt to include inputs from the urban poor in a few wards in the city through the Jana Pragati centres.
On the other hand, the online leg of the campaign (on ichangemycity.com) drew responses from all wards in the city.
Ø 1,028 citizens came together in the various on-ground workshops to debate and discuss inputs to the budget.
Ø Over 8000 school kids provided inputs on a few ‘quality of life’ issues that affect them.
Once the BBMP budget is released, Janaagraha will analyse the citizen-input data against the budgets announced. At that stage, bulletins and updates will be put out for the benefit of the citizens at large, and specifically, for those from whom budget inputs were received. In the succeeding weeks thereafter, Janaagraha will continue to monitor the inclusion of citizens’ inputs in the budget and keep sending out updates as part of their community engagement plans.